Tree ear mushrooms are dried mushrooms known by several names: cloud ear, wood ear, and black fungus, and by the Chinese wun yee or muer. Those labeled tree ears are crinkled, black, and about 1/2 inch (12 mm) in size. Cloud ears tend to be slightly larger and two-toned. These two fungi are not interchangeable in recipes that rely on size or shape. Dried mushrooms can be stored indefinitely.
To reconstitute tree ear mushrooms:
Soak in warm water until softened, 20-30 minutes.For other mushroom varieties, see button, chanterelle, Chinese black, cremini, cultivated, oyster, porcini, portobello, shiitake, and straw mushrooms, and truffles.