Monday, July 5, 2010

xylogenous :Chinese Wood Fungi

The normal fungi, a single growth,

Dried fingus, this is unusual size as it is a tiwn.

Reconstituted after soaking.

xylogenous means growing on wood, so I take it that the Chinese Wood Fungi is xylogenous.

I went for a walk to a park next to Mt Albert Grammar school. I came across this tree stump which has some Chinese Wood Fungi growing. I have never been here, so I walked rather slowly and clicked as I went along.

This fungi is eaten by the Chinese and has a rubbery texture. You can buy them in dry form, soak it to reconstitute and it expands about 5 times its size. Not many people like it as it feels slimy and rubbery. I used to pick them when I was a child in Borneo.

Wood fungus is prized in Chinese cuisine for its crunchy texture and therefore added to dishes only for the last few minutes of cooking. It is good in spring rolls, soups and stir-fries, and in stewed pork or chicken.

I remember reading how this Chinese man made his fortune in New Zealand by shipping them to China. The Kiwis, Pakehas and Maoris laughed at this China man, but he had the last laugh. He laughed all the way to the bank.

So now, I will be keenly looking at tree stumps and hope to make my millions.

Wood ear fungus

The first commercial sale of edible fungi in New Zealand was in the 1870s, when Taranaki merchant Chew Chong sent bags of dried wood-ear fungus (Auricularia cornea) to his homeland, China. The fungus was in demand for the crunchy, chewy texture it added to food.

Wood ear fungus grows naturally on dead trees in lowland forest. Tonnes were harvested as settlers cleared forest for farming, and exports to China continued until the 1950s. In the 2000s, the fungus is now mostly imported to New Zealand from China, in dry form. Taiwanese growers had started cultivating a closely related fungus on sawdust blocks in the 1960s, and it became uneconomic to harvest it in the wild. A small quantity is now grown in New Zealand for the domestic market.

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Ben said...

A wood fungus millionaire! Good luck with that! I do enjoy the use of texture in Chinese food, but I am not so sure about this ingredient...

Jen said...

Happy Monday Ann
I think I will avoid this edible. Slimy and rubbery isn't my idea of a good thing to eat. Ha.

Thomas Lee/Lee Lip Pang said...

Wah! New Blog and many new things to share.

Tammie Lee said...

Hello, I have never seen this blog of yours. We have this fungi here as well. They swell up after rain. My mushroom teacher says that biting into them is like biting into an ear, now how would he know that?

as for the snow on our mountains, it is hard to say. Sometimes we get snow every month of the year, so I am told.

The JR said...

YES, making millions would make me laugh all the way to the bank too!

Don't believe I've ever eaten them in the dishes I've had.

☺lani☺ said...

Wow, never heard of that and I'm surrounded with fungi lol!

Ginny Hartzler said...

I have heard of wood fungus and ear fungus, but never seen it. I don't know if i could eat it, but I guess it would be really good for your health?

Ensurai said...

Bring me to the woods and let us make millions....sweet thoughts. thanks.

Ensurai said...

Bring me to the woods and let us make millions....sweet thoughts. thanks.