Here’s another vegan recipe that I’d love to share. Let me share a little back story about this soup that I’ve been loving since I was little. When I was growing up, my family and I would usually dine at this vegetarian restaurant whenever my maternal grandmother is visiting from Toronto. She’s been a vegetarian for decades now and whenever she’s in Manila, my mom would find vegetarian restaurants to dine her with. This vegetarian restaurant near our place serves this Bamboo Fungus Soup that we all love. Unfortunately, the restaurant was not spared by the pandemic. They’re one of the establishments that didn’t survive because of the lengthy lock-downs in the Philippines.
The Bamboo Fungus Soup has been one of my favorite comfort food whenever I feel exhausted. It’s a very ‘clearing soup.’ I’ve been wanting to have this soup since the restaurant folded up but I really didn’t know where to get bamboo fungus, the star ingredient of this recipe. Luckily, my mom knew where to get some and sent me two packs to enjoy, so here’s what you’ll need:
- 200g Bamboo Fungus
- 2 tbsp julienne ginger
- 1 medium sized carrot, chopped
- 3 stalks of chopped celery
- 1 pack mushroom balls
- OPTIONAL: other neutrally tasting mushroom varieties like enoki, straw mushroom, etc.
- OPTIONAL: Vegetable stock powder
First, lightly saute your ginger in olive oil in a pot to bring out the flavor. Then put in your chopped up carrots and celery before filling the pot with water. Make sure it’s set in low heat and simmer for 15 minutes to prepare your vegetable stock. You can add in other vegetables like onion, scallions, garlic, and parsley to make your vegetable stock more flavorful. BUT, you can also get this vegetable stock powder (as shown in above photo) from any Taiwanese or Asian grocery.
While you’re preparing the vegetable stock, it’s time to thoroughly clean the bamboo fungus. It’s usually available in Taiwanese or Asian groceries in dry form. Cut off the closed ends and the lacy skirt to stay away from unwanted strong flavors. The remaining stem of the Bamboo Fungus shouldn’t impart much taste and off-putting smell to your vegan soup. Soak the Bamboo Fungus in lightly salted water for about 10 minutes before chopping it up in 1- 2 inches length and set aside.
Once your vegetable stock is ready, add in your mushroom balls and other ingredients like other mushrooms (straw mushroom, enoki mushroom, button mushroom, etc.). Add in your bamboo fungus and simmer for 5 minutes.
Now your Bamboo Fungus Vegan Soup is ready! In TCM, Bamboo Fungus is used to tonify qi and nourish yin. It is also used to moisten the lungs and relieve cough. It helps clear heat and eliminate dampness.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and do let me know once you’ve tried it.