Kikurage Mushroom Chicken with Cauliflower

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Kikurage mushroom with chicken and cauliflower is a very nutritious and simple dish you can make at home for your family!


Kikurage mushroom is a type of edible mushroom usually found in Japanese ramen. Actually this wood ear mushroom is also found in many Chinese restaurants. There are so many types of dish that can be made with this mushroom.

What is Kikurage/Wood Ear Mushroom?

dried kikurage mushroom

It is known as wood ear mushroom as it is found in wooden branches. There are many other names for this mushroom. It is hei mu er (黑木耳)translated as black wood ear in China.

Kikurage (キクラゲ) in Japanese, meaning wood jellyfish commonly sliced and used in Japanese ramen . In Korea, it is heung-mogi 흑목이 and is used in jap chae.

In China it is used as an ingredient in hot sour soup and also used a lot in traditional Chinese medicine. It is jelly-like, ear-shaped and attached itself to wooden branches.

japanese ramen

wood ear mushroom

This kikurage mushroom is soft and also crunchy at the same time. Do not soak too long as you will lose its crunchiness.

It doesn’t smell. The texture feels like jelly. For those who usually don’t like mushrooms, don’t worry. This mushroom is different. It has no after taste.

kikurage wood ear mushroom

Health Benefits of Kikurage Mushroom / Wood Ear Mushroom

In China, wood ear mushroom is used in traditional chinese medicine and in meals.

Wood ear mushroom is high in fiber and antioxidants. It helps protect the liver, lower the cholesterol, and promote gut health.


The use of hei mu er or wood ear mushroom dated back from 2000 years ago. It was recorded in the Chinese medicinal book, “Shennong’s Compendium of Materia Medica”.

Wood ear mushroom is widely used as an ingredient in so many Chinese dishes. It is served as a salad with other vegetables. It is cooked as soup in chinese restaurants and also served in traditional Chinese medicine.

It is also served in traditional Chinese medicine to help reduce the heat in the body when there is inflammation or colds and fevers.

  1. It helps fight cancer cells
  2. It helps protect against heart disease
  3. It helps fight free radicals
  4. It helps fight the growth of bad bacteria
  5. It helps prevent blood clotting

Black fungus in traditional Chinese medicine is believed to help strengthen immune system and it has powerful antimicrobial properties.

Nutritional Value

Wood ear mushrooms are loaded with many essential vitamins and minerals. Each serving is full of copper, pantothenic acid, selenium, and riboflavin.

Wood ear mushrooms are a great source of many important vitamins and minerals. In fact, each serving contains a low amount of wood ear mushroom calories but is packed with copper, pantothenic acid, selenium and riboflavin.

It also contains a small amount of potassium, phosphorus, thiamine, magnesium, zinc, vitamin B6, folate, manganese, and calcium.

Where To Buy

Wood ear mushroom is easy to find in supermarkets. You can find dried kikurage in Asian grocery store. Dried wood ear mushrooms can be found online. There are often sold in smaller packs.

There are two types of black fungus. You can find dried ones and fresh ones in Asian grocery store.

Dried ones need to be rehydrated before cooking. Soak them in warm water until soft before slicing. You can also put them in the chiller to use in 2-3 days.

Kikurage Mushroom Chicken with Cauliflower Recipe

  • 250 gr cauliflower
  • 150 gr chicken thigh fillet
  • 100 gr white mushroom
  • 100 gr kikurage/ wood ear mushroom
  • 3 garlic
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp cooking wine (optional)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • Water

chicken with cauliflower recipe

Step by Step Instruction

  1. If you buy dried wood ear mushroom, you need to rehydrate them first. Soak them in cold water for 1 – 2 hours or until soft.
  2. Cut the cauliflowers by the stems in smaller bites. Wash, drain, and set aside.
  3. Slice the chicken thigh fillet in bite sizes or cubes. Set aside. Slice the wood ear mushroom and other mushrooms you want to use. Set aside.

wood ear mushroom kikurage mushroom

  1. Mince the garlic.
  2. Prepare seasonings in a small bowl. Also prepare the corn starch slurry.
  3. Heat some oil in a wok. Put the minced garlic once the oil is hot. Let it fry until a little bit golden brown. Put in the chicken fillets, the mushrooms. Stir fry a while. Pour in the seasonings. Stir with spatula.
  4. Put in the cauliflower. Pour in some water. Stir and fold a few times. Let it boil to cook the cauliflowers.

wood ear mushroom chicken

  1. Pour in the slurry and wait until thickens.
  2. Serve in a plate. It is usually eaten with white rice.

There are many other Asian recipes you can make with this wonderful mushroom. It can be served cold as salad or hot in a soup (sour spicy soup 酸辣湯)

sour spicy soup
Sour Spicy Soup

Korean uses a lot of wood ear mushroom in jap chae, they are sliced thinly and seasoned with salt and soy sauce.

jap chae
Jap Chae

If you like the taste of this crunchy wood ear mushroom, you can also mince this and put in ground pork shumai. I have a very delicious recipe on Pork Siu Mai.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: What is the taste profile of Kikurage?

A: Kikurage, also known as wood ear mushroom, has a subtle, earthy flavor. It has jelly like texture that is also delightfully crunchy. The mushroom typically takes on the flavors of the ingredients it’s cooked with, thus making it a versatile addition to various recipes.

Q: Can I use other types of mushrooms as a substitute for Kikurage?

A: Yes, while Kikurage has a distinct texture, you can substitute it with other mushrooms in recipes. Shiitake or oyster mushrooms are good alternatives. However, note that the texture and flavor may vary slightly from the original dish.

Q: Why is cauliflower often used as a low-carb substitute in recipes?

A: Cauliflower has gained popularity in recent years as a low-carb substitute because of its versatility and neutral flavor.

Q: How can I modify the dish for vegetarian or vegan diets?

A: For a vegetarian or vegan version of the Kikurage Chicken Mushroom with Cauliflower dish, you can omit any meat products and replace them with tofu, tempeh, or additional vegetables.



Yield: 3-4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Here is a kikurage mushroom recipe with chicken and cauliflower! Very easy and very delicious!


  • 250 gr cauliflower
  • 150 gr chicken thigh fillet
  • 100 gr white mushroom (portabella)
  • 100 gr wood ear mushroom (kikurage)
  • 3 garlic cloves


  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp cooking wine


  • 2 tsp corn flour
  • A little water


  1. Cut the caulifower at the stem. Wash clean, set aside.
  2. Slice the portabella mushroom.
  3. If you use a dried wood ear mushroom (kikurage), soak in water first until soft. Slice them.
  4. Slice the chicken thigh fillet.
  5. Crush the garlic or mince finely.
  6. Prepare the seasoning, put in a small bowl. This way you can't forget the items.
  7. Make a slurry with the cornstarch and water.
  8. Heat the wok with some oil. I use coconut oil.
  9. Put in the garlic. Fry until a little bit golden brown and fragrant.
  10. Put in the chicken, kikurage, and mushroom. Stir fry a while.
  11. Put in the seasonings.
  12. Mix with the spatula. Let the seasonings seep into the chicken and mushroom.
  13. Put in cauliflower. Stir. Let it cook for a while 2-3 minutes)
  14. Pour in some water.
  15. Pour in the slurry. Stir and let it boil.
  16. It should be ready in 2-3 minutes time. The broth will thicken a little.


If you like it to have more broth, you should put in more water. Check if it is salty enough. Put in some fish sauce if you think it's not salty enough.

Some slurry may be added to make it thicker as you add more water.

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