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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
Q & R

Quail Egg - Considered a delicacy, these small eggs are usually eaten hard-boiled or poached and in aspic. Recipe - Steamed Egg with Salted, Pickled and Quail Egg

Ram Horn Nuts - See Water Caltrops...

Red BeansRed beans - Dark red beans similar to red kidney beans, but smaller; popular in chili and as refried beans. They stay firm when cooked and are excellent when accompanying rice. They are available dried in most supermarkets; also known as Mexican Red Beans.

Chinese Red DatesRed Dates are the dried fruit of the Chinese jujube tree, not a palm date, and have a bright red crinkly skin. Either soak for 3 hours or cook very slowly. Read more about types of Chinese Dates and their health benefits.

Red-in-snow - See pickled Chinese cabbage.

Chinese thin rice noodlesRice-flour Noodles - made with flour and water, they are available, from thin rice vermicelli to the thick broad flat noodles. They are a traditional ingredient in Chinese chicken salad, and are tasty in soups and stir-fries. See the role of noodles in Chinese food.


Rice vermicelli
- Thin translucent noodles, this rice-flour noodle is delicious when stir fried or used in soups. Rice vermicelli can be used to garnish several dishes when deep-fried. Soak in hot water until tender before using.

Rice Paper - Spring Roll wrapper - made from rice flour and water, rice papers are available in either round or triangular form and are used for spring rolls. The unique patterning on each paper comes from their being dried on bamboo mats in the sun. Available only in dried form, usually in the size of 8.5 in. or 12 in. squares, they are firm and must be softened in hot water before use. Rice paper is very thin and so when deep fried, it is crispier than egg roll skin. Vegetarian use this as substitute for egg roll skins because it does not contain eggs.

If you don't have the time to make pancake wrappers for fresh lumpia, you can also use Vietnamese rice paper wrappers, which are sold in many Asian grocery stores. Look for round wrappers about 8 inches across. They're paper-thin, translucent, and brittle, with a delicate lattice pattern from the woven drying racks on which they're made. To soften them, dip them briefly in a bowl of warm water, shaking off the excess before you put the wrapper on your plate. In a few seconds, the wrapper will be soft enough to roll around the lettuce and the filling.

Rice Vinegar There are three kinds of Chinese rice vinegars: white, black and red made from fermented rice. White vinegar is colorless, much milder than Western distilled vinegar and is used primarily in sweet-and-sour dishes. Black vinegar is milder than Western malt vinegar and is most often used as a table condiment (goes very well with shark's fin soup). Red vinegar or red vinegar sauce is a sweet, spicy flavored vinegar from Zhejiang. Unlike Western products, Chinese vinegars are more nutritious and feature more interesting flavors. Rice vinegar is available in Asian markets and many supermarkets. See also Zhenjiang vinegar.

Rice wine: Called Shao Hsing in China, also known as Chinese cooking wine is a dry, strong, flavorful and clear wine made from fermented rice. If rice wine is not available, Japanese sake or dry sherry can be substituted. Rice wines are usually lower in alcohol and popular in Chinese stir fried and steamed dishes.

Rock Sugar - Rock sugar is crystallised raw sugar. Its flavor is more mellow and not as sweet as refined sugar. It is used in braised dishes and in the master sauce. It is available in Asian groceries.

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.