Dried wood ear mushrooms (きくらげ) have the appearance of black trumpet mushrooms. They look thin and frail, curled tightly into itself. When reconstituted, they turn into a large wavy black mushroom.
They are crunchy and gelatinous and have a delicate forest aroma. They are used in many Asian cooking for its mild to almost no flavor and crunchy texture.
Wood ear mushrooms take their name from the fact that they grow on the sides of decaying trees. The broad, flat shape of the mushroom makes the tree look like it has ears.
How To Use Dried Wood Ear Mushrooms
Soak in water for about 15-30 minutes. After reconstituting, slice into thin pieces. The soaking liquid does not add anything to a finished dish so you can discard after reconstituting the mushrooms.