FOODWhite fungus, if included in one's diet, can be an ideal solution to many
White fungus belongs to a group of microrganisms called eukaryotic and shares the group with yeast, moulds and mushrooms. Like mushrooms, truffles, leavening agents, they have always been used as a direct source of food. The typical look and texture of white fungus is because of its cellulose content. Even though it is quite tasteless it is valued for its gelatinous texture.
Like other fungi, its most important contribution to health and nutrition to humans is that it inhibits cholesterol synthesis, making it a heart-friendly ingredient when used in food. It is also anti-carcinogenic and known to inhibit harmful metabolites like polysaccharide-K and ergotamine. It is also used to boost the immune system and used in traditional Chinese medicines. Commonly eaten species are used in salads, soups, and traditionally in Chinese sweet dishes. White fungus is commercially grown in Asia and has developed great popularity in the West.
White fungus comes dehydrated and you can store it easily for a couple of years in an air-tight container. Nutritional content includes protein, vitamins like B1, B2, C, D, K, E, niacin, biotin, ascorbic acid, minerals include phosphorus and potassium. Other benefits are that they are low or negligible on starch, fat content, calorific value, sugars and sodium. Try out a simple dessert using the nutritious white fungus.
Fragrant White Fungus
White Fungus 40 gms
Sugar Syrup (light) 30 ml
Lemon Grass a pinch
Assorted Nuts (lightly sauteéd) 10 gms
Lemon juice few drops
Soak the white fungus in chilled water till soft yet wet. Drain the water.
In the sugar syrup add lemon grass, nuts and lemon juice.
Take the fungus in a bowl and serve sprinkled with the syrup.
Serve it chilled.
(The author is EAM - Food & Beverage, The Suryaa, New Delhi)