What is White Fungus?
White fungus has been appraised for its medicinal benefits, namely anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor. In Chinese families, it is commonly used in soups cooked for soothing purposes like nourishing the bodies, healing dry coughs and clearing heat in the lungs. White fungus with rock sugar in a sweet soup or with chicken in a savory version are among the popular ones until nowadays. Occasionally, we may also see it in stir-fry vegetable dishes.
Tracing back to the imperial Tang dynasty, concubine Yang Gui Fei (1 of the China’s famed 4 great beauties) is said to have credited to snow mushroom with maintaining her youthful appearance with white fungus. However, this is not a myth at all as cosmetic chemist actually says that white fungus has become so famous with their ability to boost skin hydration due to the gelatinous structure and high amount of polysaccharide. Thus, it has been extracted and used in many skin care products nowadays to provide hydration properties.
It is also said that eating white fungus could help to keep our skin look younger. Believing that the collagen content is compatible to bird’s nest. However, bird nest is way more expensive than white fungus, so it is clear that why white fungus is dubbed as the poor man’s bird nest.
Often than not, white fungus is available in its dried form than fresh. So, whatever the dried white fungus is used for, it has to be soaked, trimmed and washed thoroughly before used.
Steps to prepare before cook:
Soak dried white fungus with enough room temp water (at least 3 to 4 times of its size). We shall see it double in size in 10 to 15 minutes and turn from yellowish-white to semi-transparent. It’s recommended to soaked it for about half to one hour until all its body become gelatinously soft. Trim the bottom part (core) that is remain firm even after soaked. After the core is trimmed away, tear the fungus into small pieces resembling petals. Then wash thoroughly and drain dry. Then, the white fungus is ready for cooking!
Avoid Sulphurated / Bleached White Fungus!
In order have the “whiteness” and to preserves White Fungus better, most of them are treated with Sulphur (considered a low toxic to human, ingesting too much Sulphur may cause burning sensation or diarrhea) or bleached. When we are picking White Fungus, make sure they are not treated with Sulphur / bleaching. They might look a bit “uglier” in yellowish and brownish. But they would surely provide better health benefits to all. Get your Sulphur-Free White Fungus from Love Earth now!
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