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Yearly Archives: 2012

Asian-style Pineapple Cupcake

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Vathana, my Cambodian sister loves pineapples and I have not seem anyone buys ten or more pineapples at one time for a family of four. I love pineapples too but View more

Crispy Cajun Popcorn Chicken

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After preparing the catfish meal, I decided to continue cooking the chicken which I brought yesterday. Of course, View more

Crispy Fried Cajun Catfish

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As I had mentioned in my earlier post that I will be cooking fried catfish. When my husband was away View more

Glossary of Spices Substitution

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1 teaspoon (tsp)
½ tsp cinnamon plus ½ tsp ground cloves
Apple Pie Spice
1 teaspoon
½ tsp cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg plus 1/8 teaspoon cardamon
Arrowroot Starch
1½ teaspoon
 1 tablespoon flour/1½ tbsp cornstarch
Baking Powder
1 teaspoon
1/3 tablespoon (tbsp) soda and ½ tablespoon cream of tartar
¼ tbsp baking soda and ½ cup sour milk or buttermilk (decrease liquid called for in recipe by ½ cup)
 ¼ tbsp baking soda and ½ tbsp vinegar or lemon juice used with sweet milk to make ½ cup (decrease liquid called for in recipe by ½ cup)
Baking Powder-double acting
1 teaspoon
¼ tsp baking soda and 5/8 t cream of  tartar
Baking Soda
There is no substitute for baking soda
 Bay Leaf
1 whole leaf
¼ teaspoon crushed
 Beau Monde
1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon seasoning or seasoning salt,
½ teaspoon salt or
½ teaspoon Mei Yan seasoning
¼ cup
1 teaspoon brandy extract plus enough water or liquid called for in recipe to make ¼ cup
Broth, beef or chicken
1 cup
1 bouillon cube dissolved in 1 cup boiling water
1 envelope powdered broth base dissolve in 1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon powdered broth base dissolved in 1 cup boiling water
1 cup
1 cup margarine
1 cup vegetable shortening (for baking)
1 cup oil can be substituted by a similar amount melted butter if the recipe specifics melted butter
1 cup
1 tablespoon lemon juice  or vinegar plus enough regular milk to make 1 cup (allow to stand 5 minutes)
1 cup
1 cup tomato sauce, ¼ cup brown sugar and 2 tablespoons vinegar (for use in cooking
 Chili Sauce
1 cup
1 cup tomato sauce, ¼ cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons vinegar, ¼ teaspoons cinnamon, dash of ground cloves, and dash of allspice.
Chives, finely  chopped
2 teaspoons
2 tsp green onion tops, finely chopped
Chocolate, semi-sweet
1-2/3 ounces
1 oz unsweetened chocolate plus 4 teaspoons sugar
 Chocolate, unsweetened
1 oz or 1 square
3 tbsp carob powder plus 2 tbsp water
Chocolate chips, semisweet
6 oz package (2/3 cup)
2 squares (2oz) unsweetened chocolate plus 2 tablespoons shortening and ½ cup sugar
¼ cup or 4 tbsp
1 oz (square) unsweetened chocolate (decrease fat called for in recipe by ½ tbsp.)
Cornmeal, self-rising
1 cup
7/8 cup cornmeal,  1½ tablespoons baking powder, and ½ teaspoon salt
 Corn Syrup
1 cup
7/8 cup sugar and 2 tbsp  water
7/8  cup honey (baked goods will brown more)
1 tablespoon
2 tablespoons All-purposeFlour (AP flour)
2 tablespoons granular tapioca
1 tablespoon arrowroot
Cream, half & half (12-16% fat)
1 cup
7/8 cup milk and 3 tbsp butter   or Margarine (for use in cooking and baking)
 1 cup evaporated milk, undiluted
Cream, Light (18-20% fat
 1 cup
7/8 cup milk and 3 tablespoons butter or margarine (for use in cooking and baking)
1 cup evaporated milk, undiluted
Cream, heavy (36-40% fat)
1 cup
¾ cup milk and 1/3 cup butter margarine (for use in cooking or baking)
Cream, sour
1 cup
7/8 cup buttermilk or sour milk
1 cup yogurt
1-1/8 cup powdered nonfat dry milk, ½ cup water, and 1 tablespoon vinegar (mixture will thicken in refrigerator in a few hours)
1 cup evaporated milk plus 1 tablespoon vinegar (allow to stand 5 minutes before using)
1/3 cup buttermilk, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 cup smooth cottage cheese blended together.
7/8 cup milk, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 2 tbsp butter butter or margarine.
Cream, Whipping
1 cup
Not whipped:
If, you wish to use a commercial pre-whipped cream or whipped cream substitute rather than whip your own cream, use the guideline that 1 cup whipping cream expands to 2 cups when whipped.
For example, if your recipe called for 1  cup of cream to make whipped cream, you could substitute 2 cups of an already whipped product.
1 cup chilled evaporated milk plus ½ tsp lemon juice, whipped until stiff.
Dill plant, fresh or dried
 3 heads
1 tablespoon dill seed
 Eggs, whole, uncooked 1 large
1 cup
¼ cup egg substitute (example include: Egg Beaters, Second Nature, Scramblers)
3 tablespoons and 1 tsp. thawed frozen egg
2½ sifted, dry whole egg powder and 2½ tablespoons lukewarm water
2 egg yolks and 1 tablespoon water (for cookies)
2 egg yolks (in custards, cream fillings, and similar mixtures)
2 whites as a thickening agent
5  large eggs or 6 medium eggs
Egg white, 1 large (2   tbsp)
2 tablespoons thawed frozen egg white
2 teaspoons sifted, dry egg white powder and 2 tbsp. lukewarm water.
 8 large egg whites
 Egg yolk, 1 yolk (1½ tbsp)
3½ teaspoons thawed frozen egg yolk
2 teaspoons sifted, dry egg
yolk and 2 teaspoons water
Flour, AP (for thickening)
1 tablespoon
1½ teaspoon cornstarch, arrowroot starch, potato starch, or rice starch.
1 tablespoon quick cooking tapioca
1 tablespoon waxy rice flour
2 tablespoons browned flour
1½ tablespoons whole wheat flour
½ tablespoons whole wheat flour and ½ tablespoon  all-purpose flour
Flour, Cake 1 lb. 1 cup sifted
4¾ cups
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons sifted AP flour (7/8 cup)
Flour, Self-rising
1 cup
1 cup minus 2 teaspoons AP flour, 1½ tsp. baking powder, and ½ teaspoon salt
Flour, All-Purpose (AP)
1 cup
¾ cup all-purpose flour plus
¼ cup whole wheat flour, in cakes
¾ cup all-purpose flour plus ¼ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup all[purpose flour plus ½ cup whole wheat flour
volume and a heavier product.
Garlic , 1 clove, small
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Garlic salt
1 teaspoon
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Gelatin, flavored
3 ounces
1 tablespoon plain gelatin and 2 cups fruit juice
1/8 tsp
1 tablespoon candied ginger rinsed in water to remove sugar; then finely cut 1 tbsp. raw ginger
Herbs, fresh chopped
1 tbsp
½ teaspoon dried, crushed herbs
1 cup
1¼ cup sugar and ¼ cup water
1 medium
1 to 3 tablespoons juice
1 to 2 teaspoons grated peel
Lemon juice
1 tsp juice
½ teaspoon vinegar
1 medium
1½ to 2 tablespoons juice
Marshmallows, miniature
1 cup
10 large marshmallows
Mayonnaise (for use in Salad and salad dressings
1 cup
½ cup yogurt and ½ cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 cup cottage cheese pureed in a blender
Milk, skim
 1 cup
4 to 5 tablespoons non-fat dry milk powder and enough water to make 1 cup or follow manufacturer’s directions
½ cup evaporated milk and ½ cup water
Milk, whole
1 cup
1 cup reconstituted non-fat dry milk (add 2 tsp butter or margarine, if) desired.
½ cup evaporated milk and ½ cup water
4 tablespoons whole dry milk and 1 cup water (or follow manufacturer’s directions)
1 cup fruit juice or 1 cup potato water (for use in baking)
 Mustard, dry
1 teaspoon
1 tbsp.  prepared mustard
 Onion, fresh
1 small
¼ cup chopped, fresh onion
1-1/3 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon instant minced onions rehydrated
Onion powder
1 tablespoon
1 medium onion, chopped
4 tablespoons fresh chopped onion
Orange peel, dried
1 teaspoon
2-3 tablespoons grated fresh orange peel (grated peel of 1 medium orange)
1 teaspoon orange extract
Parsley fresh
 1 tbsp chopped
1 teaspoon dried leafy parsley
2 tbsp dried
1 tbsp. dried red bell pepper, rehydrated
3 tbsp. fresh red bell pepper, chopped
Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 teaspoon
½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ tsp ginger, 1/8 teaspoon allspice, and 1/8 tsp nutmeg
Shortening, melted
1 cup
1 cup cooking oil (only for recipes that call for melted shortening)
Shortening, solid
1 cup
1-1/8 cup unsalted butter
¼ cup shortening plus ¾ cup applesauce, pureed prunes (add with liquid ingredients)**
¼ cup shortening plus ¾ cup ricotta cheese (in yeast breads)**
** Reducing fat will give baked goods a denser texture; to correct for this, try increasing the sugar in the recipe and/or beating the egg whites and folding them into the batter. Also try using a softer flour, like pastry or cake flour.
Sour Cream
1 cup
¾ cup sour milk or buttermilk and 1/3 cup butter or margarine blend until smooth
1/3 cup buttermilk, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, and 1 cup smooth cottage cheese
1 cup plain yogurt
¾ cup milk, ¾ tsp. lemon juice and 1/3 butter or margarine
Sugar, brown
 1 cup firmly   packed
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup granulated sugar plus 4 tablespoons molasses, and decrease liquid in the recipe by 3 tablespoons.
Sugar, granulated
 1 cup
1½ cup corn syrup (decrease liquid by ¼ cup)
1-1/3 cup molasses (decrease   liquid by 1/3 cup)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
¾ cup honey (decrease liquid by ¼ cup in baked goods add
½ teaspoon soda
Tapioca, granular
1 teaspoon
2 tablespoon pearl tapioca
Tomato juice
1 cup
½ cup tomato sauce plus ½ cup water
Tomato sauce
2 cups
¾ cup tomato paste plus 1 cup water
 Tomato soup
10¾ ounce can
1 cup tomato sauce plus ¼ cup water
 Wine, Red
Same amount of red grape juice or cranberry juice
Wine, white
Same amount of apple juice or white grape juice
Worcestershire Sauce
 1 teaspoon
1 tsp bottled steak sauce
 Yeast, active dry
 ¼ oz package
2½ teaspoon dry yeast
1 compressed yeast cake
Yogurt, plain
1 cup
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup cottage cheese blended until smooth
1 cup sour cream

Glossary of Pan Sizes

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Pan Dimensions (Ins.)
Approx. Vol. (cups)
Pan Dimensions (cm)
Approx. Vol. (ml)
6 x 2 inches
4 cups
15 x 5 cm
948 ml
8 x 1½ inches
4 cups
20 x 4 cm
948 ml
8 x  2 inches
6 cups
20 x 5 cm
1.4 liters
9 x 1½ inches
6 cups
23 x 4 cm
1.4 liters
9 x 2 inches
8 cups
23 x 5 cm
1.9 liters
10 x 2 inches
11 cups
25 x 5 cm
2.6 liters
9 x 2½ inches
10 cups
23 x 6 cm
2.4 liters
9 x3 inches
12 cups
23 x 8 cm
2.8 liters
10 x 2½ inches
12 cups
25 x 6 cm
2.8 liters
7½ x 3 inches
6 cups
19 x 8 cn
1.4 liters
9 x 3 inches
9 cups
23 x 8 cm
2.1 liters
10 x 3½ inches
12 cups
25 x 9 cm
2.8 liters
8 x 3 inches
9 cups
20 x 8 cm
2.1 liters
9 x 3 inches
12 cups
23 x 8 cm
2.8 liters
10 x 4 inches
16 cups
25 x 10 cm
3.8 liters
Heart Shaped
Heart Shaped
8 x 2½ inches
8 cups
20 x 6 cm
1.9 liters
1¾ x ¾ inches
1/8 cup
4.5 x 2 cm
30 ml
2¾ x 1 1/8 inches
¼ cup
7 x 3 cm
60 ml
2¾ x 1½ inches
½ cup
7 x 4 cm
120 ml
3 x 1¼ inches
5/8 cup
8 x 3 cm
150 ml
8 x 4 x 2½ inches
4 cups
20 x 10 x 6 cm
948 ml
8½ x 4½ x 2½ inches
6 cups
21 x 11 x 6 cm
1.4 liters
Jelly Roll Pan
Jelly Roll Pan
10½ x 15½ x 1 inches
10 cups
27 x 39 x 2.5 cm
2.4 liters
12½ x 17½ x 1 inches
12 cups
32 x 44x 2.5 cm
2.8 liters
11 x 7 x 2 inches
6 cups
28 x 18 x 5 cm
1.4 liters
13 x 9 x 2 inches
14 cups
33 x 23 x 5 cm
3.3 liters
9 x 9 x 1½ inches
8 cups
23 x 23 x 4 cm
1.9 liters
9 x 9 x 2 inches
10 cups
23 x 23 x 4 cm
2.4 liters
10 x 10 x 2 inches
12 cups
25 x 25 x 5 cm
2.8 liters

Glossary of Ingredient Equivalents

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Almonds, blanched
1 pound (lb.)
3 cups blanched almond
1 pound
3-4 medium apples
Apricots, dried
1 pound
3 cups dried apricot
Apricots, fresh
1 pound
5-8 fresh apricots
1 pound
16-20 spears
Bacon, raw
1 pound
15-25 slices
1 pound
3 medium bananas
Barley, pearl
1 pound
2 cups pearl barley
Beans, kidney
1 pound
2-2/3 cup uncooked; 6-7 cup cooked
Beans, lima
1 pound
2½ cups uncooked; 6 cups cooked
Beans, navy
1 pound
2-1/3 cup uncooked; 5½-6 cups,
Beans, green, snap
1 pound
3½ cup cooked
1 pound
3-4 beets; 2 cups sliced and cooked
Blackberries, fresh
1 pound
2-2½ cups blackberry
1 pound
2 cups blueberries
1 slice dry
1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 slice soft
¾ cup soft breadcrumbs
1 pound
2 cups broccoli
Brussels sprouts
1 pound
4 cup brussel sprouts
Cabbage, shredded
1 pound
4 cups lightly packed
Cabbage, cooked
1 pound
2 cups cooked cabbage
1 pound
3 cups cooked carrot
Carrots, shredded
1 pound
2½ cups shredded carrot
1 pound
1½ cup cauliflower
1 pound
4 cups diced celery
1 pound
4-5 cups grated cheese
1 pound
2¼ cups cherry
Chicken, cooked and cubes
1 pound
3 cups cooked, diced chicken
1 pound
4 cups cocoa
1 pound
6-7 cups prepared and shredded
Coffee, ground coarse
1 pound
5-5½ cups ground coarse coffee
Cornmeal, coarse
1 pound
3 cups coarse cornmeal
1 pound
3½ cups cornstarch
Crackers, graham
1 pound
58-66 crackers
Cracker crumbs, medium fine
1 pound
5-6 cups medium fine cracker crumbs
Cranberries, raw
1 pound
4 cups cransberries
Cream, heavy (35%-40% fat)
1 cup
2-2½ cup Whipped cream
1 pound
2½ cups pitted date
Eggplant, diced, cooked
1 pound
2½ cup cooked, diced eggplant
Flour, all-purpose
1 pound
4 cups all-purpose flour
Flour, whole wheat
1 pound
3¾ cups whole wheat
1 pound
2½ cups seedless grapes
Greens, cooked
1 pound
4-6 cups cooked green
Lettuce, head
1 pound
6¼ cups lettuce
Lettuce, leaf
1 pound
6¼ cups lettuce, leaf
Lettuce, Romaine
1 pound
6 cups Romaine lettuce
Lettuce, Endive
1 pound
4¼ cups Endive
Macaroni, uncooked
1 lb. – 4 cups
9 cup macaroni
1 pound
2 cup margarine
Mushrooms, fresh
1 pound
3 oz. dried mushrooms
5 cups sliced mushrooms : 1 10oz can
Noodles, uncooked
1 lb.- 6 cups
9 cups cooked noodle
Nut meats
1 pound
3½ cup nut meats
Oats, rolled, quick
1 lb. – 6 cups
16 cups cooked oak
Oil, vegetable
1 pound
2 – 2 1/8 cups vegetable oil
1 pound
2¼ cups cooked okra
Onions, chopped
1 lb (4-5 med.)
2 – 2½ cups chopped onion
1 medium
1/3 cup orange juice; 2-3 teaspoons
grated orange peel
1 pound -4 med.
2 cups cooked parsnip
1 pound -4 med.
2 cups sliced peach
Peanut Butter
1 pound
1¾ cup peanut butter
Pepper, green
1 pound
3 cups chopped green pepper
1 pound -4 med.
2½ cups diced pear
Peas, green in pod
1 pound
1 cup cooked peas
Pineapple, fresh 2 pounds
1 lb. – skinned
2-3 cups diced pineapple
1 pound
2 cups plum, halved
Potatoes, white
1 pound – 3 med.
4 cups cooked potato
Prunes, dried
1 pound
2½ cups pitted prune
1 pound
2½ cups cooked pumpkin
1 pound
3 cups raisin
1 pound
3-3/8 cups raspberry
Rhubarb, fresh
1 lb. -4-6 pieces
2½ cups cooked rhubarb
Rice, uncooked
1 pound
6 cups cooked rice
Rutabaga, cubed
1 lb. -3-1/3 cups
2 cups cooked rutabaga
1 pound
2¼ cups shortening
1 pound
9 cups cooked spaghetti
Spinach, fresh
1 pound – 4cups
1½ cups cooked spinach
Squash, Summer
1 pound
2 cups cooked summer squash
Squash, Winter
1 pound
1 cup cooked and mashed
1 pound
2-2/3 cups sliced strawberry
Sugar, brown
1 pound
2¼ cups firmly packed brown sugar
Sugar, granulated
1 pound
2¼ cups granulated sugar
Sugar, powdered
1 pound
2¾ cups powdered sugar
Sweet potato
1 pound
3 medium sweet potatoes
Tomatoes, fresh
1 lb. -3-4 pieces
2½ cups diced fresh tomato
1 pound – 3 med.
2 cups cooked turnip

Cooking Conversion Table

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Traditional Cooking Conversion Table 

1 pinch = 1 dash = Less than 1/8 teaspoon
1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons = ½ ounce
3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon = ½ ounce
4 tablespoons = ¼ cup = 2 ounces
8 tablespoons = ½ cup = 4 ounces
16 tablespoons = 1 cup = 8 ounces
1 cup = 8 ounces = ½ pound
16 ounces = 1 pint = 1 pound
1/3 cup = 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon
16 cups = 8 pints = 4 quarts = 1 gallon
1 liter = approximately 4 cups or 1 quart
8 quarts (dry) = 1 peck = ¼ bushel
4 peck (dry) = 1 bushel
1 kilogram = approximately 2.2 pounds
Dry Measures
Metric                                               Imperial
30 grams                                           1 ounce
45 grams                                           1½ ounces
55 grams                                           2 ounces
70 grams                                           2½ ounces
80 grams                                           3 ounces
100 grams                                         3½ ounces
110 grams                                         4 ounces
125 grams                                         4½ ounces
140 grams                                         5 ounces
280 grams                                         10 ounces
450 grams                                         16 ounces (1 pound)
500 grams                                         1 pound, 1½ ounces
700 grams                                         1½ pounds
800 grams                                         1¾ pounds
1 kilograms                                        2 pounds, 2 ounces
1.5 kilograms                                     3 pounds, 4½ ounces
2 kilograms                                        4 pounds, 6 ounces
Oven Temperature
                                      °C               °F                Gas
Very Slow                  120             250             1
Slow                             150             300             2
Moderately slow       160             325             3
Moderate                    180             350             4
Moderately hot     190/200   370/400      5/6
Hot                           210/220   410/440      6/7
Very hot                     230            450             8
Super hot                250/290   475/550      9/10

Common Abbreviations
Kg                         Kilogram
Gm                       Gram
Tsp                       Teaspoon
Tbsp                     Tablespoon
C                           Cup
Pt                          Pint
Gal                       Gallon
Qt                         Quart
Oz                         Ounces
Lb                         Pound
Ml                         Milliliter
Cl                          Centiliter
Metric Equivalents
US System                    Metric
2 teaspoons                    9.86 ml
1 tablespoon                  14.79 ml
2 tablespoons                29.57 ml
¼ cup                             59.15 ml
½ cup                            118.3 ml
1 cup                              236.59 ml
2 cups                           473.18 ml
3 cups                           709.77 ml
4 cups                          946.36 ml
4 quarts                      3.785 liter

2012 Year of the Dragon

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Chinese New Year is on January 23rd. This day is a new moon day and the first day in the Chinese Lunar Calendar system. The Year 2012 is the 4709th in the Chinese calendar. Also, the Chinese Year uses the cycle of 60 Stem-Branch counting systems and the Black Water Dragon is the 28th Stem-Branch in the cycle.
2012 is the year of Dragon. Some say the year 2012 is a Black Dragon or Water Dragon year. This is because the Stem-Branch Calendar is connected to the Five Element theory. Chinese calendars used the Stem-Branch system to count the days, months and years. There are 10 Stems and 12 Branches in this system. Stems are named by the Yin-Yang and Five Elements (Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth). The Stems sequence order is Yang Wood, Yin Wood, Yang Fire, Yin Fire, Yang Earth, Yin Earth, Yang Metal, Yin Metal, Yang Water and Yin Water. The branches are represented by animal symbols, in the order of Rat, Cow, Tiger, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Chicken, Dog and Pig. The Stem and Branch are used together to form the cycle of the 60 counting systems which begin with the wooden Rat and end with the Water Pig. So 1924 to 1983 is a complete cycle and you can see that year 2012 is Water Dragon and is the 29th of the Stem-Branch, which represents black.
The Chinese Zodiac of the Dragons
The Dragon occupies the 5th position in the Chinese Zodiac and is the mightiest of the signs. This sign represents ambition and dominance. They are not afraid of challenges, and are usually very successful. They are risk takers and prefer to live by their own rules. They like to display their passion in grand fashion. All this enthusiasm leaves Dragons feeling unfulfilled and exhausted. Their kindness in helping other is very frequent and they will rarely ask for help. Dragons are not social and prefer to be alone, so they are usually seen as arrogant and conceited. Dragons have tempers that can flare fast when they are attacked.
Dragons prefer to lead and want jobs that allow them to express their creativity. Good careers for Dragons are engineer, computer analyst, manager, architect and lawyer.
Dragons are healthy overall, despite their hardworking nature. They take so many risks that they do suffer from stress, headache and tension problems. They can remedy this by including some mild activity into their lives like walking and yoga to replenish for their minds and bodies.
Dragons have quick, vengeful tempers and it’s hard for them to find a partner to live with. Dragons will give into love, but they will not give up their independence. Dragons prefer people who are intriguing and, if that is the right partner, they will commit to that individual for life.
Dragons are compatible with the Monkey and Rat, and incompatible with the Ox and Goat.
A Legendary Story of the Dragons:
Chinese Dragons are from the sky which mean from the heaven. The dragon is a legendary creature. The image of dragon is always blurred, misty, noble, mystic and untouchable. The dragon is the symbol of power from heaven. On earth, the emperor was considered the son of heaven and he had the authority to send command to Dragons. There were stories told that in one of the tales, an emperor dreamt that he killed a dragon. So after 581 AD, Chinese emperors in China began to wear their Imperial robes with dragon symbols sewn in. Also during the Ching Dynasty, the symbol of dragons can be seen everywhere on house’s doors, roofs, pillars and bridges in the Forbidden City. In China, dragons are considered as the most auspicious animals and the five-clawed dragon is the most powerful dragon; and are often appears only on the yellow colored Imperial robes.
In the legend, it was told that Dragon has nine sons. Most Chinese do not know much about the Nine Dragons until the Ming Dynasty Reign. The story was that the Dragon sent it nine sons to help the first Emperor of the Ming Dynasty to conquer China. After their completion of their mission and preparing to return to heaven but the Emperor wanted them to stay back and continue helping them. The Dragons were not allowed to stay behind and but the Emperor decided to trick them. So the Emperor tricked one of the dragons, the sixth dragon son by asking him to carry a magic stele with carved inscription that would suppress any evil spirit and ghost. The sixth dragon could not move under the magic stele and the rest of his dragon brothers would not leave without their sixth dragon brother. They stayed behind and would not want to work for the Emperor. So they give up their identities and turned themselves into evil creatures. The nine dragons remained in China. Till today, the Dragons are still very well respected by the Chinese.
The Chinese has given the nine dragons each a name and their special attributes to differentiate.
The first dragon is known as BIXI (BAXIA), the eldest son or commonly called the Dragon Tortoise. He has the strength to carry the heaviest burdens. So his images can always be found depicted on pillars of building.  It body and shell of the Dragon Tortoise also represents longevity and good fortune.
CHIWEN is the 2nd son is often seen guarding rooftops. He enjoys looking at the scenery and good at controlling water. His images are usually depicted with his mouth wide opened grasping the edges of the rooftops of houses, palaces and temples as a symbol of prevention and protection against fires.
PULAO is the 3rd son of the dragon has a mighty roar and is reputed to be heard across the land announcing it impending major upheavals. His images are most often carved onto temple bells, drums and musical instruments that produce loud sounds.
BI’AN is the 4th son who is revered for his sense of impartiality and fairness. So those who need justice to prevail in their favor will invite his presence into their home. This dragon will ensure that any impending lawsuits will work out fairly for you. He has a ferocious appearance and it has been told that he is faintly resembles a tiger. Bi’an will defend the justice and upholds the laws of the land. That is why, Bi’an is always appears on the entrances of law courts and inside the halls of justice to remind wrong-doers of his presence.
The 5th son is TAOTAI (JIAOTU) who always loves food. This dragon has the power to bring wealth into your household. His images are often seen on tableware and ancient bronze food vessels; and ensure a continuous supply abundance of food.
The 6th son GONGFU is a good swimmer and that brings auspicious luck to water. The Chinese believed that he resides in lakes and pools as he loves water. Because of his water domain, the people believed that he would control floods and protect against water disasters. For that reason, his images are usually carved on bridges, dykes and piers.
YAZI is the 7th son and the most warlike and fearsome. He yelled and hollered all day long and the people were so afraid of his cries. This dragon has a perpetual wrathful glare and his images are commonly depicted on sword or spear handles with his mouth gripping the blade. That made this dragon signifies victory in battle and gives the soldiers the morale and strength.  
The 8th son SUANNI is very fond of smoke and fire.  His characteristic resembles a resplendent lion. The reason was given is that he is usually drawn with the mane and body of a lion. This dragon prefers to sit and observe quietly and rarely moves, so he is usually shown stationed but his golden body is glowed with flames. His images are often shown sitting on top of candle stands and incense burners. This dragon represents to bring wisdom and knowledge; and also ensures that the sons and daughters of the family will all look handsome and beautiful.    
The 9th son QUINIU is into music and art. He enjoys good music, especially music coming out from the string instruments. He made a lot of monstrous noise all day because he has nothing to do. Most of his images are always craved on the top of musical instruments like “Loongtao -Huqin”, the Chinese violin with a dragon’s head and bells. His presence is regarded as the protector of one’s abode and that is why his images are always place at the entrances and doorways.
What are the Chinese Astrology Consultants/Feng Shui Masters predicting for the Upcoming 2012 Year of the Water Dragon/Black Dragon?

“The Year of the Dragon will seem full of energy and the spirit of the dragon will make everything seem “larger than life”. Sometimes, things will seem better than they actually are and the year will be an over-ambitious and daring one.

The Chinese consider the Year of the Dragon to be a good time for people to get married, have children or begin a business venture as the year tends to bring good fortune and happiness. Business should go well and people will make money more easily. Dragons are people who like to spend money and have an all-or-nothing attitude, often putting aside caution.” Sayings from a USA Astrology Consultant

“It is not the doomsday or the end of the World. There will be more natural disasters in relation to earthquakes, and water incidents such as flooding, tsunamis and sea level changes. 2012 is a Yang Year, so things are happening very fast and quick. It is also a wet year. We will see more Rain, Snow and Icebergs melting. Major man-made dams around the world, may have a few incidents due to flooding
In the year of the Dragon, the growth is suppressed. Be very careful in January 2012, April 2012, July 2012 and October 2012 if you are on the share market. Avoid investment in transportation, aviation, shipping and logistic. 4th February to 7th August, the active Water element will drain the METAL. As the result, the gold price will drop. But in the second half, the gold price will be going up.
2012 is a year of changes in Religions, Conceptions, Philosophy, Innovations and Values. There will be a lot of news in relation to policies changes, New Policies, Rules and Regulations and Laws. News in relation to high profile religion figures will be reported more. Religions conflicts get worsen and more news from religions sector.
Also in 2012, the birth rate will be higher and businesses related to this interest will sell well.
In the world scale “Feng Shui”, the West is Europe – Dragon and Rooster will combine. It means after entering the Rooster month, 8thSeptember 2012, the European crisis will gradually clear up. In the Dog month, 8th October – 7th November, 2012, the stock market will drop sharply.”  Sayings from a Chinese Astrology & Feng Shui Master in Australia.
January 23, 2012, is Chinese New Year and is one of the most important and auspicious day
in the Chinese culture. Traditionally celebrated for 15 days but in this modern society, the days are beginning to shorten per say for modern working people. In Taiwan, the first 5 days are still considered as official holiday. In China, Singapore and other parts of South East Asian countries will still get their 2-3 days official holiday to usher new vibrations into the New Year.
The beginning of each New Year is to leave the previous year problems behind and usher the New Year with a fresh one. So, it is the time for house cleaning and invests some new things, like window treatments, furniture, clothing and so on. Their houses are fully cleaned, decorated with auspicious couplets handwritten on them and hung on doorways for intending to bring fortune and luck to the household for the coming year.
During this time, colors are very important whether for decorating and wearing are very crucial. Red is a preferred and important color in the Chinese culture. It symbolizes good vibes, prosperity, happiness and good luck. The opposite color, black are not welcome at this time as symbolizes for sorrow and bad vibes. So people on these days will not wear totally in black but old tradition has change according to the challenging and demanding world.  Now, you will be able to see people on this special do wear a little of black with some red. Their homes are decorated with red banners, red couplets and red tablecloth.
Red packages are known as “Ang Pau” or “Hong Bao” and contain dollar bills. It should read any even number bills but not the number begin and ending with 4, 40, 44, 400, 444. “4” in the Chinese saying is “Se” means “death”. Red packages are given to children and unmarried adults. The married adults will give red packages to their parents, young children and old folks.
The fireworks are part of the tradition and used to drive away evil spirits by it loud noise. So Lunar New Year is always a very loud celebration. Firecrackers are always set off throughout the celebration too. Some of the Southeast Asian countries restricted the use of firecrackers but China and Taiwan still allow the use of firecrackers.

Chinese Zodiac

The Chinese zodiac cycles every 12 years, and each year is named after an animal. February 3, 2011 starts with New Year of “The year of the Rabbit” and continues to January 22, 2012.
Rabbit: February 03, 2011 – January 22, 2012
Dragon: January 23, 2012 – February 09, 2013
Snake: February 10, 2013 – January 30, 2014
Horse: January 31, 2014 – February 18, 2015
Sheep: February 19, 2015 – February 07, 2016
Monkey: February 08, 2016 – January 27, 2017
Rooster: January 28, 2017 – February 18, 2018
Dog: February 19, 2018 – February 04, 2019
Pig: February 05, 2019 – January 24, 2020
Rat: January 25, 2020 – February 11, 2021
Ox: February 12, 2021 – January 31, 2022
Tiger: February 1, 2022 – February 19, 2023


Greetings in Mandarin
There are many greetings and sayings associated with the Chinese New Year. Family members, friends, and neighbors greet each other with “Wishing you Prosperity” – In Mandarin “Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái”. The most common greeting is simply by saying “Happy New Year” – Xīn Nián Kuài Lè.
Children will often greet their adult family and relatives with the saying “Gōng xǐ fā cái, hóng bāo ná lái “ meaning “Wishing you Prosperity, now give me a red envelope”.

Herbs & Spices in Thai Cuisine

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Basils – There are 3 species of basil that are very aromatic herbs. They are American basil or Hoary basil (Kom Ko Kha), Basil or Sweet basil (horapha) and Holy basil (Kaphrao Khon). These 3 species are mainly found in Southeast Asia and also only the common basil (Sweet basil) is cultivated throughout the world. In Thai cuisine, these 3 species are widely used. The Hoary basil is delicate and has a citrus fragrant and is used in soups, salads and seafood dishes. The Sweet basil has a fragrant of aniseed and liquorice flavor. It is used in curries, relishes and seafood dishes. The Holy basil has a reminiscent of cloves and is also used in hot and spicy stir-fries and seafood dishes.

Cardamom (Luk Kravan) – It is also called as Bastard cardamom, Ceylon cardamom, Cluster cardamom. It is mainly comes whole dried fruit and is used as a spice for cooking. In Asian cooking, this spice is used in rice, vegetables, curries, meat and also used in flavoring beverages like tea and coffee and baked goods. It is not commonly used in Thai dishes except the Mussaman (Muslim) curry dish.
Chinese Keys (khao Chae) – It is also known as Finger root, Tropical crocus and Resurrection lily. Its name say a lot as it refers to the roots which resemble the keys the ancient Chinese used. Chinese Keys originate from Java and Sumatra, Indonesia. It has a highly aromatic scent and the tuberous roots are used as a spicy flavoring for food and pickles. The Chinese keys give a peppery and camphor-like flavor to dishes. It is also useful in Thai curry pastes and also an important ingredient to a dish called “Jungle Curry (Gaeng bpa moo)”.
Chili and Bird pepper (Phrik, Phrik Khii nuu) – It is also known as Capsicum, Cayenne pepper and pepper.  Both species, ripe or unripe chili is used fresh, dried or pickled and processed. Raw chili slices in soy or fish sauce are eaten with various cooked dishes. The chilies are finger-length chilies and cultivated in many varieties in red, green and yellow colors. Bird peppers, literally means ‘mouse dropping chilies’ are smaller but viciously pungent chilies.
Cinnamon (Suramarit) – The three species are Indonesian Cassia, Chinese Cassia and Vietnamese Cassia. They are all evergreen, aromatic shrubs with smooth bark. You can get them in bark or ground or liquid form. It is used mostly in curries such as “Gaeng Mussaman”.
Citron (Manao-Khwai) – The fruit of this shrub is an oval to oblong shaped berry and similar to an orange or pomelo. The exterior of the peel is rough and covered with tiny bumps, green color when unripe and yellow when ripe. The peel is very fragrant and very thick. In Thai cooking, the juice and zest of the citron are used.
Clove (Kan Phu) – It is highly priced by the Chinese in the olden days. In Southeast Asia, the clove was used more as a traditional medicine. In Thai cooking, it is used sparingly because of the strong perfumery scent. So the cloves are used mainly in the Mussaman (Muslin) curries.
Coriander (Phakom) – It is also known as cilantro and Chinese parsley. The dried coriander fruits are used as a spice. The fresh whole plants and leaves are used as a culinary herb or vegetable. The leaf and the roots of the coriander are essential to Thai cuisine. The fresh leaves are very often used as garnishes in salads, fried and stir-fried dishes and soups.
Cumin (Thian Kao/Yira) – It is also known as Roman caraway. This spice is used throughout the world. Cumin is often confused with the caraway because of look alike, but the caraway is more curved than the cumin.
Garlic (Krathiam) – It comes in a tight cluster of bulbs and each called a clove. Garlic is an universal ingredient in Thai cuisine. A large quantity of garlic is used in the red and green Thai curry pastes. It is also often used in the combination with ginger, coriander, peppercorns in chicken and pork dishes. Garlic is also used medicinally to lower blood sugar and cholesterol level. The dried bulbs are easily purchased from the market.
Galangal (Kha) – It is a ginger and grows from a rhizome. It is hard, fibrous, shiny light red or pale yellow and fragrant. Galangal is used as a spice and the scent is very difficult to describe but quite resembles a mixture of pepper and common ginger. It is used fresh and should stored in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. Galangal plays a great part in the “Tom Kha” soup and also an essential spice in the Thai curry pastes.
Ginger (Khing Klaeng) – There are three main products – fresh ginger, dried ginger or powdered ginger and preserved ginger. Fresh ginger can be eaten raw and also used as flavoring. In the Thai cooking, it is used mainly to counter pungent meat and poultry smells and to remove strong fishy odors in seafood.
Kaffir lime (Magrut) – Fresh kaffir lime leaves are from a very thorny shrub. When the leaves are torn or crushed it give out a smelling distinctively of citronella. The fruit of this shrub is extremely wrinkly or bumpy and is bitter and slightly fragrant. These leaves are feature widely in Thai cuisine.
Lemon grass (Khrai) – It is also known as Citronella. The lemon-scented grass is a very important in Thai cooking. Only the freshly white portion of the stalk is used, bruised and left to boil in curries and soups or sliced and sprinkled in tangy salads. Fresh steams are available all the time in Chinese/Asian grocery market.
Mint (Bai saranae) – The fresh fragrant leaves are used mainly as a condiment. In Thai cooking, mint is used mostly in salads and is also used in combination with coriander (cilantro) or basil leaves as a garnish.
Onions (Hom-huayai) – The common names are bulb onion and common onion. This bulb is quite similar to shallot bulb except that it is larger and has a coarser leaves. There are many different shape, size and color onions depending on the cultivated variety. Onion is also used as food, seasonings and spice. The bulb can be used raw, cooked or pickled. Shallots are preferred to onions in Thai cooking.
Pepper (Phrik-Thai) – The 3 kinds of pepper are: the green peppercorns, white peppercorns and black peppercorns. You can purchase them in whole or ground from any Asian/Chinese stores or supermarkets. In Thai cooking, black peppers are rarely used in most dishes. White peppers are commonly used as a seasoning and fresh peppercorns are used in stir-fries and curries.
Sawtooth coriander (Phakchi-farang) – It is commonly used in Vietnamese cuisine. The aromatic leaves smell like of coriander and used fresh to flavor rice, soups, fish dishes, stews, salads and curries. The leaves are very tender, young, fresh leaves are eaten raw or cooked. In Thai cooking, it is used mainly in salads and soups. It can be substituted with coriander (cilantro) leaves.
Screwpine (Bai-toey/Bai toey-hom) – It is also commonly known as Pandan. These leaves are used throughout Southeast Asia in cooking. The screwpine leaves are used extensively in desserts, rice and soups. In the Thai cuisine, screwpine leaves are mainly used to flavor rice and desserts. The leaves are also used as a wrapper in food to cook.
Shallot (hom-daeng or hom-lek) – It is also called potato onion and multiplier onion. This plant consists of bunch of bulbs which grow together. The shallot is shaped like a pear with a flat conical stem at the base; and narrow at the tip of the bulb. Shallot has a antibacterial properties that also used in traditional medicine for healing wound and reducing fevers. This bulb is used as food, seasoning and spice because of it pungency. It is mainly used as a spice for seafood and meats. It can be fried or pickled. Shallots are the essential ingredients in Thai chili paste and sauces.
Spring onion (hom-chin) – It has a similar structure as shallot or onion, except that the bulb are narrow and oblong in shape and passing into the green portion of the hollow leaves. The white region is usually eaten as a vegetable and also stir-fry with fish and chicken. The hollow leaves are sliced into short pieces and used as garnish in soup, salads and many other dishes. The Chinese believe that this plant can improve the functioning of internal organs, improve eyesight, improve recovery of wounds and sores, headaches and aid indigestion. It is also known as Scallion or bunching onion and green onion.
Tamarind (Bakham somkham) – It is also known as Indian date or Sweet tamarind. Tamarind pulp is sold in blocks wrapped in cellophane. To use the pulps you need to add warm water and soak for 30 seconds. Strain and remove the fiber and seeds, the tamarind water will be used as souring agents in Thai cooking.
Touch ginger (Kaalaa) – It is also known as Ginger bud, Nicola flower buds, Philippine waxflower and just to name a few. It has a pleasantly and subtly fragrant bracts of the young inflorescence are used as a flavoring ingredient in curries and vegetables. The young inflorescence is added to the very popular southern Thai rice salad (Khao yam) and the Rojak ( Mix fruit/vegetable salad in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia food.
Turmeric (Khamin) – It is from a ginger family. The main use of this species is the rhizome which is used as a culinary spice. It is available in fresh or powdered form. Turmeric is commonly used in Southern Thai cooking such as yellow curry or Mussaman (Muslim) curry.

Glossary of Ingredients for Chinese Cuisine

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Abalone – It can be purchased fresh, canned, dried or salted in fish market and Asian specialty stores. It is a symbol of wealth and good fortune to the Chinese. Abalone is used to enhance a distinct flavor to Chinese soup. It is one of the most expensive and exotic ingredients used in Chinese Cuisine. Abalone are found in the water were rocks and seaweeds are abundant. There are very few varieties and the red abalone is the most available in the marketplace. Canned abalone is the most popular used for cooking because it’s cheap and easy to cook.

Adzuki beans – It is cultivated in China and Japan. It is a small reddish-brown bush bean. You can get them fresh, dried or ground into flour.  The outer skin of the Adzuki bean is fairly thick and required soaking and long cooking time. The beans are mainly used in dessert.

Allspice – Its taste is like a combination of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. It can be brought in whole or ground. It is also known as Jamaican Pepper.

Almonds – It is not commonly used in Chinese stir fried dishes. Almonds are mostly as snack. It is usually coated with sugar in the form of candy.

Asparagus  – Asparagus are available in fresh, canned and frozen.  If you are getting fresh ones, always look for firm, bright-green or pale ivory stalks with tight tips. Once the asparagus is cut, it will start losing it flavor. Uncut asparagus can be kept in a Ziplock bag and refrigerate up to 3 days or place the asparagus standing upright in a container with a couple inches of water.

Aubergine – is a English word for “Eggplant”. It is actually a berry that is eaten as vegetable. It was cultivated in China since 500 BC. There are many varieties – Japanese eggplant, Chinese eggplant, Indian eggplant , American eggplant, Mediterranean areas eggplant and European eggplant. You can find this vegetable all year round. The Japanese & Mediterranean varieties are the small one. The Chinese eggplants are whitish and long. The American & European varieties are large, pear-shaped and deep purple in color.

Bamboo shoot – It is the shoots of a tropical bamboo plant. It shapes of cone and the meat is light-colored. It is very commonly used in Chinese cooking. Bamboo shoots are usually sold in can or sometimes fresh in Chinatown in the West, easily available in Asian countries. If you are using fresh bamboo shoots, they must be boiled or if not they will be toxic. Fresh bamboo shoots can be kept in the refrigerator for several days.

Beancurd sheet (Bai Ye) – It is made from soy beans. It has to be soak in water and baking soda to be soften first before use.

Beancurd stick – It is also known as dried bean stick. It is made from the thin skin layer form from the top of heated soy milk. To use the beancurd stick just simply soak the stick in water and use in fried dishes or soups.

Bean paste – After soy sauce is brewed, the soy bean pulp are removed from the vats and made into different kinds of condiments. The condiments are Brown Bean Sauce or Paste and Yellow Bean Sauce or Paste. It is a rich salty condiment replacing soy sauce and where thicker gravy is required.

Bean Sheet – It is also called Mung Bean Sheet and is made from the starches of mung bean. It can be available in fresh or dried.

Bean sprout – In Teochew it is called “Tow Gay” and in Cantonese it is “Nga Choi”. It is from the young sprouts of the germinating mung bean. It can be eaten raw or cook. Fresh bean sprouts can only be kept for 3 day in the refrigerator in a plastic bag. Once it becomes discolored and with a musty-smell, discards away. It can be available at any well-stock supermarkets or any Asian grocery stores.

Bell Pepper – It is also known as Capsicum or bell pepper. It has a sweet flavor, crisp texture and with a mild juicy flesh. It can be available in green, red and yellow color.

Bird’s Nest – It is made from the swiflets’ (swallow) saliva. It is very highly priced because of the process of harvesting the bird’s nest. Bird’s nests are available in two forms – shaped like a cup (high quality) and uneven & loose pieces. Most widely known to Chinese women that consuming bird’s nest has their ability to rejuvenate, restore youthfulness and ensure glowing and wrinkle-free complexion.

Bitter melon – It is also known as the balsam pear or bitter gourd. It resembles a cucumber with bumpy skin. It is usually stir fried or steamed with pork, ginger, black bean sauce and onion. This melon is also commonly used in Chinese soups. The taste of this bitter melon is very bitter when it becomes yellow/orange color from green color. It can be refrigerated in the fridge for at least a week more.

Fermented black bean – It is also known as Chinese black beans. They are made from soy beans flavored and preserved in salt and spices. It is also a very important and common ingredient in the Chinese cooking like Cantonese and Szechuan Cuisines. Most of the time, it is used to season stir fried, braised and steamed Chinese food. It is available in plastic bags or cans in any Asian grocery stores.

Black bean sauce – It is a sauce blended with fermented black bean and spices like chilies or garlic. It is usually packed in jars and is available at any Asian grocery stores.  The sauce is mainly used in stir-fried dishes and steamed dishes. It is also a ideal sauce for meat, poultry and vegetables.

Black hair & Black Moss – It is also known as Hair Seaweeds as the texture is fine threads of black dried vegetable that resemble human hair. The flavor is tasteless and when it is cooked, it is very slippery. The blackhair/black moss is very most commonly used in the traditional vegetarian dishes like Buddhist dishes and soups. On Chinese New Year this hair seaweeds is a must for the Chinese households to serve a dish associated with this ingredients. The reason is that the word pronunciation of “hair seaweeds” sounds like “Good luck”. This ingredient is available from well-stocked Asian grocery stores.

Black pepper – Most Chinese cooking only uses black pepper in hot and sour soups and mixed with salt as a dipping condiment for fried foods.

Bok Choy – It is also known as Chinese cabbage. There are roughly about 33 types of this variety. You many not familiarize with the names given to all these cabbages, but the taste of each vegetable are quite similar. Bok Choy literally translated is “White Cabbage” and the leaves are dark green color and its whitish ribs are crisp. These vegetables are usually used in the stir fried dishes. There are many varieties of Bok Choy too like Baby Bok Choy, Hanakan Hybrid, Mei Qing Choy, Hybrid, Pak Choy Green, San Fan, Hybrid, White Stem Bok Choy (Pak Choi), Chinese Bok Choy, Dwarf Bok Choy, Extra Dwarf Bok Choy, Joi Choi, Hybrid, Taisai, Tatsoi, Tatsoi Savoy, Toy Choy, Hyrid, Fun Jen, Hybrid, Golden Yellow, Hybrid and Red Violet Tatsoi, Hybrid.

Broccoli – The most common broccoli are usually deep green color. There is also white and purple colored broccoli. These vegetables are a relative of cauliflower and cabbage family. The broccoli can be found all year round available in the supermarket. Broccoli is made up of tiny, tightly closed green buds on a thick edible stem.  To purchase a stalk of broccoli you have to make sure that the tightly closed firm buds are in deep dark green colored. Do not purchase broccoli with open buds that are yellowish in color and a limping stem. Wash the broccoli under running and peel of the thick skin from the stem before cooking.

Bunching onion – It is also known as green onion or spring onion or shallot. It has a small white bulb at the root and with long green soft stems.  The whole stalk is edible and should be used while it is crisp and with a sharp fresh onion taste. It is used extensively in Chinese cooking.


Capsicum – It is part of the pepper family. There are two categories of pepper which are chili peppers and sweet/bell peppers. The capsicum is also known as bell pepper. It is not spicy but has a sweet taste.

Cashew – It is one of the most popular ingredients in many Chinese dishes. Cashew is not cook frequently as other nuts because they become soft very quickly and very often the cashew are added to hot dish just as it is about to serve. Cashew is very high in fat content and uncooked cashew should be refrigerated.

Castor sugar – It is a superfine sugar that dissolves almost instantly. You can substitute to granulated sugar.

Celery – The only variety that can be available in America is Green Pascal. The ribs, stalks and leaves are edible. You have to look for thick, crisp stalks and unwilted leaves. Celery can be stored in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.

Cellophane Noodle – It is made up of mung beans. It is also known as bean threads, bean vermicelli, transparent noodles and Chinese vermicelli. The Chinese noodles have a tasteless flavor. It is usually used in preparing soups and stir fry dishes.

Century Egg – Another name known is Hundred-year Egg. The eggs has been preserved with coating of lime, coal ashes and salt and buried for 3 months.  It has a pungent cheese-like flavor. The most commonly used are chicken eggs. It is usually eaten uncooked with soy sauce and pickled ginger.

Cheesecloth – It is made of cotton gauze/muslin. It is used in the kitchen for wrapping food and straining liquids.

Chicken Egg – It is available in two kinds, brown and white eggs and both have the same nutritional value. Nowadays, organic eggs are so popular in the marketplace. An average weight for an egg is about 2oz)

Chicken Stock – It is one of the most important ingredients in Chinese savory dishes.  It is known as Chicken broth in the West. It can be substituted with chicken cubes or granulates.

Chow-chow – It is a mustard flavored mixed vegetables and pickle relish. In the Chinese cuisine it was to describe a condiment made of dried orange peel and ginger in heavy syrup.

Chili bean paste/sauce – It is made of fermented soy beans, garlic and red chili peppers. Usually it is sold in jars. China and Taiwan are the two countries that manufacture the most. It is usually use in Szechuan & Hunan cuisines.

Chili Oil – It is made of hot red chilies soaked in vegetable oil. The pepper releases their heat and flavor which also give the oil a reddish color. It is very popular in Chinese cooking. It should be stored in the refrigerator to preserve the flavor.

Chili Pepper or Hot Pepper – Chili peppers are smaller, more pointed than sweet peppers and have a very fiery heat. It is more popular as a condiment than as a vegetable.

Chili powder – It is made up of dried hot peppers. It is pounded into a powder. Sometime chili powder is a combination of different spices and dried hot pepper.

Chinese cabbage – There are as many as 30 varieties of Chinese cabbage in Asia. The most common varieties in the West are Bok Choy, Celery cabbage (known as Napa cabbage) and Choy Sum.

Bok Choy – It has a dark green colored leaves with a whitish ribs. It is also called Chinese white cabbage. It is often used in stir-fry dishes for it crisp and crunchy texture. The other popular variety is Baby Pak Choy.

Choy Sum - Is also another variety of cabbage. It has a pale green slim stems with light green leaves and with a clusters of tiny yellow flowers in the inner shoots. It is commonly used in soups and stir-fries.

Celery cabbage - It is also known as Napa cabbage or Chinese celery cabbage and is native to China. It has a crisp, delicate, faint cabbage taste and texture; and also resembles Romaine lettuce. It is commonly used in stir-fries.

Chinese black mushroom – It is also known as Shiitake mushroom. It is usually grown in China and Japan. The Japanese shiitake mushrooms are more costly than the Chinese mushrooms. It is usually available in dried form and vacuum packed. It can be kept for about a year. Now, you can get these fresh in the marketplace. To use the dried mushroom, you need to wash well and soak in hot water for at least 40 minutes. Cut the stem off and strain the soaking water to add flavor to a stock.

Chinese broccoli – Chinese broccoli is pronounced as “Gai Lan” and is of the best vegetable. It does not look like regular broccoli. It has a long stem and big dark green leave.

Chinese chives – It is extensively used in Chinese cuisine. It is also called garlic chives. It has flat leaves and a garlicky flavor. It can also be substituted by garlic shoots or flowering chives.

Chinese sausage – It is called “Lap Cheong” in Cantonese. It is made of minced pork. The taste is a sweet and salty sausage. It can be available from Oriental stores.

Chinese Egg Noodle – It is also called Egg Flour Noodles and made up of wheat flour, eggs and water. It can be available fresh from some Asian supermarkets. It is also known as the most popular type of Asian noodle.

Chinese long bean – It is also called as Ward-long bean or asparagus bean. The length of the bean is about ½ a yard long and usually used in stir-fly dishes.

Chinese Pickled Cabbage/Mustard Green – There are at least four kinds of pickled vegetables. They are pickled mustard greens, Red-in-Snow, preserved mustard greens and Tianjin pickled vegetables. The pickled mustard greens come from North China and the taste is sour. It must be rinsed before using. It can be kept for at least 2 week. The preserved mustard greens are the specialty of the Hakka Clans in China. The leaves are dark green color and have a smoky flavor. The Red-in-Snow type is also known as “Snow Cabbage” or at time called “pickled cabbage”. It is usually packed in can and always salted. It needs to rinse off the salt before cooking. Tianjin pickled vegetable is also come from the North of China. It has a sweeter flavor. It is always used to cook with duck meat in soup.

Chinese spinach – It is also known as Amarand. The leaves have a sweet flavor and also a source of protein. The Asians also called this spinach, “Een Choy”.

Chives – It is a plant related to onion, garlic and leek. It has a very delicate onion smell. It has a bright green color, slender and hollow stems. Usually chives are used to flavor and garnish fish, meat, soups, seafood, tofu, omelets, poultry and soups. Chives can be kept in the refrigerator for just a couple of days.

Cinnamon – Cinnamon are sold in two forms. It is available in sticks and the other in powder. Cinnamon is the inner bark of a tropical evergreen tree. The spicy bark is harvested during monsoon period as the barks will be more pliable to strip. The world biggest producer is Sri Lanka (Ceylon).

Cloves – It is a flower bud of a clove tree. It is always sold dried as it gives out the pungent and long-lasting taste. In cooking, it is usually used in whole but sometimes in powder. In the ancient days, the Chinese refresh their mouth by sucking on cloves. It is always best to purchase cloves in whole as the aroma will last longer than ground cloves. The most famous spice used in Chinese cooking is the Chinese five-spice, a mixture of cloves, anise pepper, cassia, fennel seeds and star anise.

Coconut Milk – A liquid is produced by combining fresh/frozen grated coconut with one equal amount of hot water. Mixed well and strain thru a cheesecloth.  The liquid that produced is known as coconut milk. It can also available in can from the Asian specialty store and most supermarkets. Mainly it is used to cook curries and desserts.

Coriander Leaf – It is also called Chinese parsley or cilantro. It is a very aromatic herb. It is a must fresh herb in the Chinese cuisine. It is not everyone favorite herb because of its distinctive, medicinal flavor and pungent smell, use it with discretion. When purchasing fresh coriander leaves you need to look for crisp, firm and green.

Corn flour – It is a fine ground cornmeal. It is obtained from kernels from which the germ has been removed. It is usually used for breading and baking.

Cornstarch – It is obtained by extracting the starch from the endosperm of the corn kernel to make into a fine white powder called cornstarch.  In the Chinese cooking it is often used to thicken the liquid/sauce for a smooth texture and the seasonings to adhere to the ingredients like meat or vegetables or seafood. The cornstarch is added to the cold water to dissolve and then add into the hot food during the final stage of cooking and stir until the mixture is thickened.

Corn syrup – It is a thick and sweet syrup which can be available in light or dark color. Corn syrup is used as a lesser sweet replacement for granulated sugar.

Crab – Crab is also considered highly priced seafood throughout the world. Its texture and flavor are also considered to be the equal of lobster. There are many varieties of crab like soft shell crabs, stone crabs and rock crabs and many others. Crabs should always be purchased alive if you can. Also select crabs that are very heavy in size and has no smell of ammonia. Crab meat can be purchased in cans.

Cucumber – Cucumbers are a gourd and melon family. When purchasing a cucumber, always remember to select a firm and evenly shaped. The skin should be dark green in color and smooth surface. China is one of the largest producers of cucumbers in the world. Cucumbers should be kept in the refrigerator not more than a week. Cucumbers also come in many varieties.

Cumin – It can be purchased in whole or powdered. This spice is used occasionally in Northern Chinese cooking.

Curry Powder – It is made up of mixture of red peppers, cloves, mace, nutmeg, cardamom, fenugreek, cinnamon and cumin.


Daikon – It is also called Chinese white radish or Oriental radish. Its taste is sharp but somewhat sweet too. It is cooked like any turnip, in soup, stews or stir-fry. It has a firm and smooth skin.

Dried chestnut – When using them, it has to be soaked in water for overnight first; and then cook in water over low heat for 30 minutes.


Eggplant  It is also known as Aubergine. The Chinese eggplants are usually whitish in color, both inside and outside. There are many varieties in the world. In Europe and America, the eggplants are large pear shape and purple in color, Japan and Mediterranean regions the eggplants are small. The Chinese eggplants you do not need to peel before use. The American ones, you need to peel the thick skin off before using. The small and young eggplants contain fewer seeds

Egg roll wrapper  It is also known as egg roll skins. Egg rolls wrappers and Spring roll wrappers are two different wrappers. Egg roll wrappers are made from wheat flour, egg yolk and salt as Spring roll wrappers are from all-purpose flour and water. Egg roll wrappers are thicker than Spring rollwrappers.

Enoki mushroom  It is also known as golden needles mushroom because of its small white mushrooms grown in clumps with thin and long stems end with a tiny ball caps. The taste is fruity and mild flavor.  These mushrooms are very highly recognized in Asia in many of the prominent dishes in the Chinese and Japanese Cuisines.

Fermented bean curd – It is also known as Asia-style cheese. The taste is very salty and accompanied with a powerful strong smell; one has to learn to enjoy this bean curd. It is made up of fermented soy bean curd cured in rice wine, salt and chili or sesame oil. It goes well as a side dish with Asia-style rice porridge (Congee) and also as a seasoning with some meat dishes.

Fermented black bean – Refer to Black beans, fermented
Fresh rice noodles – It is also known as “Hor Fun” in Cantonese dialect. It is made up of rice flour base. The mixture will be spread thinly/thickly onto a square baking tray and steam until cooked. After that it will be oiled and cut into broad/thin flat strips. It is widely used as snack, known as Dim Sum and also used in various dishes, like subgum noodles and Char Kway Teow.

Five-spice Powder – In Chinese translation it is called Five Fragrances. It is a blend of spices consisting of ground cloves, cinnamon, Szechuan peppercorn, star anise and fennel. It can be substitute with allspice. It is also one of the most popular seasoning in the Chinese Cuisine. It should be used sparing because of it strong spices. 

Fish maw – It is the air bladder of a large fish. It is very costly and also a luxury ingredients in the Chinese cuisine. The texture of fish maw is like the sea cucumber. It is also known as a nourishing tonic for the blood circulation in the Chinese culinary traditions. There are two ways of purchasing them – in the form of dried fish maws and deep-fried fish maws. Fish Maws are mainly used in soups or braising dishes.


Gailan – Refer to Chinese broccoli.

Garlic – It is also a member of the onion family. It has a pungent flavor and very aromatic when it is fried with oil. It is a very common ingredient for many Asian cuisines like Korean, Japanese, Indian, Chinese – especially a essential ingredient in Szechuan cooking. You can get them in many forms, like fresh, paste and powder.

Garlic chive – Refer to Chinese Chives

Ginger root – It is widely used in Asian cuisine likes Korean, Japanese Indian, Malaysian, Singaporean, Chinese, Thai and many South-east Asian cooking. Ginger is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale. Young ginger roots are juicy and with a very mild taste and the mature ginger roots are fibrous and a little dry. The juice of mature ginger roots is very potent. It also acts as a food preservative. You can them in dried, paste and powder form. It is a ingredient often used in Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and many South Asian cuisines.

Ginger sherry - The gingers are peeled and thinly sliced and pickled in the sherry or vinegar. It is often use as snack or condiments added to many Chinese dishes
Ginkgo nut – It is a fruit from maidenhair tree. The fruit is actually a nut with a very hard creamy color shell. Inside is the seed and the Chinese believed it has health benefits. They are usually used in rice porridge (congee) and during weddings and Chinese New Year.

Glass Noodle – Refer to Cellophane Noodles

Golden Needle – Refer to Tiger Lily buds

Golden Needle Mushroom – Refer to Enoki mushroom

Green onion – Refer to scallion


Ham – It is the cured leg of pork and comes in whole or half portion. It is fully cooked most of the time unless labeled. Easy assessable from Supermarkets or well stocked Deli.

Hoisin Sauce – This is a Chinese Barbecue Sauce and also known as Peking sauce. It is made of garlic, chili, soy beans, sweet potato, sugar, salt, sesame seeds and other spices. This sauce is commonly used with barbecued pork (known as Chai Siew), meat & seafood dumplings and the world well-known dish, the Peking duck.

Hair Seaweed – It is also called black moss or black hair. The texture is fine thread, resembles hair and has no flavor or taste when cooked. It can be found in Asian and Chinese supermarkets. During Chinese New Year, this hair seaweeds are always used in one of dish called Buddhist Delight and Soup as in Cantonese dialect is sound “Fatt Choy” means “Good Fortune”.

Hot Bean Sauce – This sauce is very popular in Szchuan and Hunan Cuisines. It may also use in the Chinese Cuisine for some meat and seafood dishes. It is basically the combination of hot chili sauce and brown bean sauce.

Hot Chili Oil – Dried hot chili peppers and other spices are been pan-fried and infuse with vegetable oil until the oil becomes very spicy. Then the hot peppers and spices are removed and sieved and stored in airtight glass jars. This oil is always used as table condiment to accompany with finished stir-fries dishes, dumplings and many others.

Hot Chili Sauce – This sauce is made up of dried crushed chili peppers and sweet red peppers with soy sauce, garlic, salt, onions and other spices.

Hundred-year Egg – These eggs are coated with lime ashes and salt and preserved for 100 days by burying in ashes. The lime act as a petrifying effect making the egg look alike it has been preserved for a century. When the outer coat is removed and exposed – an amber-colored white and golden yolk. It has a cheese-like flavor. These eggs in the commercial market are known as Ming Dynasty egg, century egg but the most commonly known is hundred-year egg. It is made of chicken eggs; sometime you can get them in duck or goose eggs. Mainly used as appetizer in the combination cold dish serve during festive time…like wedding, birthday, Chinese New Year and so on…


Jellyfish – It is processed with salt and alum and with a tedious processing, the jellyfish becomes a crunchy and crispy texture. It does not have a unique or special taste but only gelatin texture. In Chinese cuisine, it is mainly used as an appetizer.


Kumquat – In Cantonese pronounced as Gam Gwat. It is a very small Asian citrus fruit with a soft bright orange color and the taste is slightly tart. It is cultivated in Japan, Philippines and Southeast Asia. Kumquat is usually consumed whole and raw. It also used in the culinary art in preparing preserves, candy and one the salad ingredient. It can be available in can.


Leek – Leek is a vegetable and also belongs to the onion and garlic family. It has a very mild and sweeter taste than onions. In is grown in a long cylinder of bundled leaf sheaths. It is also very commonly use in many cuisines. The edible part of the leek is the white portion and the light green stem. The darker portion is always discarded. The small of the leek smell similar to green onion in its raw state.

Lettuce – In the marketplace there are 3 most commonly used lettuces. Such as the buttered heads/cabbage, crisp-heads and romaine/cos varieties and not a hardy vegetable; and should handle with great care as their leaves are easily bruised and wilted. It has to be refrigerated. In order to avoid the bruising and browning you must use a plastic serrated knife instead a metal blade knife to cut.


Oil - Polyunsaturated oils are more preferred for Chinese cooking. Peanut oil is the most flavorsome by the Chinese chefs. Corn, soy and safflower oil are used in Chinese cooking. These days, in China soy oil are widely used because it is easily available. Discard oil after a long period of used like deep-frying when it changes from clear to dark color.

Onion – This bulb is also considered as vegetable and condiment in Asian cooking. The most common onions are Red onions, Spanish onions and white onions. The red onions are the sweetest, Spanish onions are the mildest and the white onions are sweet and mild taste. The other variety is green onions and is also known as Scallions or Spring onions.

Orange peel - It is the dried peel of tangerine orange. It has a very strong flavor. To use these dried peels you need to first soak in hot water until soft in order to use in stir-fries. It can be used in soups and desserts. It can be substituted by fresh orange peel.

Oyster Sauce – It is made from oysters with soy sauce. It is a very delicate dark brown sauce and is a most popular seasoning to add richness in food without altering it natural flavor. There is no substitution for this sauce.

Oyster Mushroom – It shapes like a fan. The color of this fan-liked mushroom flesh is white and grayish brown on the exterior. It has a very peppery and robust flavor in the raw state and commonly used in salads. The oyster mushrooms when cooked, it softens and has a unique flavor added to soups, stir-fries and casseroles.


Pomelo – It has a thick, light pale green skin and change to yellow color when it is ripened. The flesh is a sweet white segment with a thin, clear thick film wrap around it. It is a citrus fruit and native to Southeast Asia. It can be used in stir-fry dishes and salad.

Pot Sticker Wrapper – It is made up of flour, eggs and salt and roll out into very thin sheets of dough. The skins (wrappers) are used for making dumplings. The dumplings are filled with meat and vegetables mixture, sealed all the edges and then boiled or steamed or pan-fried or deep-fried. It is a common and popular dumpling in China. There are many variations of using these wrappers.

Preserved white radish or turnip – These preserved roots are very common in the Chinese cuisine, especially in China. These are usually sun-dried in strips and then salted or soaked in soy sauce or just plain salted water. They can be preserved them dried or in liquid. If you are using the dried types, you need to wash off the salt but the ones preserved in soy sauce are normally prep in slices or cubes and store in clean small jar. No prep is necessary.


Quail Egg – Is the egg of the Quail. It is a very tiny little bird with feathers totally brown. It looks like a small chick but the quail is a grown up bird. The quail eggs are considered a delicacy in the Chinese cuisine. It is usually served hard-boiled, poached or sometime pickled.


Red bean – The red beans are quite similar to red kidney beans but rather small. In Chinese cuisine it is usually cooked with sugar and very often it is mashed to a paste. The red bean paste will use in making Asian buns and cakes. It is very commonly used in South East Asia countries. It can be cooked into a sweeten bean soup. A numbers of dessert called for this red bean paste like moon cakes, Chinese steamed buns, sticky dumplings and many more.

Red Date – The date is the fruit of a deciduous shrub in the Arabian Desert. Most of Chinese dates are dried. In the Chinese culture it is believed that it gives nourishes to the blood and calms the mind. In food it is used to enhance and harmonize other herbs. There 3 forms of Chinese date…they are black date, being smoked and dried, that is why it called. Red dates are due to its natural state after harvest and dried. Brown dates being soaked and dried.

Rice-flour Noodle – It is made up of water and flour. It can come from thin to thick noodles.  It can be fresh or dried. Fresh and died noodles are available at any Asian/Chinese grocery stores and dried noodles in the well-stocked supermarkets.

Rice vermicelli – In Southeast Asia, especially, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia it is known as “Bee Hoon”. It is also made up rice flour and water. It is mainly comes dried in a cellophane packaging. It is a fine to thin opaque noodles. To prep the noodles you need to soak in warm water for about 20-30 minutes before cooking. Mainly use the noodles for stir-fry, deep-fried as garnish or soup. You can get them at any Asian/Chinese grocery stores or well-stored supermarkets.

Rice Paper – It is made of rice flour and water. The sheets come in round, square and triangles. It is mainly used for wrapping vegetable/meat mixture to make to a Chinese spring roll (Chinese) or samosa (Indian) or fresh popiah (Singaporean spring roll) and summer spring roll (Vietnamese).

Rice Vinegar – In Chinese cuisine there are three kinds of rice vinegars, such as white, black and red color. It is mainly made from fermented rice. The white vinegar is milder than Western distilled vinegar. It is used in sweet and sour dishes. Black vinegar is milder then Western malt vinegar and is used generally as table condiment. Red vinegar spicy and sweet flavored vinegar are mainly from Zhejiang Province, China.

Rice Wine – In China it is called Shao Hsing or Chinese cooking wine. It has a very clear, dry strong flavorful wine made from fermented rice. It can be substituted with dry sherry or Sake. It is mainly used in stir-fries and steam dishes. The alcohol contains is low. It is available at any Chinese grocers.

Rice Vinegar – It is an important ingredients in Chinese cuisine is that salt is not easily substituted with soy sauce. In some of the dishes are simply clear and pure white in it sauces. It is known as “white or clear cooking” like “Soft Tofu and Shrimps in Egg White Sauce”.


Shallot – It is also known as potato onion or small onion. It has a more aromatic and very subtle in flavor than onion and less pungent than garlic. The shallot normally has two cloves in a bulb. It is very easy to be spotted in the supermarket market or Asian/Chinese store as the size is smaller than the big red onion. It can be sliced and deep-fried to be used as garnish in soup, fried noodles and fried rice. It can be stored for about a month in a dry and dark cool place. Also it can be stored in the refrigerator.

Shark’s fin – It is one of the most expensive delicacy dishes of the Chinese cuisine. It is mainly used in Shark’s fin soup as the fins have its glutinous and slippery texture that replaces the cornstarch for it thickening. The Chinese believe that shark’s fins will strengthen the human internal organs and the aging. This expensive has been revered in China for centuries.

Snow Fungus – It is often used in Chinese savory soup and Chinese sweet soup (dessert). The Chinese believe that this fungus will improve their skin and complexion. It is also known as silver ears or white tree ear fungus. The most superior quality snow fungus is the ones with a pale and yellowish-white color texture. The low grade ones are usually the texture are very white in color.

Snow pea – It is also known as Sugar peas, Sweet peas or Chinese peas. It can be eaten raw and also ideally used in stir-fries. It is a flat and soft pod with a light green translucent smooth cover.

Soy bean – It has been cultivated in China for over more than 3,000 years ago. In the Chinese culture soybeans represent one of the five essential grains (wheat, rice, millet and barley) of life. Soybean is one of the most nutritious and easily digested of most of beans. You can purchase them in many ways, soybean oil, soy sauce, soy flour, tofu, soybean curd and milk. It has high vegetable protein content. The Chinese also believe that when you are pregnant, you must drink soy milk so that the baby when he/she is born will have a fair complexion.

Soy sauce – The soybeans are stored in large earthen pot with salt and water to ferment. It brewed into a highly flavored light salty liquid known as soy sauce. If molasses are added during the brewing its liquid will became a dark sauce. If more sugar is added it becomes sweet soy sauce. You can purchase all these three kinds from any Asian/Chinese grocery store and well-stocked supermarkets.

Spring onion – see Scallion

Spring roll wrapper – see Rice Paper

Star anise – It is also known as Chinese anise. The name tells you that it resembles a star and the texture is very woody. It is one of the most popular ingredients in the Chinese cuisine. It is mainly used in Chinese cooking especially in stewing and braising dishes. This spice has a licorice flavor and also one of the ingredients used in making Chinese Five-Spice powder. You need to remove this spice after cooking before you serve.

Starch – One of the most important ingredients in Chinese cooking for binding. It can be substituted to corn flour or water caltrops or pea flour. Not all Chinese cooking calls for starch. The Cantonese cuisine uses more starch in many of dishes for thickening and Chinese cuisine uses lesser. Also the Chinese prefers a lesser thin skin for their deep-fried dishes.

Straw mushroom – These are cultivated on straw to get its name. It is also known as paddy-straw mushrooms. The straw mushroom has a conical cap over a bulbous stem and has a grayish brown color. It has a very mild flavor than the Shiitake mushroom. It is mainly available in can but sometime you can get fresh in specialty produce stores.

Sichuan/Szechuan pepper or peppercorn – In Chinese it is called “Hua Jiao”. It tastes is only faintly hot but it marries into many food well and it tastes. Sichuan/Szechuan peppercorns cannot be substituted with red chili peppers or crushed pepper. There is a very well known dish called Sichuan Chicken.


Walnut – It is an edible seeds and plays an most important nuts in Chinese Cuisine. It usually used in any savory and sweet dishes. Walnuts can be eaten in raw form which contains the most antioxidants.


Yand-long Bean – In Asia, it is known as Chinese long bean or asparagus bean. It resembles a long, thin and flexible green rope with pods. It is a all year round vegetable in Asia and Southeast Asia. Its taste is less sweet than green beans. The vegetable can be boiled, steamed and stir-fried.


Water Caltrop – Its original name is called Ram Horn Nut in English; Ling Jiao in Chinese and Ling Gok in Cantonese (Hong Kong). At time it is called Peanut in Water. It is a aquatic plant. It can be cooked in three forms…boil or roast and steam.

Water chestnut – This nut has a dark-brown shell and with a creamy colored, sweet and nutty flesh. It is available in can, fresh or dried from any well-stocked supermarkets or Oriental Grocery stores. It plays a very important role in Chinese cooking especially stir-fried dishes.

Watercress – The hollow stems of watercress are floating and with small, crisp, dark-green leaves and flowers in clusters. It has a strong, peppery and slight bitter taste. Available all year round and are usually packed into a small bunch. It can be used raw or cook form. In the Chinese cuisine, it is mainly used in soups, as garnish and also stir-fried dishes.

Water Convolvulus – In English, is known as Water Morning Glory, Water Spinach, Chinese Spinach or Swamp Cabbage. It is a common vegetable in Asia and Southeast Asia. This vegetable can be cooked in many ways…hot and spicy, simply stir-fry with minced garlic and onions, grated coconut, sambal with or within meats.

White Pepper – The skin of the fresh pepper seeds are soaked in water for a week; and remove the skin of the fruit and then the naked seed is dried. They come in two forms – whole or powdered. It has a very unique taste than black pepper. Most Asian cooking calls for this pepper.

White rice – It is a good source of starch and is the stable food of the Southeast Asia countries.

Wolfberry – Chinese has been growing this herb for hundreds of years. It is a wild bush only found in the North-west of China. In the marketplace is called Goji berry. It is mainly sold dried and need to be cooked before consumption. The Chinese use these more as a herbal ingredient and are often used in tonic soups, rice porridge (congee) and tea.

Wonton – A popular dumpling in the Chinese cuisine. It is made up of egg noodle dough filled with ground pork or seafood and vegetables mixture. It can be served steam, deep fried and boiled.

Wood Ear Fungi – Also known as Tree Ear, Jew’s Ear or Cloud Ear Mushroom. It looks like ear shape. It has a translucent flesh with a firm gelatin, crunchy and tasteless flavor. It is sold in most Asian and Chinese stores. It comes in a dried form. You needs to soak them in cold water and remove the gelatin film; then soak them again with warm water for 15 minutes. By this stage the dried wood ear fungi will expand by 4 times in size. It is one of the common ingredients in Szchuan Cuisine.


XO Sauce – Created by Lee Kum Kee Company, a producer of all kinds of gourmet condiment. This concentrated sauce does not contain XO (Extra Ordinary Congac/Brandy). It is a spicy seafood sauce. It is made of chopped scallops, dried shrimp and fish blend with onions, garlic, oil and chili.  It is also an excellent sauce to enrich any meats, vegetables, tofu, rice and seafood.
Yellow bean paste/sauce – Refer to Soy Bean Sauce.

Yellow Chinese chive – At time it is also called yellow garlic chives and this chive gets it color because it has been shield from the sun.

Zhenjiang Vinegar – This vinegar has a very sharp and spicy flavor like Worcestershire Sauce; and it is made from millet.

Zucchini – It has a creamy white-green color fresh and the taste is mild and delicate flavor. The shape is long and cylindrical with a dark to light green color skin. It is a summer squash.