Botanical name: Auricularia polytricha
Common name: Black Fungus, Cloud Ear, Tree Ear
Available fresh in Australia, although generally used in a dried form that requires reconstituting. Gray-brown in colour and considered an essential ingredient in all Asian cooking. Firm, gelatinous texture. Very little flavour.
Preparation: Slice into small pieces so they’re easy to chew and digest.
Usage: Soups and or stir-fry style dishes, mostly to add colour and chewy texture