Name Variations Edit
- black moss
- hair seaweed
- hair-like vegetable
- fat choy
About Hair vegetable Edit
Wikipedia Article About Hair vegetable on Wikipedia
Fat choy (Nostoc flagelliforme; Chinese: 发菜; Hanyu Pinyin: fàcài), also known as black moss or hair moss, is a cyanobacterium (a type of fresh water algae) that is used as a vegetable in Chinese cuisine.
When dried, the product has the appearance of black hair. For that reason, its name in Chinese means "hair vegetable". This name in Cantonese sounds the same as another Cantonese saying meaning "struck it rich" -- this is found, for example, in the Cantonese saying, "Kung hei fat choi" ("congratulations and be prosperous") that is often proclaimed during Chinese New Year. For that reason, this product is a popular ingredient in dishes used for the Chinese New Year. It is enjoyed for its texture which is like very fine vermicelli.
The algae grows in the Gobi Desert in locations with mountain streams. Over-harvesting on the Mongalian steppes for this product has furthered erosion in those areas. The Chinese government has limited its harvesting, which has caused its price to increase.