"Black fungus has a unique texture and also carries the flavour of a dressing really well," says Victor Liong. "I liked the idea of a textural, clean appetiser - it's my homage to old-school Chinese ingredients, but with a newer approach, serving it as a refreshing pickle." Start this recipe a day ahead to marinate the fungus.
Note For sugar syrup, combine equal parts caster sugar and water, bring to the boil, then cool. Chilli oil is available from Asian supermarkets; Victor Liong prefers the Koon Yick Wah Kee brand.