Fat Choy or Black Moss

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

Any benefits?

  • Black moss absorbs the flavour of your soup or dish and can become tasty after being cooked

Any precautions?

  • 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