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GLOSSARY OF INGREDIENTS IN CHINESE RECIPES

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

I, J, K & L

Jellyfish - Jellyfish are salted and flaccid to the tough. Strictly speaking they are preserved, not dried. The best kind is amber in color, large thick and firm pieces. It doesn’t have any special taste of its own but its gelatinous texture is highly enjoyable. Usually used in salad and indispensable in assorted cold starters. See how to soften and prepare jellyfish.

Kidney beans - The mature seeds of green beans; large, kidney-shaped beans with a robust, full-bodied flavor and soft texture. They come in dark reddish-brown, brown, black and white varieties and are usually only available dried or canned.

Kumquat - A very small Asian citrus fruit; oval to round in shape,Kumquats with a soft bright orange rind and slightly tart orange flesh. The entire fruit can be eaten fresh or used for preserves. Select bright orange fruit with no greenish cast, and store in the refrigerator. Canned kumquats are also available, usually packed in sweet, heavy syrup.

Lard - For Chinese cooking, lard had better be made from leaf lard at the market. It is much better than ready lard in boxes. You cut it into two inch pieces and heat them in a dry pan. When all melted, press on the pieces gently to squeeze out the liquid. The 'leafing' then shrinks into fried pieces and becomes lard leavings. They are good to eat when hot and crisp, and usable to cook with stir fries dishes and particularly yummy with vegetables. When the leavings are brown, the lard is done. Pour into a heat-resisting container and let cool. Scoop as needed..

Leeks - Leeks have a subtle and delicate flavor that is milder and sweeter than that of onions. The white part grows underground and is formed of sheathed cylindrical leaves; it is the more tender part of thisLeeks vegetable and that which is the most appreciated and most commonly used. The white adds a subtle touch to various dishes without masking other flavors. Select those with crisp, brightly colored leaves and an unblemished bulb. Avoid any with withered or discolored leaves. Leeks can be refrigerated in a plastic bag up to five days. Before using, trim roots and green tops and split the leeks from top to bottom and wash thoroughly to remove the earth and sand trapped between the leaf layers. See also scallion.

Lettuce -There are three common varieties of lettuce found in the supermarket : crisphead, which has a tight solid head ; cos or romaine,Lettuce which has elongated, coarse leaves; and butteredheads or cabbage, which has loose, coarse leaves. Look for lettuce with a bright color and no bruising or wilting. Leave those that are browning along the tips of the leaves or excessively pale. Rinse and thoroughly dry. Tear the leaves instead of cutting them to avoid bruising. Lettuce will keep in the refrigerator in plastic for two or three days, but is best when used immediately after purchase.

Lily flower - See Tiger lily buds

Linguine - Long, narrow, flat pasta noodles. The name means "little tongues."

Litchi, lychees - The litchi has been cultivated in China for thousandsLychees of years, where its sweet-tart flavor accents duck and pork dishes. This small fruit starts out rose colored, but develops a brown, rough, brittle skin as it matures. The translucent jelly-like flesh surrounds a single inedible seed. Fresh litchis are available in Asian markets and in some supermarkets during the summer months. Litchis are often called for in Chinese recipes, Chinese food recipe, especially for sauces. Recipe - Lychee Pork

Lobster - It is considered best to purchased lobsters while they are still alive; their large claws should be secured with strong rubber bands to allow safe handling. A live lobster should be fresh, heavy for its size,Lobster and still display much movement; the shell should be dark red to black. Live lobsters should be prepared immediately; however you can keep a live lobster in the refrigerator rolled loosely in damp newspaper and enclosed in a paper bag pierced with air holes in the vegetable compartment for no more than two days. Cooked lobsters are also available. You can test the freshness of cooked specimens by uncurling the tail; if it springs back into the curled position, the lobster was fresh when cooked. Avoid dead uncooked lobsters, as the meat spoils very quickly. Fresh cooked meat is sometimes available; canned and frozen meat is best used in seafood salads.

Longan - Also known as "Dragon's Eye", it is a small, round fruitLongans native to southeast Asia; similar to the litchi with a subtler sweet flavor. Longans have a pink, red or yellow skin covering soft white pulp surrounding a large black seed. They can be peeled and eaten as a snack, or used in Asian dishes and desserts. Fresh longans are sometimes available in Asian markets in July and August and will keep refrigerated in a plastic bag for up to three weeks. Dried and canned longans are available throughout the year

Loquat - A small pear-shaped fruit native to China; has yellowishLoquat-orange skin and juicy flesh. Loquats are most often found in preserves and jellies since they quickly lose quality once picked

Lotus - a water lily, is the most versatile plant in China. The stem/root is sweet and can be eaten as fruit, sliced and stir friedLotus root, or stuffed with glutinous rice in its flue-shaped holes and steamed as dessert. Its leaf is a fine wrapper of food before steaming. When fresh, Lotus Root Slicedit is used to give a delicate scent to congee or steamed meat. Its flower is both majestic and fragrant. Its seeds, when young are juicy as fruit, whether eaten raw or boiled with sugar are commonly used in Chinese desserts and pastry fillings. Recipe - Boiled Pork with Lotus Root

Lotus LeavesLotus leaves - used to wrap around food (rice and fillings) and then steamed. These leaves of the water lily will impart a pleasant tea-like flavor to the food. Served bundled in the leaves and unwrapped only when to be eaten. Recipes - Steamed Pork Wrapped in Lotus Leaves and Steamed Chicken Wrapped in Lotus Leaves

Lotus seeds or nuts - are mainly available in shops specializing in Chinese foods. They can beLotus Pod and Nuts bought loose as well as prepared, that is, shelled, halved and with the center germ removed. They are also available in sweet syrup or as paste. The lotus seed is popular made into sweet soups, rice desserts and snacks. Its use is traditionally associated with festivals. Cooked and mashed lotus seeds paste is used as mooncake filling. Require soaking for 24 hours, during which their size will double. Recipes - Ham with Lotus Seeds in Honey Sauce & Lotus Sweets

Learn About Chinese Cooking Ingredients Video

Learn How to Prepare Broccoli for your Favorite Dishes Video

Learn How to Prepare an Onion for Chinese Cooking Video

Learn How to Prepare Bok Choy for Chinese Food Video

Some Basic Ingredients for Chinese Food Video

How to Remove Fibers from Peapods for Chinese Food Ingredients Video

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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Last Modified: 11/28/11.