Fresh Herbed Wood Ear ‘Pasta’

Try wood ear mushrooms for yourself in this way and see how they FIT as a pasta replacement. The textures, the tastes… the delightful, deep quirky colors!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4-1/3 cup dried wood ear mushrooms
  • Water to boil (at least 4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite no-sugar added jarred tomato basil or marinara sauce
  • Fresh oregano and basil leaves, about 1/4 cup’s worth

Prep time: 15 minutes
Yields: 1 serving

Preparation:

  1. Bring water to a boil in one small saucepan; enough to completely submerge wood ear mushrooms. In another small saucepan, warm up jarred tomato sauce on a low simmer.
  2. Boil the dried mushrooms for about 10 minutes, until the mushrooms are doubled in size, completely rehydrated, and soft and chewy.
  3. While the mushrooms and sauce are heating up, chop the fresh oregano and basil.
  4. Drain the mushrooms; plate, toss in sauce and herbs, and eat! (And enjoy.)

Yasmine’s Notes:
(For your visual reference!)

These are dried wood ear mushrooms, if you haven’t seen them before!

I was first introduced to wood ear mushrooms’ existence by one of my dear friends, via an authentic Taiwanese noodle company offering them fresh and sauteed with carrots and vinegar. Immediately I fell in love with their overall texture and taste— so much so that I started shopping for them at my nearest East-Asian specialty market (i.e. H-mart). Then to my surprise, I equally found dried wood ear mushrooms at my local worldly specialty market— courtesy the Italian pizza and pasta aisle.

Altogether, noodles… pasta… unto these wood ear mushrooms: ultimately a link made to create this dish, wouldn’t you say? 😉

My general tips:

  1. When you cook them, know that they will expand twice their size!!! Fill your pot with enough water to dried mushroom ratio! (See below!)
  2. ALWAYS THOROUGHLY COOK dried mushrooms first before eating them. Do NOT soak and eat raw. (I learned this one the hard way, having never cooked dried mushrooms before at first.)

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