White wood ear, also known as silver ear fungus, white fungus, or white jelly mushroom, is a variety of fungus that can be found growing on the deadwood of broadleaf trees. It is used in traditional Chinese medicine as a supplement to strengthen the body, treat high blood pressure, and improve beauty such as rejuvenating the skin. Snow fungus is mild with a lightly floral and earthy flavor and is prized mainly for its texture which is chewy, gelatinous, and tender. White wood ears are used mainly in dessert soups due to its textural qualities that transfer into the liquids that it is cooked in. Sweet soups using this fungus are silky, syrupy, and smooth in texture.
Uses: Soak snow fungus in cold water overnight or for at least 20 minutes prior to use to improve its texture and shorten cooking time. Trim away remaining hard yellow stem and wash thoroughly before cutting into small pieces. Simmer in water for 1 hour before adding rock sugar, goji berries, and jujube. Cover and simmer for another 1-2 hours or until the snow fungus is amber in color and the soup is syrupy in texture.
Dried snow fungus will more than double in weight and size when re-hydrated.