Black moss fungus or “angel hair” is known in China for its blood-building properties and as a tonic food that turns grey hair black again. Here, it’s combined with soft tofu and green peas to make a tasty, nourishing soup.
Green Pea and Tofu Soup
Preparation time: 5 mins + 10 mins soaking time
Cooking time: 20 mins
4 cups (1 liter) vegetable stock or water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 cake soft tofu (about
10 oz/300 g), cubed
1/2 cup (50 g) fresh
shiitake mushrooms, diced, or 5 dried black Chinese mushrooms, washed and soaked in warm water for 20 minutes, stems discarded and caps sliced
1/2 cup (80 g) fresh or frozen green peas
1 handful dried black moss fungus, washed and soaked 10 minutes in cool water (see note)
3 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons cool water
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 cup (50 g) fresh mung bean sprouts, washed and trimmed
2 green onions (scallions), chopped, to garnish
1. Bring the stock or water and the salt and pepper to a full boil, and add the diced carrot and tofu cubes. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 3 minutes.
2. Add the mushrooms, peas, and fungus to the soup, cover, and cook for another 2 minutes.
3. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the soup and it will thicken as it comes to a boil. Drizzle in the sesame oil, stir, and turn off the heat. Ladle into individual bowls, sprinkle the bean sprouts and green onions into each bowl and serve.
Black moss fungus, also known as “angel hair”, is a fine, fiber-like fungus that is added to Chinese soups or used as a garnish in some Chinese dishes. It should be soaked in warm water until it becomes soft. If not available, use 1/2 cup (60 g) dried bean thread noodles, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes to soften.
Reprinted with the express permission of Tuttle Publishing, a member of the Periplus Publishing Group.