Food Glossary

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Bagoong Also known as shrimp sauce, is a soft, thick paste made from shrimps or prawns that have been salted and fermented in earthenware pots. It has a strong odor and taste and is used in cooking as well as condiment, particularly in the Philippines. Online Recipes - Bagoong
Bamboo shoot Cream colored, cone shaped shoots of bamboo. Crunchy in texture and with a subtle, refreshing taste, these are the edible young shoots of certain types of bamboo. Spring bamboo shoots are pale, fibrous and chunky; winter shoots are thinner with a finer texture and more pronounced flavor. Fresh bamboo shoots are hard to get and if not already prepared, must be peeled then pre-boiled to remove toxic hydrocyanic acid. Boil whole or in chunks for 5 minutes or more until they no longer taste bitter. Canned and bottled bamboo shoots are the ones most often used. Once opened, store covered with fresh water up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Change water once every 4 to 5 days. Online Recipes - Bamboo Shoots
Banana Leaves The large flexible leaves of the banana plant are used throughout Asia to wrap foods for steaming or baking. They keep the food moist and impart a mild flavor. Remove the thick central stalk, rinse the leaves well and blanch in boiling water to soften. Foil can be used as an alternative. Online Recipes - Banana Leaves
Barbecue Sauce A reddish sauce, very salty and at the same time heavily sweetened. use as a dip or as an ingredient in barbecue marinades. Keeps indefinitely in a covered jar.  
Barbecued Chinese Pork It is also known as cha siew. These are strips of pork fillet which have been marinated in five spice powder, soy sauce, sugar and red coloring (usually from annatto seeds) then barbecued over charcoal. Online Recipes - Barbecued Chinese Pork
Basil Used in Indonesian cooking, the leaves add distinctive flavor to those dishes requiring it. There are 3 varieties of basil often used in Asian cooking. All of which are very aromatic. If any are unavailable, substitute fresh sweet basil with fresh coriander in cooked dishes and fresh mint in salads.  
Basil, Lemon (bai manglak) Has a small green leaves with a lemony scent and peppery flavor. it is usually sprinkled over salads or used in soups. Its seeds (luk manglak) are used in desserts and drinks. Online Recipes - Basil
Basil, Purple or Holy Basil (bai kaphroa) Has a narrow, dark, purple-reddish tinged leaves with a pungent, clove-like taste. It is added to stir-fries and strong flavored curries. Online Recipes - Basil
Basil, Sweet Basil is a bright green, leafy plant, Ocimum basilicum, which is in the mint family.  
Basil, Thai (bai horapha) It has a slightly serrated green leaves on purple stems. It has a sweet anise flavor and is used in stir-fries, red and green curries, shredded in salads and as a garnish for soups. Online Recipes - Basil
Bay Leaves Bay Leaves come from the sweet bay or laurel tree, known botanically as Laurus nobilis. The elliptical leaves of both trees are green, glossy, and grow up to 3 inches long.  
Bean curd, fermented (fu yu) Fermented white bean curd with a cheese flavor. It is sold bottled in half inch thick  squares. Keeps in refrigerator indefinitely after opening.  
Bean curd, fresh (tofu) Usually square shaped, creamy textured, bland curd made from soybeans. Also comes deepfried and canned. Fresh bean curd, covered with water, can be kept in the refrigerator for approximately one week.  Remove from original package and replace with fresh water as soon as possible. Change water every 2 days to keep fresh. Also see tofu.  
Bean curd, red (nam yu) Sometimes called wet bean curd. Red soft cubes of fermented bean curd with a strong cheesy flavor. Comes in cans. Once opened, store in jars with a tight lid in the refrigerator indefinitely.  
Bean filling, sweet Thick, sweet bean paste made from beans and sugar. Often used as filling for pastries. Usually sold in cans.  Store tightly covered in refrigerator or freezer indefinitely.  
Bean sauce, brown or yellow Sauce made from soybeans and salt. Often comes in cans. Some bean sauces may contain bean halves and others may be a smooth sauce, similar to Japanese red miso, which can be used as a substitute in some recipes. Keeps indefinitely in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed jar.  
Bean threads (salfun or cellophane noodles) Thin, long dry noodles made of mung bean flour. Keeps on shelf indefinitely. Soak in warm water for 15 min before use. May also be deep-fried in hot oil. Do not soak in water if used for deep-frying. Use as a noodle in soups or with stir fried vegetables and meats. To keep clean up to a minimum, place noodles in a large paper bag before removing wrapper. Break off amount needed and store remainder in a bag.  
Bean paste, hot (chili paste with soybean) Soybean sauce made from soybeans, chili peppers and sometimes garlic. Comes in cans or jars. Refrigerated, keeps indefinitely in tightly sealed jars. Degree of hotness may vary between different brands. Brown soybean sauce combined with a hot sauce can be used as a substitute.  
Bean sprouts Sprouts of the mung bean, about 5 cm (2 in) long. Refrigerate sprouts covered with water. keeps for one week. Change the water every 3 days.  
Belacan See dried shrimp paste. Online Recipes - Dried Shrimp Paste
Beni Shoga Pickled ginger, colored red, and sold in plastic packets or in bottles. Used as a garnish or for flavor.  
Bitter melon Long, green, pear-shaped melon with a ridged surface. It has a definite bitter taste. Cut melon in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Cut in thin slices and stir-fry with meats.  
Black beans, fermented One of the most popular flavors in the cooking of southern China, black beans are dried soy beans that have been cooked and fermented with salt and spices. They are soft with a sharp, salty taste. Wash before use and lightly crush or chop to release the aroma. Black beans are available in cans or packets. Once opened, refrigerate in an airtight container. Online Recipes - Fermented Black Beans
Black Fungus Also known as cloud ear, this tree fungus has little flavor of its own, but is valued for its curnchy texture. it is most commonly available in its dried form, which looks like wrinkled black paper. before use, soak in warm water for 20-30 minutes or until the fungus swells to about rive times its original size. Online Recipes - Black Fungus
Black sesame seeds See Sesame seeds (black) Online Recipes - Black Sesame Seeds
Bok  Choy Also known as Chinese chard and Chinese white cabbage. Has fleshy white stems and leaf ribs and green flat leaves. It has a slightly mustardy taste. Separate the leaves, wash well and drain. The white stems can be sliced thinly and eaten raw. Look for firm stems and unblemished leaves. A smaller type is called baby bok choy or Shanghai bok choy. Keeps in refrigerator for one week. High in vitamins A and C.

Online Recipes - Bok Choy

Broccoli, Chinese A tender, green, seasonal vegetable available in spring and summer months. Chinese broccoli is more slender and leafy then regular broccoli.  
Bunga Kantan See torch ginger  

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