We Remember....The MalaysianFood.net Glossary
















The MalaysianFood.net 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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also called Umbi [Malay]

A general term for a Tuber or Root, although it commonly refers to Potato.
It can also refer to Parsnip,
Foong Foong Choh [Chinese], Kilangu [Tamil].


Ubi Bit

Chakarai Kilangu [Tamil]



Ubi Kayu

 Cassava Root, Casava, Manioc, Yucca Root, Yucca, Brazilian Arrowroot

Tapioca Root. There are 2 types, one is sweet, the other is bitter and has to treated due to it's toxin. The sweet type is used for desserts and snacks. Tapioca flour is a flavorless starch used as a thickening agent in cooking, or for making desserts. It is similar to sago.


Ubi Kentang

Ho Ian See [Chinese], Urulai Kelangu [Tamil]

Potato. Rice being the staple food in South-east Asia, this starchy tuber is almost always used as a vegetable with other ingredients in a dish, with the exception of French fries, usually enjoyed in fast food restaurant chains.


Ubi Senkuang

Bangkuang, Yam Bean, Mexican Turnip

Jicama. A white fleshed root vegetable with brown skin. It is crunchy, juicy and the taste varies from bland to quite sweet. It is used in many Nyonya dishes such as Popiah, Joo Hoo Char and Chap Chye Th'ng.



Har [Chinese], Eral [Tamil], Shrimp

A general term for Shrimp. Regardless of size, shrimp is almost always called 'Prawn' in Malaysia.

Udang Kecil : Small Prawn, Shrimp. Har Chye [Chinese], Kullan [Tamil].


Udang Galah

Loong Har [Chinese], Langoustine, Shrimp Scampi, Scampi

Giant River Prawn. Also called Freshwater Lobster.


Udang Getah

Sang Har [Chinese], Crawfish

Crayfish. Also called Sea Crayfish, Rock Lobster or Spiny Lobster.


Udang Karang

Loong Har [Chinese], Nathai [Tamil]



Udang Kering

Har Mei [Chinese], Dried Shrimp, Goong Haeng [Thailand], Tom Kho [Vietnam], Ebi [Japan], Eibei [indonesia], Hae Bee [China]

Dried Prawns. Baby shrimps are dried in the sun, or commercially dehydrated. The dried baby shrimps are orangey in color; and look like cooked shrimp, except that they are dried

Udang Kering is used mostly as a flavoring agent for soups, vegetables and stir-fries. It is often used to add intensity to fish and seafood dishes.

Udang Kering is also used as a main ingredient in dishes, such as Sambal Udang Kering [Spicy Dried Shrimp] - a delicious accompaniment to steamed or fried rice, and noodle soups such as Penang Hokkien Mee [Penang Hokkien Noodles].

Udang Kering, usually packaged as 'Dried Shrimp' is usually sold in plastic packets [Wt. 3 to 4oz]. Dried shrimp is also sold loose by the lb or kg.




Raw vegetables or salad eaten with rice. The salad is made up of plant shoots, leaves of local herbs and vegetables such as cucumbers, cabbage and banana buds. Sambal Belacan, a condiment made of chilies and Belacan [Dried Shrimp Paste], accompanies this traditional dish.




Umai is a traditional fisherman's lunch of the Melanau people of Borneo in Sarawak, East Malaysia. Freshly caught fish is thinly sliced [sashimi] and 'cooked' with the juices of sour fruits such as limes, lemons or tamarind. Sliced onions and chilies are added and the raw fish salad is eaten with toasted sago, locally called sagok.
The Kadazandusun people of Borneo in Sabah, East Malaysia have a similar dish called Hinava. 'Hinava Tongii' made with Ikan Tenggiri [Spanish Mackerel] is especially popular.
Often, prawns or shrimp are used to make'Prawn Uma' or Prawn Hinava.

In South America, ceviche [often spelt seviche or cebiche] is a similar dish.




A type of edible Palm.





Daging Unta : Camel Meat.


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