What makes this salad so special?
This warming salad is packed with vitamins and minerals to strengthen your immunity. It only takes 10 minutes to make, but more importantly, its delicious. It is made with Chinese black vinegar, which is believed to contain amino acids and other nutrients to help counter the effects of lactic acid buildup in the blood. Lactic acid buildup can cause fatigue and sore muscles, as well as disease. This vinegar is also said to boost energy levels.
However, it has a very strong aroma that some may not like. Chinese black vinegar is made from fermented black sticky rice and adds another dimension of flavour in your Chinese cooking.
Wood Ear Mushrooms vs Black Fungus
Wood ear mushrooms (jelly ear mushrooms/kikurage/tree ear fungus) is a mushroom native to Asia and a very common ingredient used in Chinese cooking. It is not the same as black fungus. Black fungus is a little smaller and coarser than wood ear mushrooms , but from the same family.
Wood ear mushrooms are typically sold dehydrated and when rehydrated, it has a chewy, crunchy texture, and is able to absorb lots of flavour.
Wood ear mushrooms are very low in calorie and high in protein. It also has a very high content of minerals such as iron, magnesium and vitamin B.
These mushrooms have immunostimulatory properties, which enhance the activity of phagocytes (immune cells) that protect the body by getting rid of harmful foreign particles, bacteria, and dead cells.
How do you cook Wood Ear Mushrooms?
Wood ear mushrooms are normally sold dehydrated. In order to eat them, you need to soak them in hot water for about 15 minutes or until soft. You can eat them cold or warm.
What are Lily Bulbs?
This vegetable is typically known as bǎi hé (百合) in Mandarin. Lily bulbs are a flower-like vegetable and has a similar texture as the water chestnut. Normally, the petals are plucked to cook, and it turns translucent.
I would not recommend eating them raw as the inner parts are usually covered in dirt or mud. I would suggest cooking them thoroughly to ensure its clean to eat.
Lily bulbs are classified as a Chinese herb, to help with coughs as it moisturises the lungs, fights away phlegm, and boost white blood cell production. It is also used to promote a calm mind and better sleep.
Chilli Garlic Wood Ear Mushroom and Lily Bulb Salad
- 1 Sharp knife
- 1 Grater
- 1 Mixing Bowl
- 1 Frying pan
- 1 handful Hydrated Wood Ear Mushrooms If you have the dry packets, take about half a palm sized amount from the packet and hydrate in boiling water for 2 hours, then strain and pat dry.
- 1 Lily Bulb split apart and washed
- 1 Birds Eye Red Chilli sliced
- 2 cloves Garlic shredded
- 2 stalks Spring Onion chopped. Use the white part for cooking, and the green part for the garnish
- 2 tbsp Sesame Oil
- 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 3.5 tbsps Chinese Black Vinegar
- 1 tsp Brown Sugar
- Mix all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl
- Pour the mixture in your frying pan over medium to high heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- You can either serve hot, or let it cool and serve cold.