Palm Sugar
Ingredients

Palm Sugar

Palm Sugar Photo by stu_spivack  Palm sugar is often used in Indian cooking as well as Thai cooking. The dark-brown colored and crumbly sugar is also called gur or jaggery, is made from the sap of the sugar palm, or it can also be made from the palmyra palm. The tree trunk tree is tapped to drain the […]

Galangal Photo by Ruth and Dave
Ingredients

Galangal

Photo by Ruth and Dave  In Laos and Indonesia, Galangal is called “Blue Ginger”, in Thailand it is called “ka” or “kha” in , and Malaysia it is known as “lengkaus“. This root is a member of the ginger family and looks like ginger, but ginger may not be substituted for it. Both Persian and Southeast Asian […]

Tamarind
Ingredients

Tamarind

Photo by tacowitte  Tamarind, the sweet and sour fruit of the tamarind tree, is native to Asia and northern Africa and is also grown in the Caribbean. Like lemon, tamarind brings an acidic zing to food. Tamarind, along with a host of other flavors, gives Worcestershire sauce its je ne sais quoi. Sometimes, tamarind seeds are […]

Coconut Milk
Ingredients

Coconut Milk

Photo by ewige  No, believe it or not, coconut milk — an indispensable ingredient in most Southeast Asian cooking — is not the liquid inside a coconut. It is made by soaking the grated flesh of a coconut in hot water or scalded milk, then straining the combination. Coconut milk is classified as thick, thin, or […]

Noodles
Ingredients

Noodles

Photo by Jun Seita What is a Noodle? Just what is a “real” noodle? A noodle is often defined as the result of flour mixed with eggs. But, there are many noodle-esque noodles made without one or both of those ingredients — like noodles made from agar-agar (dried seaweed) or from strips of bean curd; […]

Saffron
Ingredients

The Saffron Story

The Greek legend goes like this: a gorgeous mortal named Crocos fell hard for the nymph Smilax. Smilax rebuffed Crocos’ overtures and – poof! – Crocos became a lovely purple flower, Crocus sativus. Saffron is the dried stigmas of these flowers. Prized from Italy to China for its pungent flavor and rich color, the painstaking process […]

Seaweed Food
Ingredients

Seaweed

Photo by khawkins04 Seaweed at Work Leaving no resource untapped, many put seaweed to work in food in all sorts of ways. Here are a few types of and uses for the weeds from the sea. In General Wakame is a brownish-green, frizzled-looking seaweed with a delicate saline flavor which is used throughout Asia. It […]

Cinnamon
Ingredients

Cinnamon

Cinnamon, the inner bark of a tropical evergreen tree, was used by wealthy Romans as perfume and others as an aphrodisiac. During the rainy season, when the bark is pliable, it is harvested for cinnamon production. As the bark dries, it forms long quills that are either cut into sticks or ground into powder. Two […]