Unlocking the Secrets of Kikurage – A Superfood for Your Health


The kikurage mushroom is a delicacy due to its one-of-a-kind taste and texture. This mushroom goes by a number of other names, including black fungus, cloud ear, and tree ear mushroom. Kikurage originated in China but has since gained popularity in many other nations because of its versatility in the kitchen. In this post, we’ll learn more about Kikurage, from its origins to its cultivation to its nutritional advantages to its culinary applications.

Background on Kikurage

Kikurage has been eaten for over 2000 years in China due to the belief that it has therapeutic effects. Chinese cuisine has long viewed this as a gastronomic treasure, which adds flavor and texture to various dishes. In the 17th century, Japan also started planting Kikurage mushrooms, and they quickly gained popularity as a culinary staple there. But nowadays, you can get Kikurage at supermarkets all around the world and use it in anything from soups and salads to stir-fries and stews.

Producing Kikurage

Kikurage is found in the woods of China, Japan, and other nations in Southeast Asia, where it grows naturally on trees and logs. Nevertheless, sawdust or grain may be used as a commercial substrate for its cultivation. During cultivation, a sterile substrate is inoculated with Kikurage spores. The substrate is then placed in a warm, humid area to promote mushroom development. The Kikurage mushrooms are collected after a short growth period and dried before being stored and distributed.

The Health Advantages of Kikurage

Including kikurage in your diet is a great idea since it is low in calories while being high in nutrients. It’s a healthy food that provides essential nutrients including protein, fiber, and vitamins B and D. Kikurage has few calories, no cholesterol, and no salt. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant characteristics have been linked to Kikurage, which may help lower the risk of illnesses including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, according to some research.


Recipe 1: Chinese Wood Ear Mushroom Salad


  • 1 cup of wood ear mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1/2 tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • 1-2 red or green peppers (optional)
  • 2-3 stalks of coriander (optional)
  • Salt (optional)


  1. Put the mushrooms in boiling water for roughly 2 minutes. Then, after it’s done cooking, take it out and chill it in cold water.
  2. To make a paste, grate the garlic and mix it with the sesame oil, vinegar, light soy sauce, and oyster sauce.
  3. Chop some fresh red peppers and sprinkle some salt on top.
  4. Drain the mushrooms and then combine them with the sauce.
  5. Spice it up with some fresh chili or coriander, or sprinkle on some toasted sesame seeds.

Recipe 2: Crumbled Eggs with Kikurage and Peppering


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 green pepper, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 cup of wood ear mushrooms
  • 1/2 of a standard onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon of wine for the pot
  • 2 tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of seasoned vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of oyster sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar


  1. Prepare the wild mushrooms by soaking them and cutting the green pepper into matchsticks. 
  2. Combine two tablespoons of water with a pinch of light soy sauce, vinegar, oyster sauce, some white sugar, and cornstarch in a bowl. Then leave it aside.
  3. The eggs and the cooking wine should be mixed in a separate bowl. Garlic and onions should be sautéed in a pan over medium heat. 
  4. Cook the egg mixture and toss it into the dish. When the center is just starting to set, take it off the heat. 
  5. Put it on a platter and save it for later. 
  6. Peppers and green peppers should be stir-fried. 
  7. Blend the sauce with the eggs and add them to the pan. Let it boil for two to three minutes before serving.

Recipe 3: Kikurage Tsukudani

You may eat kikurage tsukudani right away while it’s still hot, or you can cool it down and enjoy it cold later. Whether as a topping for steaming rice, a side dish for a teishoku (set dinner), or on its own, this dish is sure to please.


  • Kikurage, 5g (dried wood ear mushrooms)
  • Suggested Use: 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon soy sauce
  • One teaspoon of mirin and one teaspoon of sake
  • Tsp of Ishigaki Gourmet Chili Oil (or sesame oil)
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame seed powder


  • Wood Ear Mushrooms are to be rehydrated by placing them in a basin of sugar water that has been heated to room temperature (takes about 40-60 mins).
  • When they have rehydrated, the mushrooms should be squeezed to remove excess water before being julienned. In a mixing bowl, add the sugar, soy sauce, mirin, and sake.
  • Fry the Wood Ear Mushrooms in a frying pan with the ra-yu (or sesame oil) over medium heat until all liquid has evaporated.
  • When everything else has been combined, stir in the ground sesame seeds.

Where Can You Find Dried Mushrooms or Kikurage?

At Asian grocery stores, it’s quite easy to find dried Mushrooms or Kikurage which need to be rehydrated for a recipe. You could also purchase wood ear mushrooms packaged individually or in bulk from various online retailers. Two species of black fungus are commonly eaten – the hairy black fungus, bigger in size but tougher in texture and not as enjoyable to eat; and the wood ear mushroom which is far more palatable and simpler to consume due to its lighter texture.


In conclusion, Kikurage is a versatile ingredient that is not only delicious but also offers numerous health benefits. Discover the wonders of Kikurage mushrooms – a staple in Chinese medicine for more than two millennia, renowned for their medicinal properties! Delight your palates with their nutty taste and chewy texture when you include them in salads, soups, and stir-fries. There’s no better way to experience healthful alternatives to meat-based dishes!


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