Snow-ear Mushroom

Snow-ear Mushroom


Snow-ear Mushroom – Natural Internal Moisturizer for Our Bodies

By Vicky Chan - October 1st, 2013

 

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The best of the Chinese food culture is to eat according to the season. With fall is in the air and the weather is getting dryer, it is important to eat food that can combat the dryness and to promote vital fluid to lubricate our lungs, joints and skin.

The best food which can do just that is snow-ear mushroom. The botanical name is Tremella fuciformis.  It is a species of fungus producing white, frond-like, gelatinous fruit bodies. They grow wild in the tropics on recently fallen branches of broad leaf trees. Nowadays, they are commercially cultivated and are one of the most popular fungi in Chinese cuisine. It is commonly known as silver ear fungus or white jelly mushroom and is referred to as the poor-man’s bird’s nest because of its low price but with comparable health benefits.

Chinese medicine defines snow-ear mushrooms as neutral in nature, sweet in taste and is known to lubricate lungs and joints, promote vital fluids, promote cell regeneration and blood circulation, moisturize and whiten skin and promote energy.

The mushrooms are sun-dried and are very light in weight but they can expand to 2 or 3 times of its size after soaking in water for 5 to 10 minutes. The best ones are slightly yellowish in color (the very white ones are probably bleached), but will become whiter after soaking, rinsing and cooking.  They are softer after being cooked but still retain some crunchiness. Snow-ear mushroom is mostly used in soups, desserts and vegetarian stews.

My favorite recipe for snow-ear mushroom is to make soup with apples or pears (or both) and with pork. The ingredients can vary according to your taste and liking. The soup is very refreshing with fruity, sweet and sour taste and yet is also meaty and rich. It is very easy to make. With apples and pears being so abundant in this time of the year, it is the best soup for the whole family, both for taste and health benefits. Please also search our website for other snow-ear mushroom recipes.


Snow-ear Mushroom, Apple and Pork Soup

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THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS:

Promotes yin, improves vital fluid, benefits lungs, clears phlegm, moisturizes skin and large intestine, promotes digestion, and improves skin complexion.


INGREDIENTS: (6 to 8 servings)


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  • Snow-ear mushroom 雪耳– 2
  • Apples - 4
  • Northern / Southern apricot kernel 北南杏- a handful
  • Lean pork / pork with bone- 240gm
  • Citrus peel (chen-pi) 陳皮- one piece (soak and scrape out white membrane)
  • Ginger – 2 slices
  • Dried figs – 3 to 4 (rinse and cut into halves)


INSTRUCTION:

1.   Wash pork, cut into large pieces and put them in boiling water to cook for a few minutes, remove and rinse.

2.   Soak snow-ear mushroom for about 10 minutes or until fully re-hydrated. Cut out the brown stem and separate them into smaller pieces, and rinse.


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3.   Put pork with about 2 to 3 liters of water in a soup pot and bring to a boil. Remove foam if necessary. Add all other ingredients except apples and let it cook over medium heat for about one hour.

4.   Remove skin and core of apples and cut each into large slices and add to the cooking. Add more boiling water to the cooking if necessary and let it cook for another 30 minutes.

5.   Add salt to taste and serve.


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USAGE:

No limitation.

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