Split Gill Mushroom, also known as Cendawan Kukur in Bahasa Malaysia, is a fungi which I have been told was commonly consumed for generations by the local Malay community before the onset of western processed food culture kicked in. Its main role in nature being to decompose wood, split gills were traditionally foraged from dead wood or dying trees in the jungle. These mushrooms are becoming accessible again thanks to urban cultivation, and reading up about their high beta glucan content and antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-cancer properties makes me all the more happy about their comeback! We have muted our ability to use food to heal, and it’s never too late to return to that approach.
I wasn’t planning to take a photo of this meal until halfway through cooking it; luckily I had not yet chucked the shrooms into this spontaneously assembled spinach coconut cream gravy with eggplant and tempeh. I am in love with how adorably bite-sized they are, their earthy nutty flavour, and how their texture stays firm and crunchy through cooking. Eating local can be tasty, healthy and fun too… you just have to keep your eyes open!