Wood Ear Mushroom Salad捞汁黑木耳lāo zhī hēi mù ěr

coverA simple, refreshing and healthy cold appetizer. The wood ear mushroom is called black fungus in English and mu er (木耳) in Chinese – a must-have item in the Chinese pantry because of its super long shelf life, unique texture of crunchiness after cooked and magically making every dish taste better. It is also long acclaimed as a superfood that will cleanse your body by removing toxins from the digestive tract。

The vinegar dressing, highlighted by two different types of rice-based Chinese vinegar, can be made in large quantity in advance and store in fridge for up to two months. And you can mix and match to use any vegetables of your choice.

Serves 4-6

 Vinegar dressing

  • 4 sprigs               spring onions, roughly chopped,香葱切丝
  • 3 tablespoons    Cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoons    Chinese white rice vinegar 白米醋
  • 2 tablespoons    Chinkiang vinegar镇江香醋
  • 2 teaspoons         Sesame oil 香油
  • 1/2 teaspoon       table salt
  • 1 tablespoon      light soy sauce 生抽
  • 2 teaspoons       caster sugar白糖


  • 150g           Rehydrated Wood Ear Mushroom (You will need about 25 gram dried Wood Ear Mushroom in water) 黑木耳 (水发后)
  • 1-2            Fresh green pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2-3            Shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2-3            Thai bird chili or any small red chili, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 sprigs      coriander (optional)
  • 250ML        drinking water


  1. Soak the dry wood ear mushrooms in warm water until hydrated. This takes about 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, let’s prepare the Vinegar Dressing. Heat the cooking oil over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add spring onions and fry over low medium heat for about 5 minutes. Drain by removing the caramelized spring onions. This will yield 2-3 tablespoons of spring onions oil. Place the spring onions oil in a mixing bowl. Add into rest of the vinegar dressing seasonings. Mix well. The vinegar dressing is done. Set aside.
  3. Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Blanch all the Wood Ear Mushroom by batches. Cool off the mushroom under the running water. The step #3 takes about 3-4 minutes. Drain.IMG_8893.JPG
  4. Place drained mushroom in a mixing bowl. Add the vinegar dressing. Add 250ml drinking water and toss into sliced green/red peppers, shallots and coriander. Mix well.IMG_8895.JPG
  5. Chill in the fridge for a half hour then enjoy.

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