When I was done with this week's French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Shrimp and Cellophane Noodles, it looked nothing like I had imagined and probably nothing like what Dorie had in mind as well! First off, I don't eat shrimps, so I had to find a suitable substitute for that. Secondly, I grabbed the wrong kind of noodles in my rush to grocery shop this afternoon. Instead of glass or cellophane noodles, which is string-like and clear when cooked, I brought home a packet of flat rice-noodles instead. The mistake is forgivable (at least I hope so), the noodles were clear while uncooked and it never occurred to me to read the ingredients label properly. Rice noodles actually turn white and opaque upon cooking, unlike the transparent glass noodles. Okay, that was the very least of my worries.
The other day, I had bought a box of fresh black fungus, not really knowing what they were or what to do with them. Then when I opened up Dorie's cookbook and did a little research on Chinese ear mushrooms. Whatddya know? They're also known as black fungus, and since I had fresh instead of dried ones, I could skip the soaking part and threw them straight into the cooking pan. Crunchy little things, these are... and really great additions to soups and stir-fries. I sliced them into strips for ease of consumption - especially the chewing part - because black fungus has a crunchy, chewy texture akin to bone cartilage. I kid you not!
Black fungus - they remind me of crunchy ears!
Labeled as a medicinal food for thousands of years and known for its rich nutrients such as iron, protein, fat, vitamins, polysaccharide, and other minerals, black fungus tastes neutral and is said to be able to replenish “Qi” (essential energy), enrich and activate blood, purify lungs and intestines, etc. Considered as a 'meat' in vegetables, the iron contained in black fungus is one the highest among all the vegetables; people who eat it regularly tend to be at lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and have a normal blood viscosity - a similar result to the effects of aspirin. So a big Yay! to black fungus.
I opted out from using the prescribed tomato sauce (2 cups...really?). Instead I roasted some tomatoes, peeled and chopped them up, then sauteed that along with the black fungus and tofu. Which reminds me, the tofu slices served as my prawn impostors. I simply sliced firm tofu into thin slices and deep-fried them before tossing them into the tomato and mushroom 'sauce'. These noodles were pretty cool... they do nothing to remind me of French food, of course, but that's beside the point!
Have a peek at what other's made out of this recipe over at FFWD. Should be pretty interesting...
Spend the weekend doing something beautiful, that's my wish for you!