One of our friends in Ningbo, gave us a package of “black fungus” to take home.
Here’s the description on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auricularia_auricula-judae. The texture of the fungus tends to be on the crunchy side, no matter how long it’s cooked. The Cat likes the texture to be on the softer side. She said that the fungus is more nutritious.
For The Cat’s lunch today, I stir-fried head cabbage with “black fungus,” dried mushrooms (rehydrated), fresh Enoki mushrooms, and thinly sliced pork belly. I pre-boiled the fungus before adding it to the stir-fry. I also rendered the fat from the pork belly to use in the stir-fry. The Cat said yum. The fungus is supposed to have medicinal properties (as well as the cabbage and mushrooms) but I think the pork fat balanced out the benefits.