I fondly remember my mother cooking this delicious tonic soup almost every week, even to this day! As a kid, I really enjoyed the chewy, gelatinous texture of the fungus and still enjoy it both warm and cold.
Tremella fuciformis goes by many other names such as white fungus, snow fungus, snow ear (雪耳 pinyin: xuě ěr; literally “snow ear”), silver ear fungus (银耳, pinyin: yín ěr; literally “silver ear”), shiro kikurage (シロキクラゲ, lit. “white tree jellyfish”) & white jelly mushroom.
Commonly found in the tropics, its fruiting bodies are gelatinous, watery and white or yellowish. It is largely tasteless but valued for its medicinal properties such as anti-aging, immune stimulating, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, cholesterol lowering, lung and liver nourishing, neuroprotective, etc [1, 2].
It is an extremely popular herbal mushroom in chinese cuisine and people have been consuming this for thousands of years! My mother used to say that it’s full of collagen and good for your skin. So being good for your skin, it’s probably also good for the gut and consequently good for the immune system as well.
Basically, good for everything lah! 😄
My mum’s recipe is really simple and everything is cooked in one pot! (pictures below)
- Snow Fungus (often sold dried in Asian supermarkets)
- Red dates
- Wolfberries (aka Goji berries)
- Ginkgo nuts
- Rock sugar (yes they look like rocks!)
- Fruits for additional flavor (my mother loves using Papaya! I couldn’t find that and used some apples instead)
Apart from the apples (organic grocer), I bought everything else from a local Asian supermarket!
- Soak snow fungus in filtered water at room temperature for ~20 mins until plump
- Rinse and drain
- Using a scissors, trim them down to bite size pieces, you may discard the ‘hard’ cores (I cooked them in a separate pot and they were that hard anyway!)
- Add 3 tbsp of rock sugar and about a handful of dates and goji berries to the pot (you can adjust these according to how big your pot is but I would still start with 3 tbsp of sugar first to avoid over-sweetening things)
- Add water to just cover contents
- Bring pot to a boil and simmer for 20 mins
- Add Gingko nuts and more sugar to taste
- Simmer for another 10 mins
- Add fruits after taking pot off the stove
- Serve and enjoy!