Wood ear, also called judas's ear, jelly ear, or cloud ear, is a variety of fungus that grows on the side of trees and resembles tiny ears. Wood ears are prized for their amazing texture which is equally bouncy, springy, and tender. This fungus is a fantastic vehicle for carrying sauce and flavor. These dried wood ears are a mixture of two distinct species: black fungus and cloud ear. Black fungus are brown in color and have thinner caps. Cloud ears are black in color and meatier with a light earthy aroma.
Uses: Soak black fungus in cold water overnight or for at least 20 minutes prior to use to improve its texture and shorten cooking time. Wood ears can be eaten raw and should be cooked very briefly to preserve their texture. Add wood ears to stir-fry dishes, soups, hot pot, or dry pot to add texture and volume.
Use white wood ears for sweet recipes.