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Get To Know The Kikurage Mushroom (Recipes, Benefits, About)

Get To Know The Kikurage Mushroom (Recipes, Benefits, About)

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You’ve heard about kikurage in ramen, or you’ve seen the wood ear mushroom in your local grocery store? Rest assured, this edible mushroom from Japan is perfect for stews and stir-fries.

This is why I have prepared the ultimate guide to the kikurage mushroom, together with its health benefits, basic facts, and favorite recipes that contain it. Stay tuned to learn more about this amazing forest fruit.

What Is The Kikurage Mushroom? Getting To Know The Wood Ear Mushroom

Kikurage Mushroom

Kikurage mushrooms have a brownish-gray color and can be found growing on dead trees, logs, and stumps. They are typically harvested in late November or December when they are at their peak flavor and texture.

Kikurage mushrooms are a type of edible mushroom that is native to Japan. They are also known as the jelly ear, jew’s ear, black fungus, mu er, or auricularia auricula-judae.

The Kikurage mushroom is a type of mushroom that grows in forests, on tree stumps, or under rocks. The Kikurage has a brown-gray color and round shape. It is usually about 6 to 8 inches in diameter and can weigh up to 3 pounds.

The Kikurage’s taste is sour with a hint of sweetness, and it can be eaten raw or cooked. When cooked, it becomes chewy than when eaten raw.

In Japan, the kikurage mushroom is a delicacy that is often served in a hot pot. It has a meaty and chewy texture that is very popular among Japanese people.

With its distinct taste and texture, it can be used as an ingredient for many dishes, such as in soups, stir-fries, or even salads.

The Numerous Benefits Of The Black Fungus

dried Kikurage Mushroom

Kikurage Mushroom or Wood Ear Mushroom has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. It is a fungus that grows in the ground and on trees, with a natural brown color and a shape similar to that of an ear.

The medicinal properties of Kikurage come from its high levels of polysaccharides, which have been shown to have antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties due to numerous antioxidants. It is used as an immune booster and to treat chronic dry coughs.

It has been used to treat many different types of conditions, including colds, sore throats, and asthma, and can promote gut health, and more. It’s also been shown to help fight inflammation and lower cholesterol levels.

The Chinese have eaten them for thousands of years as a health tonic and preventative measure against cancer. The nutritional value of wood ear mushrooms include:

Wood ear mushrooms contain vitamins D, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and many minerals like potassium, calcium, and iron.

They also contain amino acids like arginine and glutamic acid, which help with the digestive process.

This healthy food consists of carbohydrates but is full of dietary fiber, perfect if you’re watching your weight.

Japanese Recipes With Kikurage Mushrooms

Here are a few ideas on how to prepare these mushrooms for your dishes:

1. Kikurage Mushroom Ramen

When you want to prepare wood ear for your ramen, you will need to soak the dried mushroom in cold water, so they return to their original form. Here is how to do it:

Ingredients

• 1/3 of a cup of dried or 1 cup of fresh kikurage

• 1 tablespoon soy sauce

• 1 tablespoon sesame oil

• 1 teaspoon mirin

Preparation

Step 1: Once your dried mushrooms have their old form back, which takes around 2 hours of soaking, cut their stems and cut them into strips. Then, bring them to a boil in warm water, and let them boil for 3 minutes.

Step 2: Once the mushrooms are done, strain them and dry them. Shen they are dry, add the condiments or soy sauce, sesame oil, and mirin. Now your wood ears are ready for your ramen, so add them to the bowl.

Kikurage Mushroom ramen

2. Kikurage Mushroom Salad

This salad is to die for when it comes to mushroom cravings.

Ingredients

• 4 cups fresh wood ear mushrooms or 1 cup dried

• 2 fresh red peppers (it can be poblano or ancho chiles)

• 4 garlic cloves

• 1 tablespoon parsley

• 1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar

• 1 tablespoon soy sauce

• 1 tablespoon sesame oil

• 1 teaspoon sugar

Preparation

Step 1: If you have dried wood ear mushrooms, let them soak for 2 hours. Then, cut the veggies into medium-sized pieces, before you boil the mushrooms for 3 minutes. Before combining the ingredients, soak off any water.

Step 2: Mix together the garlic, peppers, parsley, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar. This will form a marinade, which you should leave in the fridge. The bowl should be covered and left to chill for half an hour.

kikurage mushroom salad

3. Simple Pork And Wood Ear Stir Fry

My favorite way to combine meat and mushrooms is a stir fry since it brings out the best of both.

Ingredients

For the pork marinade and sauce:

• 0.5 pound pork tenderloin

• 1 tablespoon soy sauce

• 1 tablespoon sesame oil

• 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

• 1 tablespoon rice wine

For the stir-fry:

• 0.5 cup dried and soaked wood ear mushrooms

• 5 cloves of garlic

• 2 red chile peppers

• 2 spring onions or 0.5 yellow onion

• 1 cucumber

• 1 teaspoon corn starch

Preparation

Step 1: First, cut and marinate the pork in an Asian mix of soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine, and vinegar.

Step 2: Then, soak the kikurage mushrooms while you cut the rest of the stir fry ingredients into medium-sized chunks. If you don’t have kikurage mushrooms, substitute them with shiitake mushrooms or cloud ear.

Step 3: Then, boil the mushrooms and fry the pork. Use the corn starch and a bit of water to make a paste. In the same dish, add your stir-fry ingredients gradually. Stir while mixing for up to 10 minutes on medium heat.

simple pork and wood ear stir fry1

Prepare Your Ramen

Get your soy sauce and sesame oil ready! It’s time to rehydrate that dried kikurage and enjoy its crunchy texture together with ramen noodles.

In fact, now that you know everything you might need about kikurage mushrooms, it’s time to enjoy some Japanese food.