One of Tibet’s most famous exports, the Nagqu cordyceps sinensis, makes an appearance in many of the dishes. The nutritious caterpillar-like herb is cooked in a double-boiled soup, grated over fried rice and made into a sauce that is drizzled over noodles with Chinese truffle.
One of the top grades of cordyceps sinensis is grown in the mountainous Nagqu region in Tibet, where the root is grown at 3,000m to 5,000m above sea level. The cordyceps is formed when a fungus in the soil attacks and kills a caterpillar. Nicknamed “soft gold”.
The most common way of consuming cordyceps is grinding the root into a powder and stirring it into hot water. Cordyceps is bitter when consumed on its own, so there are more flavourful ways of consuming the herb. They include boiling it a soup with black truffle, matsutake mushroom and bamboo fungus.