Glossary

A

Abura age :  thin slices of tofu that have been deep-fat fried.  They can be cut open and filled with rice to make inari sushi, or used as a meat substitute in soups.  Before using, you should blanch the cakes twice, each time with fresh water, then press the moisture out when you drain them.  Abura-age is widely available in Asian markets, either in cans or fresh in cellophane packages.

Agar agar : is a vegetarian gelatin substitute produced from a variety of seaweed vegetation. It is sold in  both flake and powder varieties, and can be used in a variety of dairy-free and vegan recipes as a stabilizing and thickening agent for custards, puddings, sauces.

B

Beni shōga  : is a type of Japanese pickle. It is made from ginger cut into thin strips, colored red, and pickled in umezu the red color is derived from red perilla. It is served with many Japanese dishes, including gyudon, okonomiyaki, yakisoba.  Beni shōga is not the pickled ginger served with sushi which is called gari.

Bonito Flakes : known as katsuo-bushi or katsuobushi in Japanese cuisine, are flakes of dried, smoked bonito fish. They look similar to wood shavings. The “bonito” is a type of tuna, but may not be marketed as tuna in many countries.

Bouillon : is a clear soup stock made from poultry, meat, fish, or vegetables.

C

Cardamon pod : has a strong, pungent flavor and aroma, with hints of lemon, mint and smoke. Cardamom pods contain a number of seeds, but the entire cardamom pod can be used whole or ground.

Cellophane noodles : also known as  glass noodle or vermicelli,  are a type of transparent noodle made from starch and water.  They are generally sold in dried form, boiled to reconstitute, then used in soups, stir fried dishes, or  spring rolls.

Chili padi  :  is a type of tiny chili  but very hot and add  explosive punch to your food. It can be easily found in South East Asia countries and have many different names in many language. It is commonly use as a spice and as a chili condiment.

Cinnamon : are made from long pieces of bark that are rolled, pressed. It has a sweet, woody fragrance both ground and stick forms. is  common baking spice. Cinnamon is used in cakes, cookies, and desserts throughout the world. Cinnamon is also used in savory chicken and lamb dishes from the Middle East.

Cloves  : are a distinctive spice in both shape and flavor. Indonesian in origin, their French definition is “clou,” or nail. Cloves are very strong on their own, but are often added to garam masala, ras el hanout, and Chinese five-spice powder.

Coconut milk : is the water that comes from the grated meat of coconut. The colour and rich taste of the milk can be attributed to the high oil content.Two grades of coconut milk exist: thick and thin. Thick milk is prepared by directly squeezing grated coconut meat through cheesecloth. The squeezed coconut meat is then soaked in warm water and squeezed a second or third time for thin coconut milk. Thick milk is mainly used to make sweet desserts  and used as main ingredients in many Asian curry dishes. Thin milk is used for light curry and ice desserts and other general cooking.

Coriander seed : is generally used coarsely or more finely powdered, depending on the texture desired. It is best bought whole as, being brittle, it is easy to mill or pound in a mortar. The seeds are warm, mild and sweetish and there is a citrus undertone similar to orange peel.

D

Dashi : Basic stock in Japanese cuisine, made with dried kelp and dried bonito(fish). Available in packaged forms, ground, as granules or in flakes. Simply add hot water to make up stock.

Dried ebi/baby shrimp : are shrimp that have been sun dried and shrunk to a thumbnail size. They are used in many Asian cuisines, imparting a unique taste. A handful of shrimp is generally used for dishes. The flavors of this ingredient are released when allowed to simmer.

E

F

Fennel seeds : fennel seed is often used in pasta sauces, for a burst of anise-like flavor. It pairs well with a number of sauce ingredients, and is typically used whole and toasted so that it will be intensely flavorful. Indian and Asian dishes also call for fennel, both whole and ground.

Fish sauce : A powerful thin brown sauce used in numerous Asian cuisines. It is made by fermenting small whole fish in brine and drawing off the liquid, which is then bottled. It smells pungent and tastes very salty, although cooking greatly reduces its ‘fishiness’ and simply adds a richness and a layer of flavour to cooked dishes. In addition to being added to dishes during the cooking process, fish sauce can also be used in mixed form as a dipping condiment, and it is done in many different ways for fish, shrimp, pork and chicken.

Fish maw  : is considered as one of the luxury ingredients in Chinese cuisine and they are in yellow color,  puffy, light , look like a sponge.  Commonly they are sold in dried form.

G

Gari :  is sweet, thinly sliced young ginger that has been marinated in a solution of sugar and vinegar. Gari is often served and eaten after sushi and is sometimes called sushi ginger. as it is said to help cleanse the palate. Although many brands of commercially produced gari are artificially colored pink to promote sales, the natural product typically has a pale yellow to slightly pink hue from the pickling process. Gari is not meant to be consumed in any type of sushi or hand roll. Gari should not be confused with Beni shoga, a red pickled ginger.

Glutinous rice flour : is a type of flour made from short-grained sticky rice.

H

Hoisin Sauce : is a fragrant, pungent sauce made from a combination of fermented soy, garlic, vinegar, and usually chilis and sweetener, hoisin is dark in color and thick in consistency.  Used frequently in Asian stir-fries and marinades and Asian-style grilled dishes  and it has a very strong salty and slightly sweet flavor.

I

J

Japanese mayonnaise  : is typically made with apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar  which gives it a different flavor from mayonnaise made from distilled vinegar. It is most often sold in soft plastic squeeze bottles. Its texture is thinner than most Western commercial mayonnaise.  Apart from salads, it is popular with dishes such as okonomiyaki, takoyaki, and yakisoba and may also accompany katsu and karaage. It is sometimes served with cooked vegetables, or mixed with soy sauce or wasabi and used as dips. Many fried seafood dishes are served with a side of mayonnaise for dipping. It is also common in Japan to use mayonnaise on pizza.

K

Kamaboko :  is made from all natural ingredients :wild white fish, egg whites, salt, sugar, fish sauce and Japanese sake. It can be steamed, deep fried, barbecued or poached. With its delicate taste and firm texture, it plays an important role in numerous Japanese recipes inc soup, noodle, oden, etc. Red-skinned and white kamaboko are typically served at celebratory and holiday meals, as red and white are considered to bring good luck.

Kani Stick : is a common name used in Japan for Crab stick (imitation crab meat or  seafood stick) , made of finely  white fish and coloured red or yellowish red on the outside and shaped to resemble crab leg meat.

L

Ladyfingers : are light and sweet sponge cakes roughly shaped like a large finger and they are a principal ingredient in dessert recipes. They are typically soaked in a sugar syrup or liqueur, such as coffee for the tiramisu dessert.

Lemon grass :  is a stalky plant with a lemony scent that grows in many tropical climates, most notably in Southeast-Asia. A common ingredient in Thai cooking, lemongrass provides a zesty lemon flavor and aroma to many Thai dishes. Lemon juice (or lime) may be substituted for lemongrass in a pinch, but citrus fruits will not be able to fully replicate its particular qualities.The light lemon flavor of this grass blends well with garlic, chilies, and cilantro.   The herb is frequently used in curries as well as in seafood soups. It is also used to make tea.

M

Mirin : A mild, low alcohol form of sake, this cooking rice wine lends sweetness to sauces, grilled dishes and glazes.

Mung bean flour : is a very finely grained starch derived from the mung bean, this flour had been used in the cuisines of most Asia countries in  variety of foods.

Mushroom Granules : is made of mushroom and in granules form , used as seasoning  and to make as vegetable bouillon .

N

Nori : The most common form of dried seaweed used by the Japanese , Korean and Chinese. It comes in sheets or soft shreds, plain or roasted.

O

Okonomiyaki sauce : Is a ready made brown color sauce similar to Worcestershire sauce  but thicker and sweeter.

Pandan :  is a herbaceous tropical plant with long green leaves. In Southeast Asia, pandan leaves are used to lend a unique taste and aroma to many Asia desserts and some drinks. Also can be used to wrap savory foods or dessert container . Pandan paste is used in cakes and desserts, as it is sweet and imbues foods with a bright green color.

Pickled ginger : Fresh, thin, pink or bright red slices of ginger in a brine. Used in rice dishes and as a garnish. A good palate cleanser with very sharp flavour.

Panko : means breadcrumb in Japanese. And this Japanese style bread crumb have light, crispy and   larger than conventional breadcrumbs, they are used as coating for many Japanese deep-fried foods.

Q

Quail eggs  : are eggs laid by quail bird, they are small in size and its shell color is gray with many gray, black and white spots. Quail eggs are considered a delicacy in many countries, including Western and Asian countries. They are sometimes used raw or cooked.

R

Rice flour : is a mild, light type of flour made from ground rice

Rice noodles :  are noodles made with rice or rice flour and come in a range of shapes, sizes, and styles.  Fresh rice noodles are often cut into wide ribbons which can be used in soups and stir fries, and rice noodles are also sold dried, in a variety of widths.

Rice vinegar : A mild sweet, delicate flavored vinegar made from rice

Rock Sugar :  is a form of sugar composed of very large sugar crystals.

S

Sesame oil : (also known as gingelly oil or til oil) is an edible vegetable oil derived from sesame seeds, often used in Asian cooking.

Sesame seed : Black and white sesame seeds are used in Asian cooking. Full flavored and plump, they seed nay be bought already toasted and can be ground before using.

Shichimi Togarashi : is a Japanese seven-spice condiment, used as a seasoning and for sprinkling on soups and noodles.

Shitake mushroom : comes from its Japanese name, also known as  Chinese black mushroom and many other names in many Asia countries,  is a type of mushroom which has a flower-like cracking pattern on the mushroom’s upper surface.

Shoyu : it is Japanese soya sauce and much lighter and sweeter than Chinese soy sauce.

Sriracha  sauce :  is made from sun ripen chilies which are ground into a smooth paste along with garlic and packaged in a convenient squeeze bottle. It is excellent in soups, sauces, pastas, pizzas, hot dogs, hamburgers, chowmein or on anything else to give it a delicious, spicy taste.

Soy sauce : it is made by fermenting soy-beans and is an essential ingredients in Asian cooking. It taste rich and salty and commonly used to take place of salt and it comes in a wide range of textures and shades.

Star Anise : Star anise comes by its name honestly, with its star shape and a licorice taste similar to regular anise, only stronger. Star anise plays a key role in the slow cooked dishes that characterize Eastern Chinese cuisine. Its licorice flavor enhances red cooked dishes, as well as eggs simmered in black tea. Star anise is one of the spices in five-spice powder.

T

Tamagoyaki: is Japanese egg omelet which is made by rolling together several layers of cooked egg prepared in a rectangular omelet pan.

Tempura Flour  : A very light flour , available from Japanese food specialty stores, that gives batter a light, bubbly texture

Tofu : Milky white soya bean curd, available in very firm or soft (silken) blocks. With a subtle taste,tofu absorbs the flavours of spices and sauces. An excellent source of protein.

Tonkatsu sauce : A tasty barbeque style sauce made with tomatoes, apples, Japanese Worcestershire sauce and mustard. Usually served with breaded fried meat.

Tahu Pong (in Indonesian) / Tau Pok (as known in Singapore/Malaysia) : Deep-Fat Fried Tofu, Fried Bean Curd. This fried tofu, usually in the form of 2 inch cubes, is often sold readymade packaged in plastic bags. It is chewier in texture, ‘puff’ like, and floats when first put in soups or noodle soup dishes e.g. Penang Curry Mee [Penang Curry Noodles].

Ttukbaegi gyeranjjim : Korean steamed eggs in earthenware bowl

V

W

Wasabi : a pungent paste made from the root of the wasabi (Japanese horseradish) plant . It is extremely hot, so use in discretion. It is available in supermarket as a powder or paste.

Wasabi Tobiko :  is flying fish roe (tobiko) infused with  wasabi , typically served over sushi  in many Japanese restaurants.

X

Y

Z

4 thoughts on “Glossary

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