A Deliciously Tasty Wood Ear Mushroom Soup Recipe

Wood ear mushrooms are a delicious addition to many dishes and make an ideal base for a tasty soup. Whether you’ve cooked with wood ear mushrooms or are new to testing them out, you’ll love this delicious wood ear mushroom soup recipe.

Please keep reading to learn how to make this dish and enjoy it any time of the year or make it for your family for lunch or dinner.

What is a Wood Ear Mushroom?

The wood ear mushroom is aptly named because it very much resembles an ear. Its unique shape and appearance are easy to recognize in the wild. However, you can purchase them from specialty stores and reputable market vendors nationwide.

They are used extensively in many dishes across Asia and have recently come more into focus in the US as an ideal accompaniment to dishes and even to create delicious soups that are healthy and satisfying.

You can also pick your wood ear mushrooms at local farms that allow the public to choose their own. They also have other names, such as tree ear fungus, jelly ear mushrooms, and even kikurage.

The fruiting body of this mushroom is a reddish brown to brown color and typically has a glossy or waxy appearance. The scientific name for this mushroom is Auricularia auricula-judae.

When cooked, these mushrooms have a unique texture that has been described as almost crunchy or chewy. Although this mushroom is native to Asia, many people have begun to grow it at local farms, and it even started appearing in the wild across the country.

These mushrooms are also very healthy and provide B vitamins, magnesium, and iron. They are also a great low-calorie food that provides a great texture and is a protein substitute. This mushroom has a very mild flavor, but they soak up flavors very easily, so you can adjust their flavor to fit any dish you prepare.

Considerations for Preparing Wood Ear Mushroom Soup

Wood ear mushrooms are dense and take on the flavors of whatever seasonings and foods they are cooked within your preparation. That means if you want to generate more flavor, you’ll need to rely on your seasonings and not the taste of the mushrooms, which are very mild.

The mushroom lends more texture than flavor, but it’s light and healthy and adds substance to many dishes. However, if you’re preparing this soup, it will be the star of the show.

If you like a little zing in your soup, you can add things like chili peppers or pepper powder. Some good options for this Asian-inspired dish include bird’s eye chili peppers chopped, white pepper, or even a pinch of cayenne pepper.

This dish also calls for tofu, which also needs to be seasoned. In this application, the seasoning is chicken stock or bouillon and soy sauce. If this seasoning is too mild for your tastes, you can also add other flavors, such as oyster sauce, fish sauce, ginger, garlic, and green onion, to give it some more pizazz.

Take the time to experiment with this recipe. It can serve as a template for creating your own delicious soup that fits your palette or changing it to impress your friends and family.


The preparation time for this dish is only about 15 minutes. The bulk of the preparation is the wood ear mushrooms and the tofu. When it comes to the mushrooms, you’ll want to inspect each one to ensure it’s fresh and there’s no deterioration or discoloring.

Wash each mushroom thoroughly with cold water. Drain them and refrigerate them until you’re ready to use them.

The tofu comes in a few textures. You can get soft, firm, and extra firm. Choose whichever texture suits your palette. Keep in mind that firm and extra firm need longer to absorb flavor but tend to do a better job.

When you unpackage your tofu, take time to press out the water. You can do this by draining the tofu and wrapping it in cheesecloth or paper towels. Put a heavy object on top of it, like a heavy pot or something similar.

Let the water drain from the tofu for an hour or longer if you have the time. It allows it to absorb flavors much better.

The rest of the ingredients only require a little prep work. However, try to use a fresh egg for the best taste and results.


  • 4 large wood ear mushrooms washed
  • 1/2 block of drained tofu
  • 1 fresh egg
  • 1-2 teaspoons of starch
  • 1-2 teaspoons of coarse black pepper freshly ground
  • 2 teaspoons of chicken soup powder or bouillon cubes
  • 500 ml of water
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce

Cooking instructions

  • Choose your mushrooms and wash them thoroughly. Try to choose mushrooms grown in September for the best quality.
  • Add chicken soup powder or bouillon to the water and add cut tofu and mushrooms to the pot.
  • Once the mushrooms and tofu have cooked until they are tender and absorb the flavor, add the starch to thicken the soup. It’s best to take some of the water and add it to the starch to prevent lumps. Then add the starch water to the pot and stir.
  • Add the pepper and egg to the pot along with the spices or vegetables you add.
  • Many Asian recipes encourage you to try white vinegar in your soup to boost the flavor.

Cook this soup for approximately 20 to 30 minutes on medium-high heat, then simmer on low heat after adding the starch.


Wood ear mushrooms are healthy and versatile. If you’ve never used them, try this simple soup to become accustomed to their texture and flavor. Feel free to add spices and vegetables to make it your own. If you want to keep it vegan, simply omit adding the egg. There are many ways to enjoy wood ear mushrooms, and this method is one of the easiest and simplest preparations. Give this one a try and become a fan of the versatile wood ear mushroom.

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