Wood Ear Mushroom Salad
Soak mushrooms in 8 cups water overnight.Advertisement
When ready to prepare salad, put a large pot of water on to boil. Set a large bowl of ice water near the stove. Drain the mushrooms and cut into 3-inch pieces. Add to the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to the ice water. Drain and pat the mushrooms dry.
Heat chili oil, ginger, garlic and sesame oil in a small skillet over medium heat until starting to sizzle, about 30 seconds. Add chili-bean sauce (or sambal oelek) and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Remove from heat and whisk in reduced-sodium soy sauce, thick (or dark) soy sauce, black vinegar and sugar.
Transfer the sauce to a large bowl. Add the mushrooms and cilantro and stir to coat.
Tips: Chili-bean sauce is a spicy, salty condiment made from chiles, fermented broad beans, soybeans, rice or wheat and spices. It's used extensively in Sichuan cooking. Sambal oelek, a mix of chiles, brown sugar and salt, is a reasonable substitute.
Dark soy sauce (sometimes called black soy sauce) is thicker than regular soy sauce, with a touch of sweetness. Thick soy sauce is similar, but gets a stickier texture and its sweetness from molasses. In a pinch combine equal parts regular soy sauce and molasses as an alternate for either.
Black vinegar (chingkiang) has a rich, smoky flavor. Balsamic or sherry vinegars can be used as a swap.
To make ahead: Refrigerate for up to 2 days.
1 fat, 1/2 vegetable