What is the main constituent of this dish? What does it look like to you?
Everything in it, except me, came out of a packet. What was supposed to be a quick meal turned out to be a rather gargantuan one, some of which is sitting in my fridge and has me wrestling with my conscience yet again - dustbin or digest?
As things turned out, this post is going to be a WHB special about how not to cook the main ingredient rather than how to. After three pages of Google results, I am no wiser, the deadline is closer and the host must be on her way from 'eager' to 'anxious' as she recalls my many promises about this entry. It's not as delicious as the Blossip (due credits to you and you for this term) we shared last week, but it's interesting, at least for the texture.
When I returned from my holiday in Thailand last December, I brought back three packets of dried mushrooms. Two rotted before I could use them, this held on. 'This' is silver ear mushroom, also known as tremella mushroom, snow fungus, white fungus, white jelly fungus or white tree fungus. I found it in a packaged soup that I had also brought from Thailand where it floated peacefully in the broth, light and hardly there.
Despite my blog being named for soup and the agonised weight watching that I talk about all the time, I am no soupie, so for me this had to go into something substantial. A packet of Pad Thai noodles that came with its own spice mix and some fresh tiger prawns seemed the apt companions for this packet.
I washed the mushrooms and soaked them in water, thinking I needed to do that - all the instructions, if any, on the packet were in Thai. That was my mistake - each mushroom, just a fistful in size, swelled to the size of a sunflower.
I tore them up into pieces and tossed them according to the instructions on the Pad Thai packet with the prawns and the noodles earlier softened in hot water, the spice mix. Then I garnished it with peanuts and coriander.
By evening, it had diminished in volume as the water ... uh ... evaporated. And lay there limp and unappetising in its dish. I ate it with gobs of chilli-tomato sauce to camouflage the bland and woody taste.
Now when I surfed the Net, I found out it's a great health and beauty aid, favoured by none less than "an imperial concubine" who used it for "facial and body maintenance". Read more about it here.
See more pictures here.
Weekend Herb Blogging Silver ear mushroom White fungus Snow fungus