Chinese-style shredded Giant Polypore pancakes with plum sauce

This recipe takes the style of the Chinese restaurant favourite and gives it a foraged twist. It’s a tasty way to make use of this underrated bracket fungus — and it’s also suitable for vegans.

Shredded Giant Polypore pancakes with plum sauce
Shredded Giant Polypore pancakes with plum sauce

Giant Polypore (Meripilus giganteus), also known as Blackening Polypore, is a reasonably common fungus typically found at the base of Beech and Oak trees. It is not as coveted by foragers as Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus) it makes just as good, if not better, eating if foraged while still young.

Giant polypore (Meripilus gigantus)

Giant polypore has probably become unfairly maligned as an edible bracket for two reasons: its deep black staining when torn or cooked and foragers making the mistake of harvesting it when it has become too tough and fibrous.

However, its texture lends really well to “shredding” into soft fibres reminiscent of pulled pork. Serving it in tacos in a barbecue sauce is another creative use for this mushroom.

But, we think it makes a great substitute for crispy duck (albeit without the outer crispiness) and texturally it creates a surprisingly authentic alternative, which also takes on the flavours of honey, five spice and soy well.As its name indicates, Giant Polypore is a big mushroom, meaning it is easy to take enough for a meal whilst leaving a healthy two thirds behind for wildlife.

Giant polypore (Meripilus gigantus) plum sauce ingredients