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Braised cured pork with nostoc sphaeroides

By Gong Ruitao | Updated : May 16, 2022
In spring, a precious natural ingredient grows deep in the Wuling Mountain. The film crew traveled to Mudi Village, Siduping Town, Zhangjiajie City to seek the mysterious food ingredient, nostoc sphaeroides or Gexianmi in Chinese.

Nostoc sphaeroides is a kind of aquatic algae symbiotic with rice and rich in vitamins and 15 kinds of amino acids, also called water wood ear by locals. The Tujia people of Siduping Town have already mastered the cooking of nostoc sphaeroides.

Early in the morning, Fu Jin and his wife rushed to the paddy field with two daughters who had a craving for nostoc sphaeroides.

They gently kicked out the nostoc sphaeroides with feet, which usually sink at the bottom of the pond, to make it float for a second and pick it up. 

The delicacy has become a luxury for the Tujia people. Fujin and his wife just wanted their daughters to remember the taste of nostoc sphaeroides.

The fresh nostoc sphaeroides should be cleaned with running water, and the skin of the homemade cured pork should be cooked over the fire. The cured pork slices will then be cooked with some pepper and garlic before all the ingredients are simmered in a pot to ensure that the nostoc sphaeroides is heated evenly and absorbs the gravy under high heat.

The moment the lid was lifted, the room was filled with the aroma, evoking the memories of childhood. The daughters were very happy to taste the delicious food made by their parents. Perhaps they don’t understand what it means for Mudixi Village, but they will remember its taste.

Edited by Li Ling 

2019 Zhangjiajie Bureau of Culture, Tourism, Broadcasting and Sports