Saturday, November 28, 2009

Chinese Arrowhead with Black Fungus

Arrowhead with fungus atop Israeli couscous

I found this wonderful recipe online one day while searching for recipes with Chinese arrowhead.  I had never heard of it before, but saw it last weekend at a local Asian market.  I'm always excited to cook with new ingredients, so I went on a search.  There were very few recipes other than frying the slices of arrowhead and ending up with what looks like potato chips.  So I happened upon this recipe and thought I'd give it a try.  The original recipe came from this blog...
My version doesn't look anywhere near as pretty, but it was absolutely delicious.  I'll be making this again for sure.  For those of you (like me) who haven't tried arrowhead and are wondering about it, I'd say it's sort of like the texture of a potato or maybe a cross between a potato and a water chestnut.
So here's what I did...

First prepare all the ingredients.  Peel and slice 6 or 7 arrowheads, peel and chop about 3 inches of fresh ginger and soak 1/2 package (maybe 1 1/2 cups) black fungus in hot water, then drain and rinse.

Whole unpeeled arrowhead

Peeled arrowhead

Sliced arrowhead

Black fungus in package

Fungus soaking

Heat some coconut oil in a pan.  I prefer to use coconut oil because of its high smoking point.  I used a large pan instead of a wok.

Coconut oil melting in the pan

Add the ginger and stir fry for a few minutes until it is fragrant and starting to soften.

Ginger sizzling in the pan

When the ginger has been cooking for a few minutes, add the arrowheads and stir fry for a minute or two more.  Stir all the time as they tend to stick (won't matter later when you add water).

Arrowheads in pan with ginger

As they start to soften slightly, add the soaked and rinsed black fungus and continue to stir fry for a few more minutes.

Fungus added to the pan

Mash up one of the cubes of fermented red bean curd from the jar and add this to the pan along with a couple of tablespoons of the liquid from the jar.  I also added 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to give it a little kick.

Piece of red bean curd

Mashed bean curd

Bean curd added to ingredients in the pan

Add 1/2 cup of water to the pan and stir fry everything for a few more minutes before serving.  I decided to be very non-traditional and served this over Israeli couscous :-)  I have to say I was really pleasantly surprised that it was as good as it was!!

Israeli coucous, toasted but not yet cooked

This is what the jar of bean curd looked like right after I opened it

Jar of fermented red bean curd (sorry it's so blurry)

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