Embrace the white giant for a delicious, nutritious snack
Bai ling is a rare mushroom species that hails from the deserts of northwest China. At about 8cm to 10cm in diameter and with an average weight of more than 100 grams, it's much larger than your average mushroom.
But it stands out for more than just its size. This mushroom (called 'white mushroom' in Putonghua) is low in fat and rich in protein, vitamins and fibre, according to a nutritional analysis by a state food quality agency on the mainland. It also has a high content of polysaccharides - a group of carbohydrates that is said to boost the immune system.
A quick blanch and light seasoning are all that's needed to bring out the flavour of the mushrooms in this quick and simple recipe, provided by Choi Fook Royal Banquet Restaurant in Hung Hom.
Chinese chives with bai ling mushrooms and bonito flakes
150 grams flowering Chinese chives, cut into short strips
2 bai ling mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp sesame oil
2-3 tsp bonito flakes
Cook chives in boiling water.
Transfer to a serving plate. Set aside.
Blanch bai ling mushrooms, then season with salt, sugar and sesame oil.
Place mushrooms on top of chives.
Sprinkle with bonito flakes and serve.
Recipe provided by the Health Department as part of its EatSmart@restaurant.hk campaign. For more information, visit restaurant.eatsmart.gov.hk