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Chinese Ingredients: Borax Powder, Mushroom Extract

David A. | Sep 11, 200511:50 AM

My Taiwanese wife uses some strange ingredients and I'm wondering whether anyone can reassure me that they are not blatantly poisonous:

1) Borax Powder (pingsha). This is used to he make "he fun" (rice noodles).

2) Mushroom extract. This is a flavor enhancer used very much like MSG but without the weird chemical flavor and potential side effects. It's a miracle product: makes everything taste better somehow. A bit of extract in a pot of water and you have surprisingly passable soup stock. We use it a lot. Hence my concern.


David A.

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