Taro - To choose a taro, it must be light and dry. The heavy ones are too moist inside and will be tough when cooked. Good taros will be floury (starchy).
Tapioca - Starchy substance available in several forms including granules, flakes, pellets and flour. Tapioca flour (also called cassava flour) is used as a thickening agent much like cornstarch. Tapioca of any type can be stored indefinitely in a cool, dark area.
Tangerine peel - See orange peel
Tianjin pickled vegetables - See pickled Chinese cabbage.
Tiger lily buds - also known as golden needles or lily flowers/bloom, they have a musky flavor and chewy. Usually tied into a knot for cooking to enhance texture. Soak for 30 minutes in hot water until soft before use. Remove the stem (hard end) before using.
Tofu - Also known "dou fu", is obtained from the milky liquid extracted from soy beans. Usually sold fresh in cakes about 3 inches square. that look and feel rather like a soft, pale cheese. It can be kept for up to 10 days if drained and then stored, immersed in water, in a sealed container. Change the water daily. It is also available canned. With its high-protein, low-fat content, tofu is a popular meat substitute for vegetarians and health-conscious diners. Tofu has a bland flavor that absorbs other flavors, making it very versatile. To learn more about the amazing Tofu, go here.
Tomato - Tomatoes are technically berries, though they are generally thought of as vegetables. Select firm, fragrant, richly colored tomatoes that are heavy for their size. Avoid any with blemishes. To peel a tomato, make a small x incision in the bottom of the tomato and place it in a pot of boiling water for about 15 seconds. Remove the tomato and shock it in ice water to stop the cooking and set the color. The skin should now be easy to peel. Avoid cooking tomatoes in aluminum pots, as the corrosive effect of their acid makes them take on an unpleasant metal taste that can also be harmful. 2 1/2 pounds tomatoes yields 3 cups chopped and drained tomatoes.
Transparent noodles - see Cellophane Noodles
Turmeric - A relative of ginger, this spice has a bitter, somewhat harsh flavor and bright yellow color that makes it useful as a dying agent. Turmeric is widely used in Indian cooking, especially in curries. Though its coloring properties are similar to saffron, the two are not interchangeable in taste. Take care when cooking with turmeric, as it may permanently stain clothing.
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