The Benefits of White Fungus

The Benefits of White Fungus

White fungus is also called snow ear fungus, silver ear fungus, white wood ear, white tremella mushroom. And these names tell, it is a type of fungus also belonging to the mushroom family.

imageAnd a few how-tos

1. Benefits:

White fungus is also called snow ear fungus, silver ear fungus, white wood ear, white tremella mushroom. And these names tell, it is a type of fungus also belonging to the mushroom family.

White fungus has been prized for its medicinal, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor benefits. In Chinese families it is commonly used in soups cooked for soothing purposes, like nourishing the body, healing dry coughs and clearing heat in the lungs. Cooked with rock sugar in a sweet soup, or with chicken in a savory version are among the popular preparation methods.

It is also said that eating white fungus could help keep our skin young, believing that its collagen content is comparable to edible bird’s nest. Bird’s nest cost 50 times more than white fungus. This explains why white fungus is dubbed “poor man’s bird nest.”

2. A few How-tos:

1) How to soak white fungus

Cover dried white fungus with enough water (at least 3 to 4 times of the quantity). Depending on the variety, it doubles in size in 10 to 15 minutes and turns from yellowish-white to semi-transparent. I usually soak it for about half to one hour until all becomes soft.

2) How to trim white fungus

Its bottom will remain firm even after soaking; trim this par. After the hard bottom is trimmed away, just tear the fungus into small pieces, resembling petals. Then wash thoroughly and drain dry. Then it is ready for cooking in soups.

3) How to make white fungus sweet soup with pears 

Pear and white fungus are always great together. In this recipe they are combined to make a very tasty and refreshing soup that you really have to try.

Ingredients:

2 pears, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes

10 red dates, seeded, cut in half

2-3 pieces white fungus

5 cups water

5 rock sugar

How to cook?

Soak snow ear fungus in water for half to an hour or until it softened and roughly doubled in size. Discard water. Trim the firm part from its bottom.

Tear or cut the fungus into smaller pieces resembling petals. Wash them in a colander under running water to remove any dirt. Drain dry.

Put white fungus, pear cubes, red dates, and water into a slow cooker. Bring them to a boil and cook for another 4 hours (in my 110W 1.5L slow cooker). You may need  shorter boiling time if using a higher power cooker.

Add sugar to the soup, and boil until the sugar is dissolved, 5 to 10 minutes.

Serve hot and enjoy!

By Sophie Xiao
Source from Kan Zhong Guo

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