I've had stir fry a few times lately and have noticed this strange ingredient in it. It is a blackish purple color, and looks a lot like a noodle! The other seasonings have mostly overpowered it so I can't describe its taste. I think it is a vegetable, but I am clueless. Anyone have any ideas?

  • Can you add a picture>? Or at least say what type of cuisine or region this stir fry came from?
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Nov 10 '13 at 19:26
  • I should have taken a picture! The stir fry was from a campus dining hall, so I'm not sure what region is is from. They use it in all types of Asian cuisine.
    – bgardner
    Nov 15 '13 at 20:28
  • 1
    Ah, if it is from a dining hall, what you have is a universal product called Mystery Meat. I wouldn't worry about it. Just close your eyes and hope for the best.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Nov 15 '13 at 20:42
  • Downvoted?? I just now noticed.
    – Jolenealaska
    Jun 1 '15 at 6:26

Wood ear mushrooms maybe? wood ear

  • I believe this might be it. I've wondered myself too, but after some inspection, it was this (in my case).
    – Mien
    Nov 10 '13 at 20:26
  • I was a kid when I had it in a stir-fry for the first time. It was love at first bite, so made it a mission to find out what it was, where to get it and how to use it. I still use it all the time.
    – Jolenealaska
    Nov 10 '13 at 20:31
  • I think it may be this, just sliced very thin.
    – bgardner
    Nov 15 '13 at 20:29

Sounds a lot like eggplant to me. It's purplish-black on the outside, and has a very mild taste when cooked that's easily overpowered by other flavours.


I don't know about looking like a noodle - maybe it's just the way it's cut. But it's a fairly common ingredient in stir-fries.

  • Maybe it's just detached skin from narrow slices.
    – Cascabel
    Nov 11 '13 at 4:18

It might be red cabbage. I'm not a big veggie person but I know it's purple lol.

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