The mild flavor of deliciously soft (but still surprisingly crunchy) wood ear mushrooms is a perfect canvas for the vinegary marinade in this healthy salad. This recipe uses dried wood ears, so make sure you soak them overnight the day before.

Vivian Ku
Source: EatingWell Magazine, March 2019


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Soak mushrooms in 8 cups water overnight.

  • 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.

Nutrition Facts

57.7 calories; protein 0.7g 2% DV; carbohydrates 6.1g 2% DV; exchange other carbs 0.5; dietary fiber 1.4g 6% DV; sugars 2.7g; fat 3.1g 5% DV; saturated fat 0.4g 2% DV; cholesterolmg; vitamin a iu 90IU 2% DV; vitamin c 0.5mg 1% DV; folate 0.9mcg; calcium 51.3mg 5% DV; iron 0.5mg 3% DV; magnesium 2.1mg 1% DV; potassium 18.8mg 1% DV; sodium 282.6mg 11% DV.