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Uchina (Wood Ear Mushroom) is a delicacy to the Asians including Manipuries, this Asian fungus is often added to Chinese hot and sour soup to add texture and to Szechwan and Hunan cuisine to soak up their spicier flavors.
Wood Ear mushrooms are brown to dark brown and can be anywhere from two to 8 inches in size. The gill-less mushrooms are somewhat cup-shaped, with a thick, smooth, wavy cap and almost no stem. The color of the skin often takes on the color of the tree that it grows on. With age, the mushroom darkens and the skin can turn black.
Wood Ear mushrooms are a source of iron and protein and are high in fiber, providing almost half the recommended daily fiber intake for adults.Wood Ear mushrooms are also a good source of vitamins B1 and B2.
Wood ear mushrooms are popular for their ability to add texture to soups and stir-fry and absorb other flavors. The Asian fungus is often added to Chinese hot and sour soup to add texture and to Szechwan and Hunan cuisine to soak up their spicier flavors.