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 […]

Rice
Ingredients

Rice

Rice, the main source of sustenance for half of the world’s population, comes in an endless variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Rice grains can be long, like those of basmati rice from India and jasmine rice from Thailand; tiny, like mochi-gome from Japan, which is similar in shape to Italian arborio rice; or somewhere […]

Lemongrass
Ingredients

Lemongrass

Photo by odonata98 (Kimberly Reinhart)  This herb, which is native to Malaysia and grown throughout Southeast Asia and California, is one of the most important in Southeast Asian cooking. With the great popularity of the food of that region, lemon grass has made its way onto countless ingredients lists for all sorts of dishes. It has […]

Soy Sauce
Ingredients

Soy Sauce

Photo by avlxyz  Soy sauce is a staple condiment and ingredient throughout all of Asia. Produced for thousands of years, soy sauce is a salty, brown liquid made from fermented soy beans mixed with some type of roasted grain (wheat, barley, or rice are common), injected with a special yeast mold, and liberally flavored with salt. […]

Bonito
Ingredients

Bonito

Photo by BocaDorada Bonito is a type of tuna, which is a member of the mackerel family, and one of the most important fish in Japanese cuisine. Rarely eaten fresh, the dark, oily meat is dried into very hard cubes, which must be ground or shaved with a special tool before use. Bonito shavings form […]