eat more sotongThe Glossary




























The GlossaryThis glossary is mainly in Malay i.e. Bahasa Malaysia. However, many food ingredients or terms are better known in local Chinese or Indian dialects. This is because of Malaysia's multi-ethnic population, and its culturally diverse cuisine and cooking styles. Certain ingredients are used exclusively, or more frequently in different ethnic kitchens, while some foods may be forbidden due to religious beliefs. Wherever possible, spelling variations, similar names in English, or in other countries nearby and afar, shall also be included in the glossary.


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Chili Paste, Sambal Oelek [Indonesia]

A basic paste or sauce made by blending chili peppers [spelling varies: Chile, Chilli, Chilly]. It can be made with fresh or dried chilies, or a combination of both. Sambal is used as a base, or in Rempah [Spice Paste] for cooking. It can also be served as a condiment at the dinner table.


Sambal Belacan

Sambal Badjak [Indonesia]

Sambal [see above] that is combined with a small amount of dried shrimp paste called Belacan. Sambal Belacan is often used as a base, or in Rempah [Spice Paste] for cooking. The belacan is first roasted over a fire, or toasted in a dry wok or pan. A squeeze of fresh lime juice is often added. Sambal Belacan is usually served as a condiment at the dinner table.



Coconut Cream, Coconut Milk

Coconut cream is obtained by squeezing grated coconut. The cream form [Pati Santan] does not have any addition of water. The richness of coconut milk is determined by the amount of water added to the grated coconut. It is best to select mature coconuts for good Santan.
Note: Coconut water is not Santan but the liquid that spills out of the nut when it is cracked.

Coconut milk is used in many Malaysian and Southeast Asian dishes such as curries, soups and desserts.

Coconut milk is widely available in cans. It is also sold in a dehydrated or powdered form [Wt. 1 to 4oz].



Choy [Chinese], Kai [Tamil], Sabzi [Hindi]

A general term for Vegetable. It also commonly refers to any Side Dish that is eaten with rice.

Chinese for Salted Vegetable. Leafy greens, usually Chinese mustard cabbage [Kai Choy] are pickled, or preserved in a salt brine. Both the leaves and stems can be used in stir-fry, stew and soup.

Sayur Asin : Salted or Preserved Vegetable. Hum Choy, Kiam Chye [Chinese], Uppu Keerai [Tamil].
Sayur-Sayuran : Vegetables, Vegetable Medley.


Sayur Selad

Sung Choy [Chinese], Muttai Kosai Pondra Kirai Vagai [Tamil]



Selada Air

Sai Yeung Choy [Chinese]




Sai Kwa [Chinese], Mulam Palam [Tamil]

Water Melon.



also called Ubi Sengkuang or Sekuang [Malay], Sah Kot [Chinese], Yam Bean, Mexican Turnip

Jicama. A white fleshed root vegetable with brown skin. It is crunchy and juicy, and the taste varies from bland to quite sweet. It can used fresh in salads or stewed in a dish.



Heong Mau [Chinese], Elembiche Pul [Tamil], Ta Krai [Thailand]

Lemongrass. One of the basic ingredients of curries. Only the white bulbous part, just above the root is used. It may be pounded with other ingredients to make a Rempah [Spice Paste]or used crushed or whole to add aromatic fragrance and flavor to dishes.



Mei Ching [Chinese], MSG

Mono Sodium Glutamate.


Serbuk Rempah

Ng Heong Fun [Chinese], Chinese Five-Spice Powder

Five-Spice Powder.


Sirip Yu

Yee Chee [Chinese]

Shark's Fin. This delicacy is usually savored in a soup. It is a must-have course in a Chinese wedding banquet, or formal dinner.



Cheong [Chinese], Sos [Tamil]


Sos Chilli / Sos Cili : Chile, Chilli or Chili Sauce. Lat Chew Cheong [Chinese], Sos Milahai [Tamil.
Sos Tiram : Oyster Sauce. Ho Yeow [Chinese].
Sos Plam : Plum Sauce. Shin Mui Cheong [Chinese].



Cuttlefish, Squid

The term usually refers to 'fresh' cuttlefish or squid, although it can also refer to 'dried' cuttlefish or 'dried' squid. Joo Hoo [Chinese].








Sup Ayam : Chicken Soup.
Sup Cendawan : Mushroom Soup.
Sup Kambing : Mutton [Goat ] Soup.





Kopi Susu : Coffee with Milk.
Susu Kambing : Goat's Milk.
Susu Lembu : Cow's Milk.
Susu Ibu : Mother's Milk or Breast Milk.


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