Food Glossary

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  Chinese     122 terms 
Allspice
   An aromatic spice made from the dried berry of the West Indian allspice tree. This spice, used to flavor savory dishes, has the aroma and taste of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and pepper.
Anise Pepper
   Hot, peppery dried red berries that are roasted and ground to produce a pungent and aromatic seasoning. Sichuan pepper is one of the spices of Chinese five-spice powder.
Asparagus
   Succulent, bright green, thin stalks of vegetable with firm tips.
Aubergine
   A deep purple and pear-shaped berry that has yellowish-white spongy flesh and small brown edible seeds.
Balsam Pear
   A long, green, shiny, slightly sour fruit that resembles a cucumber with bumpy skin.
Bamboo Shoots
   Tender spear-shaped shoots from the base of bamboo plants often used in stir fried dishes to provide texture.
Bean Curd
   Also referred to as Dou Fu in Chinese and Tofu in Japanese, this soft cheese-like paste is made from boiled Soya bean liquid.
Bean Curd Cheese
   A strong, salty cheese made by fermenting bean curd cubes in rice wine, salt, sesame oil, or chili.
Bean Sprouts
   Highly nutritious sprouted green gram
Bell Pepper
   Mild, sweet, bell-shaped peppers that have a juicy flesh and a crispy texture. Young bell peppers usually turn from bright green to red as they mature. These peppers become sweeter when cooked.
Bitter Gourd
   A long, green, shiny, slightly sour fruit that resembles a cucumber with bumpy skin.
Bitter Melon
   A long, green, shiny, slightly sour fruit that resembles a cucumber with bumpy skin.
Black Bean Sauce
   A flavorful and popular Chinese marinade consisting of fermented salted black beans and spices, such as garlic or chilies. This condiment gives a rich and distinctive aroma to steamed and stir fried Chinese dishes.
Black Hair
   Tasteless, fine threads of black dried seaweed.
Black Moss
   Tasteless, fine threads of black dried seaweed.
Broccoli
   Tiny bunches of tightly closed green buds growing from a thick edible stalk.
Broth
   Flavored liquid obtained from simmering meat, fish, or vegetables.
Brown Master Sauce
   A spicy concentrated sauce or marinade made from spices, rice wine, sugar, and soy sauce.
Brown Sugar
   Small crystals of refined white sugar treated with dark grade molasses.
Cashew
   Sweet, buttery, kidney-shaped nuts that grow from the bottom of the tropical cashew apple.
Celery
   Green, thick, fibrous stalks of vegetable used to flavor soups and salads with a sharp and distinct taste.
Cellophane Noodles
   These thin, translucent, flavorless threads of noodle, made from green gram flour, provide texture to the base of soup and stir fried dishes.
Chili Bean Sauce
   A thick, spicy sauce made from fermented soybeans, red chili peppers, vinegar, starch, salt, and garlic.
Chili Powder
   A combination of various spices and dried hot peppers, which may include black pepper, cumin, oregano, paprika, cloves, and garlic.
Chili Sauce
   A Szechuan hot sauce made from red chili. Tastes similar to Tabasco.
Chinese Cabbage
   A fresh crisp-leaved cabbage that is tightly packed and unblemished.
Chinese Celery Cabbage
   A crisp and delicate cabbage that resembles Romaine lettuce.
Chinese Dried Sausage
   Sweet, salty, pork sausage that resembles pepperoni.
Chives
   Fresh, slender, bright green, hollow stems that have a mild and delicate onion aroma.
Chop Suey
   A dish consisting of small pieces of meat or chicken cooked with bean sprouts and vegetables. Served with rice.
Chow Mein
   "fried noodles"; these popular, crispy, wide, pale-yellow egg noodles are often fried with chicken, pork, beef, fish, vegetables, soups, and stir fried dishes.
Chow-chow
   A mustard-flavored mixed vegetable and pickle relish.
Coriander
   A dried, warm, sweet, light-brown, aromatic herb. This zesty combination of sage and citrus is considered one of the most memorable and versatile of all the spices. Coriander, typically blended with cumin, curry powders, chili powders, garam masala, berbere, fruit juices, and lemon, flavors marinades and enhances North American, Mediterranean, North African, Mexican, Indian, and Southeast Asian cuisines.
Cumin
   An aromatic seed used to flavor sausages, chutneys, and a variety of Indian, Asian, and Latin American dishes.
Curry
   A spicy powder made by grinding and blending various herbs and spices, including cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, cloves, fenugreek, red peppers, and nutmeg.
Daikon
   A sharp, but somewhat sweet-tasting, crunchy Chinese white radish often used to season salads, soups, vegetables, tofu, and stir fried dishes.
Dried Tangerine Peel
   Sun dried peels of tangerine used to flavor master sauces and provide an orange flavor to dishes.
Egg Noodles
   Ribbon or spaghetti-like noodles made from wheat flour and eggs.
Egg Roll Wrappers
   A wrap made from wheat flour, egg yolk, and salt. This wrap, which usually covers the popular egg roll appetizers, is thicker than spring roll wrappers or rice paper.
Eggplant
   A deep purple and pear-shaped berry that has yellowish-white spongy flesh and small brown edible seeds.
Enoki Mushrooms
   Highly esteemed mushrooms that have long thin stems topped with a tiny white cap. They have a crisp and crunchy texture when fresh, but tend to become tough when heated.
Fermented Bean Curd
   A strong, salty cheese made by fermenting bean curd cubes in rice wine, salt, sesame oil, or chili.
Fermented Black Beans
   Aromatic beans cooked with salt, ginger, and/or orange rind.
Fish Sauce
   A thin brown sauce made by fermenting fish with salt and soy sauce.
Five-spice Powder
   A popular blend of ancient spices consisting of ground star anise, cloves, cinnamon, fennel seeds and Szechuan peppercorns.
Fresh Rice Noodles
   Flat, thread-like, white noodles made from rice flour.
Ginger Root
   A knobby and light brown root widely used in Chinese food for its sharp, peppery, spicy, and slightly sweet flavor. Usually complements fish dishes.
Ginkgo
   A bright green and delicately sweet flavored nut.
Golden Gram
   Small green beans frequently used when sprouted. Mung bean sprouts are one of the key ingredients in Chop Suey. Dried Mung beans are ground into flour, which can be used to make Mung Bean noodles.
Golden Needle Mushrooms
   Highly esteemed mushrooms that have long thin stems topped with a tiny white cap. They have a crisp and crunchy texture when fresh, but tend to become tough when heated.
Green Gram
   Small green beans frequently used when sprouted. Mung bean sprouts are one of the key ingredients in Chop Suey. Dried Mung beans are ground into flour, which can be used to make Mung Bean noodles.
Hair Seaweed
   Tasteless, fine threads of black dried seaweed.
Hoisin Sauce
   A thick, sweet, hot, brownish-red Chinese barbecue sauce that usually contains Soya beans, garlic, chilies, and other spices.
Hot Bean Sauce
   A combination of hot chili sauce and brown bean sauce used in spicy Szechuan and Hunan dishes.
Hot Chili Sauce
   A fiery sauce made from crushed dried hot chilies, sweet red peppers, and soy sauce.
Hot Mustard
   A spicy condiment served with Chinese appetizers. Made by mixing dry mustard powder with water, causing a chemical reaction.
Jamaica Pepper
   An aromatic spice made from the dried berry of the West Indian allspice tree. This spice, used to flavor savory dishes, has the aroma and taste of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and pepper.
Kidney Beans
   The mature seeds of green beans; large, kidney-shaped beans with a robust, full-bodied flavor and soft texture.
Kumquat
   A round, small, Asian citrus fruit with a soft bright orange rind and slightly tart orange flesh.
Kung Pao Chicken
   An aromatic chicken dish topped with sweet, spicy, dark soy, peanut sauce and based with peanuts, onions, and bell peppers.
Lemon Grass
   Resembling spring onion, this subtropical root imparts a delicious fresh lemon flavor to Southeastern Asian dishes.
Lemon Rind
   Dry peels of lemon used to flavor and garnish dishes.
Lime
   A small green citrus fruit commonly used to flavor Asian dishes.
Lo Mein
   In this dish, boiled and drained noodles are added to other ingredients, such as vegetables and/or meat, and briefly stir fried during the final stages of cooking. Consequently, these noodles have more flavor than Chow Mein, where the meat and vegetables are served over noodles that have been cooked separately.
Loquat
   A small, pear-shaped fruit with a yellowish-orange skin and juicy flesh.
Lotus
   A water lily whose root can be stuffed with glutinous rice, steamed as a dessert, or sliced as a sweet fruit. Chinese chefs commonly wrap its leaves around food to impart a pleasant tea-like flavor. Finally, its seeds are can be used in sweet syrups, pastes, soups, rice desserts, and snacks.
Lychee
   A plum-sized fruit that has a thin, hard, removable, rough shell. Its white, juicy flesh surrounds a large dark-brown stone.
MSG
   A chemical food enhancer, extracted from seaweed and other vegetable matter, used to deepen and develop the natural flavors of foods.
Mangetout
   A variety of peas with tender pods.
Molasses
   Thick dark syrup that is a byproduct of refining sugar, with a distinctive, slightly bitter flavor. Less sweet than honey but more nutritious than sugar.
Monosodium Glutamate
   A chemical food enhancer, extracted from seaweed and other vegetable matter, used to deepen and develop the natural flavors of foods.
Mung Bean Noodles
   These thin, translucent, flavorless threads of noodle, made from green gram flour, provide texture to the base of soup and stir fried dishes.
Mung Beans
   Small green beans frequently used when sprouted. Mung bean sprouts are one of the key ingredients in Chop Suey. Dried Mung beans are ground into flour, which can be used to make Mung Bean noodles.
Orange Rind
   Dry peels of oranges used to flavor and garnish dishes.
Oyster Mushrooms
   A fan-shaped mushroom that has white flesh and a grayish-brown exterior. This moist, peppery, and robust fungus is often served raw in salads. Oyster mushrooms, which have a softened flavor when cooked, are also a pleasant addition to casseroles, soups, or stir-fried dishes.
Oyster Sauce
   A dark brown delicate sauce made from oysters and soy sauce. This staple condiment adds richness to dishes without diminishing their natural flavors.
Paprika
   A powdered mixture of dried red-skinned chilies used as a spice and garnish. It ranges in flavor from mild and slightly sweet to acrid and hot.
Parsnip
   A long, white root vegetable with feathery green leaves. Its look and taste is similar to a carrot.
Pecans
   Thin-shelled, richly flavored nuts that are used to enrich certain dishes and desserts.
Pimento
   An aromatic spice made from the dried berry of the West Indian allspice tree. This spice, used to flavor savory dishes, has the aroma and taste of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and pepper.
Plum Sauce
   A thick, rich, sour fruit dipping sauce used to complement stir fried pork and deep fried appetizers.
Pomelo
   A large citrus fruit that has coarse greenish-yellow rind, pale-yellowish flesh, and a sweet, slightly tangy flavor.
Pot Sticker Wrapper
   Thin sheets of dough made from flour, eggs, and salt. Used for small meat and vegetable filled dumplings known as pot stickers and wontons.
Prawn
   A term that commonly refers to any large shrimp.
Ramen Noodles
   An Asian, off-white, wheat-based noodle that can be boiled and seasoned, then added to soups, salads, meat, vegetables, and side dishes.
Red Dates
   Dried fruit of the Chinese jujube tree that have a bright red crinkly skin.
Rice Paper
   A thin, crispy wrap made from rice flour and water used to wrap spring rolls. These wraps, available in either round or triangular form, can be used as a vegetarian substitute for egg roll skins since it does not contain eggs.
Rice Vermicelli
   Thin, translucent, rice-flour noodles used to garnish stir fried dishes and soups.
Rice Vinegar
   Aromatic, light, and delicately flavored vinegar distilled from white rice.
Rice Wine
   A dry, strong, flavorful, clear Chinese cooking wine made from fermented rice. This sherry flavored wine is used in Chinese stir fried and steamed dishes.
Rice-flour Noodles
   These noodles, made with rich flour and water, range from thin Rice Vermicelli to the thick broad flat noodles. A traditional ingredient in chicken salads, soups, and stir-fries.
Rock Sugar
   Crystallized raw sugar that is less sweet than refined sugar.
Sesame Seeds
   Tiny, nutty-flavored oval seeds used to flavor meat, poultry, stir-fries and popular desserts.
Shaddock
   A large citrus fruit that has coarse greenish-yellow rind, pale-yellowish flesh, and a sweet, slightly tangy flavor.
Shao Hsing
   A dry, strong, flavorful, clear Chinese cooking wine made from fermented rice. This sherry flavored wine is used in Chinese stir fried and steamed dishes.
Shiitake Mushroom
   A flavorful, fleshy Chinese black mushroom widely used in the Chinese cuisine.
Sichuan Cuisine
   One of the most famous Chinese cuisines in the world. Characterized by its spicy and pungent flavors, the Sichuan cuisine emphasizes the use of chili. Pepper, garlic, ginger, fermented soybean, and prickly ash produce this cuisine's exciting tastes. Frying, frying without oil, pickling, and braising are used as basic cooking techniques.
Sichuan Pepper
   Hot, peppery dried red berries that are roasted and ground to produce a pungent and aromatic seasoning. Sichuan pepper is one of the spices of Chinese five-spice powder.
Snow Peas
   A variety of peas with tender pods.
Snow Pickle
   Salted mustard greens that have a mildly sour flavor.
Soy Sauce
   A highly flavored, salty, tangy, brown liquid brewed from fermented Soya beans and salt. Soy sauce is the most important flavor in Chinese cuisine. Chinese dishes are traditionally called red-cooked when soy sauce is used or white-cooked when soy sauce is omitted.
Soya Bean Paste
   A hot aromatic sauce made from seasoned ground Soya beans, chilies, peppers, sugar, and salt.
Spinach
   A plant with dark green spear-shaped leaves. Spinach, with its slightly bitter flavor, is high in nutritional content and can be eaten raw or cooked.
Spring Roll Wrapper
   A thin, crispy wrap made from rice flour and water used to wrap spring rolls. These wraps, available in either round or triangular form, can be used as a vegetarian substitute for egg roll skins since it does not contain eggs.
Stir Fry
   To cook small pieces of food in negligible fat, constantly tossing over high heat. The food is usually cooked in a wok.
Stock
   An aromatic and nutritive liquid extracted by simmering beef, chicken, or fish with vegetables and water.
Sweet Pepper
   Mild, sweet, bell-shaped peppers that have a juicy flesh and a crispy texture. Young bell peppers usually turn from bright green to red as they mature. These peppers become sweeter when cooked.
Szechuan Cuisine
   One of the most famous Chinese cuisines in the world. Characterized by its spicy and pungent flavors, the Sichuan cuisine emphasizes the use of chili. Pepper, garlic, ginger, fermented soybean, and prickly ash produce this cuisine's exciting tastes. Frying, frying without oil, pickling, and braising are used as basic cooking techniques.
Szechuan Pickle
   A hot, salty, peppery pickle often used to intensify the spiciness of a dish.
Tabasco Sauce
   A hot, thin, spicy sauce made from vinegar and red chili peppers.
Teriyaki
   A Japanese dish that has been marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, ginger, and seasonings before being grilled, broiled, or fried. The sugary marinade coats the cooked food with a slight glaze.
Tofu
   Obtained from the milky liquid extracted from soy beans. This high-protein, low-fat food is a popular meat substitute for vegetarians and health-conscious diners.
Turbot
   A flat sea fish with firm flesh.
Turmeric
   A bright yellow, bitter, flavorful spice commonly used in curry sauces.
Water Chestnut
   A crisp walnut-sized bulb with brownish-green skin.
White Master Sauce
   A spicy concentrated sauce or marinade made from spices, rice wine, sugar, and salt.
Winter Pickle
   Salted, mild, brownish-green Chinese cabbage used to flavor dishes.
Wok
   A cone-shaped utensil with a rounded bottom, which encourages ingredients to return to the center. This utensil, which is used to cook most Chinese dishes, preserves the natural quality of the food.
Wonton
   A Chinese dumpling made from egg-noodle dough. These wontons, which are usually filled with seafood, meat, or vegetables, may be boiled, deep-fried, or steamed. Commonly prepared in soups.
Wonton Skins
   Thin sheets of dough made from flour, eggs, and salt. Used for small meat and vegetable filled dumplings known as pot stickers and wontons.
Wonton Wrappers
   Thin sheets of dough made from flour, eggs, and salt. Used for small meat and vegetable filled dumplings known as pot stickers and wontons.
Zucchini
   A long, green, yellow-marked, cylindrical summer squash with white-green and delicate-flavored flesh.
  Indian     116 terms 
  Italian     168 terms 
  Japanese     266 terms 
  Mexican     150 terms 
  Thai     95 terms 
  Turkish     169 terms