Ear Fungus or Cloud ear fungus
(Auricularia polytricha) is a jelly fungus
grey-brown in color used often in Asian cooking. It is also
known as wood ear, tree ear, wood fungus, ear fungus or tree ear fungus, an allusion
to its flabby ear-shaped growth.
fungus grows in frilly masses on dead wood. It is a dark brown color but somewhat
translucent. It is usually sold dried and needs to be soaked before use. While
tasteless, it is prized for its slightly crunchy texture and supposed medicinal
relative, Auricularia auricula
(Jew's Ear Fungus) is also used often in Asian cooking.