Cloud ears fungus
These tiny, black, dried leaves are also known as cloud ears;
when soaked, they puff up to look like little clouds. You can
find them at Chinese markets, usually wrapped in plastic or
Cellophane bags. Dry ones usually comes from China. At your
local mushroom farm, one can purchase fresh cloud ears and also
different variety of fresh mushrooms.
Soak the dried fungus in hot water for 20-30 minutes until soft.
Rinse well, cutting away any hard portions. These fungi are
valued for their crunchy texture and slightly smoky flavour.
Used in stir-fry, steam, stew, braise. The dried fungus looks
small and appear little. You will be surprised when it soke
up and ready for cooking. The volume will increase a few fold!
They keep indefinitely in a jar stored in a cool dry place.