Thai Ginger Chicken With Mushrooms and Black Fungi

imageI’ve come to love ginger and have used it a lot in my cooking. One day, I was out and about and had lunch at a Thai restaurant on Fillmore Street in San Francisco. I came in, planning to order some yellow curry dish. As I looked at the menu, an item caught my attention: ginger chicken with mushrooms and black fungi.  It was one of the rice plates they served during lunch. Without any hesitation, that’s what I ordered and I was so pleased I did.

The next day, I went shopping for black fungi at my favorite Asian grocery.  It took me a white to find it.  It was in the “dried goods” section, along with all the other dried food items.  I didn’t know exactly how to cook the fungi to make it tender like it was in the dish I ordered at the restaurant.  But I figured it would be the same procedure when cooking dried mushrooms — soaking them in water for about half an hour before cooking.  Apparently, I was right!

If you’re apprehensive about the black fungi, know that it is actually a very common edible mushroom used in many dishes in Asia and elsewhere.  It is tasteless on its own, but acquires the flavor of your other ingredients.



1/2 lb skinless and boneless chicken breast

1 cup white button mushrooms, sliced

1 cup dried black fungi (soaked in water for 30 minutes)

3 stems green onions, sliced into 3-inch pieces

1/2 cup frozen green peas

1 small onion, chopped

1 small tomato, sliced

5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 finger fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into thin strips

2 tbsps Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsps soy sauce

3/4 cup water


In a large wok heat Olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and saute until golden brown.  Add onions and cook until tender.  Add tomatoes and ginger and cook for another one minute.  Add chicken and cook until tender.  Add mushrooms, green peas and fungi.  Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add soy sauce. Add green onions. Add 3/4 cup water and cook until most of the liquid is gone.  Remove from heat and serve warm. Serve with steamed rice. (I used a combination of rice and quinoa).


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