Asam Jawa or
Assam Jawa [Malay],
Ma Kam Piek [Thailand]
A fruit of the tamarind tree. The pulp
inside the tamarind pod, is used as a
souring ingredient in cooking. The
pulp is boiled or soaked in
hot water, strained to discard any
seeds and fibers, to obtain a juice, commonly
called Tamarind Water. It is
sour in taste, but with subtle hints
of sweetness like dates or dried
apricots. Asam Jawa is used
mostly for fish and seafood, adding a
citric piquancy to fish curries,
shrimp and seafood stews and soups
Asam Laksa [Noodles in
Tangy Fish Soup]
Tau Cheong [Chinese], Uppu
Salted Soybeans or
It is made of
soybeans [spelling, soya beans] that
have been salted and aged or preserved,
usually available in bottles. It is
salty, and used in cooking to add
flavor and taste to a dish.
Nga Choy [Chinese], Paitha Mulai
Bean Sprouts. It is the fresh
Mung Beans, often misleadingly
called 'Green Beans'. Savored for it crunchiness
and texture, it is used in many
hawker [street vendor] noodle dishes,
usually briefly blanched or added at
the very end of cooking.
Tau Foo, Taufu or Tauhu [Chinese],
Tahu [Tamil], Soya Bean
Curd, Soya Bean Cake, Soybean Curd
A general term for all types of
Tofu. The bean curd
or cake is made from soybeans and can vary in
texture, mainly Firm Tofu,
Soft Tofu and very soft tofu
called Silken Tofu. Tau Foo
Fah, Taufoo Fah or Taufu Fah
Tau Foo Pei, Fu Jook Pei [Chinese],
Dried Bean Stick, Bean Stick, Dried
Bean Curd Stick, Bean Curd Stick,
Dried Bean Curd Skin or
Dried Bean Curd Sheet.
It is the 'skin' that forms on top of
heated soy bean milk. It is usually
available in it dried form and has to
be soaked in water to reconstitute,
unless it is used in soups. Rich in
protein, it is ideal for use in a
vegetarian diet. It is often used to wrap ingredients, such as chopped
meat or vegetables, into rolls and deep fried until crispy
e.g. Lor Bak
[Deep Fried Pork
Bean Curd Skins or Bean Curd
Sheets is also sold fresh.
Yuba or Nama Yuba [Japan]
Tahu Kuning [Malay], Manjal
Chinese name for an Extra Firm Tofu. The bean curd
or cake is made from soybeans formed into small
4-inch square cakes about half inch
thick, +often tinted yellow with a food
colorant. It is firm and
makes it ideal for frying. The
fried Tau Kwa can be
sliced and used in a stir fry with
other ingredients, or used as a
It is often cut diagonally in half,
slit like a pocket and stuffed e.g. Tahu Sumbat [Tofu
bean sprouts and julienne cucumber,
served with a spicy peanut sauce].
Frying tofu makes it a chewier and
tastier. Both the Japanese and
Chinese have their own ready-made
versions of deep-fried tofu, and you
can find them in cellophane bags and
cans in Asian markets. You can also
make deep-fried tofu yourself by
frying thin slabs of firm tofu in hot
Deep-Fat Fried Tofu, Fried Bean
Chinese for a Deep-Fried
Tofu. This fried tofu, usually in
the form of 2 inch cubes, is often
sold readymade packaged in plastic
bags. It is chewier in texture, 'puff'
like, and floats when first put in
soups or noodle soup dishes e.g.
Penang Curry Mee [Penang Curry
Tan [Chinese], Muttai [Tamil]
In Southeast Asia, eggs are eaten for breakfast, lunch
and dinner. It is used as a main
ingredient, or as a garnishing in
Puyah : Quail's Egg.
Um Chun Tan [Chinese].
: Duck Egg.
Ai Kwa [Chinese], Katheri
commonly called Brinjal.
Wong Kwa [Chinese], Velarik
Mor Kwa [Chinese], Velarik
Marrow or Marrow Squash.
Hoh [Chinese], Chippi [Tamil]
: Oyster Sauce. Hoh Yeow
also spelt Tomato in [Malay], Fan
Cair [Chinese], Thakkali Palam [Tamil]
: Tomato Sauce, Ketchup.
Traditional Rice Wine, Toddy
A fermented local brew produced from
rice or sweet-sapped palms such as
buds are cut and sprinkled with
Ragi [Yeast]. The juice is then allowed to
drip into pots tied to the buds. It
makes a potent drink when fully
fermented. In Sarawak, East Malaysia
Tuak is the traditional rice wine
served to celebrate the rice
harvesting festival called Gawai Padi.
To Fry or To Sauté.
: Sautéed Vegetable.