Chinese Cuisine · Good Food · Lunar New Year · Vegetables

Asian-inspired Recipe No.3

Shan Yao.


Mu Er.

Ever heard of these? No, they are not weird names I just made up. They  are indeed the ingredients for today’s Asian-inspired recipe.

The first ingredient, ‘Shan Yao’:

According to WikiPedia:

In Chinese it is known as huái shān, shān yào (lit. “mountain medicine.”), or huái shān yào.

In Japanese, it is known as nagaimo (lit. ‘long yam’; kanji; hiragana).

In Korea it is called ma, “sanwu”, seoyeo, or sanyak.

In Vietnam, the yam is called củ mài or khoai mài. When this yam is processed to become a medicine, the yam is called hoài sơn or tỳ giải.

Mu Er, or fungus:

Wood-ear, or  (pinyin: mù ěr, lit. “wood-ear” or “tree-ear“), or (Japanese: “ki-kurage”, lit. “wood-jellyfish” or “tree-jellyfish“) can refer to two different closely related species of edible fungus used primarily in Chinese cuisine; these are commonly sold in Asian markets shredded and dried

Gingko – I’m sure that you’ve heard of this one before:

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba; in Chinese, Korean and Japanese: pinyin romanization: yín xìng, acceptable variant gingko[3] and also known as the maidenhair tree, is a unique species of tree with no living relatives. The ginkgo is a living fossil, recognizably similar to fossils dating back 270 million years. Native to China, the tree is widely cultivated and was introduced early to human history. It has various uses in traditional medicine and as a source of food.

Note: These three ingredients are very good for one’s health, and are also used as medicinal treatments. Since they are considered a type of medicine, if you are not sure whether or not you can safely consume them, first speak to your medical practitioner – better to be safe than sorry.

Healthy trio Dish (gluten free, egg free, dairy free, nut free, sugar free, vegetarian)

Servings: 2-4

By: gfchopstix

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes


  •  A small handful of dried mu er (they double in size after soaking)
  • 250g of fresh shan yao, sliced
  • 1/4 cup of dried gingko nuts
  • 1 medium sized carrot, sliced
  • a knob of fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2 fresh garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon of cooking oil
  • Salt, for seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon of mushroom powder (any vegetable stock will do)
  • 1 Tablespoon of gluten free soy sauce
  •  A few drops (about 1/4 teaspoon) of sesame oil

 If these ingredients are not readily available where you live, then you could try to  make substitutions. Note however, that these three ingredients give the dish its unique flavour, and the combination is well suited.

Ingredients: Soy sauce, sunflower oil, salt, sesame seed oil, mushroom powder, one carrot, gingko, mu er, shan yao, fresh garlic and ginger
Ingredients: Soy sauce, sunflower oil, salt, sesame seed oil, mushroom powder, one carrot, gingko, mu er, shan yao, fresh garlic and ginger


  1. Place the dried mu er (wood ear fungus) into a deep bowl. Cover with boiled water. Soak overnight, or for at least two hours
  2. Rinse well under running water and drain
  3. Place on chopping board and cut into slices
  4. Peel and slice the carrot into rounds
  5. Peel and chop the garlic and ginger
  6. Rinse the gingko under running water and drain
  7. Wash the shan yao (Chinese yam) under running water
  8. Peel and slice the shan yao (it will be slimy and sticky, and will change colour, so be quick about it)
  9. In a wok, heat a tablespoon of oil (I use sunflower oil) on high heat
  10. Fry the garlic and ginger for about 30-60 seconds
  11. Next, add the carrots and stir
  12. Add the shan yao and continue to fry
  13. Next, add the mu er and fry
  14. Season with salt and mushroom powder
  15. Add about a quarter cup of water, cover and simmer for about 3-5 minutes
  16. Remove the lid, and toss in the gingko
  17. Stir in the soy sauce
  18. Continue to cook, uncovered for a couple of minutes
  19. Turn off the heat
  20. Add a few drops of sesame seed oil
  21. Remove from wok and serve
  22. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves (optional)
1 - Fry ginger and garlic 2 - Add carrots 3 - Add shan yao 4 - Add mu er
1 – Fry ginger and garlic
2 – Add carrots
3 – Add shan yao
4 – Add mu er

Mu er, Shan yao and ginkgo



5 thoughts on “Asian-inspired Recipe No.3

  1. eeww well that is too mushroomy for me, sorry that was my gut reaction coming out there, i can eat chestnut mushrooms but when they resemble body parts i cant do it. However I used to have ginko when i was at college etc, as it is mean to give you energy or something? PS went to dieticians today and meant to start the Foodmap diet? Heard of it?


    1. I’ve heard about it, and read quite a lot about Fodmap Diet, but haven’t tried it personally. I realise, some people do not like fungus, and especially weird looking ones, like this one! haha! However, the taste is really good, and the health benefits are better than mushrooms, apparently. Gingko is really good for keeping you mentally alert – for the elderly, it is supposed to help with dementia. All the best with your new eating lifestyle 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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