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Jan 17, 2007 09:46 PM

Recipe for Spring rolls. what IS that??

ok, there's the link... What on earth is EARWOOD?

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  1. Earwood is a type of mushroom

    1. where would one find earwood. can one BUY earwood? not at any markets around here, and whats a suitable substitute for earwood?
      sorry, i like saying it.

      1. My guess is that it's black fungus, available from any Asian grocery store.

        1. Can also be called Wood's Ear mushrooms. Available at any asian market and most better groceries.

          2 Replies
          1. re: lgphil

            not the same as Clouds Ear? It is a fungus...

            1. re: chef chicklet

              I think cloude ear is also a fungus, but it's white. Usually used in dessert preparation.

          2. like i said, not available around here, no asian grocery stores either, any subs for it?

            4 Replies
            1. re: RiJaAr

              Dried oyster mushrooms are often substituted for tree ear or wood ear mushrooms, but my guess is that if you can't find one locally you're not going to find the other. Tree ears, at least in my way of thinking, don't have a great deal of flavor on their own, but they readily absorb other flavors so are particularly good with saucy dishes. They also have an interesting texture; sort of silky, rather glutinous--but in a good way. Anyway, in terms of your recipe, I'd just double the number of black mushrooms and forget abour the tree ears. You'll lose something in texture, perhaps, but not much in the way of flavor.

              1. re: JoanN

                Wood/Tree ears also give the dish a bit of rubbery crunchiness. Does that make sense? It's akin to the "bite" of a good sausage or piece of tendon in your meat. It pops when you bite into it, but isn't exactly hard to chew on.


                That's a photo of wood's ear mushrooms. They look like that fresh, or you can find them dried in Chinese markets. I've seen them dried in big bags, or dehydrated by machine so that they're compacted into matchbook sized packets. I crumble a corner of the matchbook into a bowl of water and 20 minutes later I have a big bowl of mushrooms. It's really incredible how much water they can soak up!

                1. re: Pei

                  I love your description, Pei. "Rubbery crunchiness." That's just perfect. And I'd never seen, even in a photograph, fresh wood ears before. Fascinating. I've only found them dried in bags, never fresh or dehydrated.

                  1. re: JoanN

                    Occassionally I'll see them at 99 Ranch or Nijiya fresh. They're always next to the oyster mushrooms, pre-wrapped in plastic wrap in a styrofoam tray.

                    Unlike with shitakes, I don't think wood ears are very different whether purchased fresh or dried, so you're not missing out.