Ingredient Name: Fat choy, black moss, hair moss or hair weed
Traditional Chinese Name: 髮菜 (fa cai)
What is this?
- Literally translated as “hair vegetable”
- A type of bacteria that when dried has the appearance of hair
- Grows in specific parts of China and is currently over harvested and production is limited by the Chinese government
- Real black moss is dark green in colour (not black) and doesn’t disintegrate with over boiling in soup
How do I prepare it?
- Soak in warm water before usage
- Add to soup 30 minutes before soup is finished boiling
Where can I buy this?
- This product can be found in most Asian supermarkets and herbal shops
- It is available in Hong Kong wet marts
What is the cost?
- Real black moss costs around $50 HKD for 30 grams
- Black moss absorbs the flavour of your soup or dish and can become tasty after being cooked
- It is researched to contain no nutritional value
- When consumed in large quantities, can lead to degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and dementia
- Due to its limitation in production on the mainland, there are many variations of the “real” thing. It is often mixed with starches and other similar ingredients
- It is indigestible and merely passes through the system
- Consume with caution and limit exposure to children/babies/pregnant women