banana stem

banana stem

This is the inner part of the banana stem which is used in mohingar to give texture, bulk and flavour. The texture is similar to celery but the flavour is subtle and unique. Quite difficult to compare it with anything. I have only seen fresh banana stem sold in an Asian supermarket down Brick Lane…

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lotus roots

lotusroot

This is the root of a water lily. When the skin is peeled, the flesh is creamy white with a crisp texture and a slightly sweet taste. If it is not available fresh, you may find canned version. substitutes Water chestnut availability Asian stores related recipes Lotus root & pork rib soup

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roselle leaves

roselle leaves

Chin baung ywet in Burmese, the leaves have a lovely sour taste. Cooked with chillies and shrimp paste turning the leaves into a dark reddish brown paste. The leaves are also used in soups and the buds can be used to make jam. substitutes Spinach and lemon juice to add sourness availability Asian stores related…

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rambutan

rambutan

description Rambutan comes from the Malay word rambut which means hair. These red fruits indeed do look like hairy versions of lychees. To eat, either peel away the skin or make a score with a knife and pull the skin apart. The white fleshy fruit is firm and juicy with a seed in the middle.…

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fish, dried (bombay duck)

dried fish

description Bombay duck, despite its name, refers to bummalo. The fish are hung on racks and dried in the sun. It has a strong odour and best stored in an air-tight container in the fridge. The dried fish is fried until crisp and added to stews and soups. My favourite way to eat Bombay duck…

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popiah wrappers

popiah

description Similar to spring roll wrappers, these are thin paper-like crepe usually made from rice flour and circular in shape. It can be eaten fresh or fried stuffed with filling. substitutes Spring roll wrappers availability Asian speciality shop related recipe Fresh vegetable spring rolls

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rice vermicelli

rice vermicelli

description Also referred to as rice noodles, rice vermicelli are thin noodles made from rice flour and sold dried in coiled nests. Before using, soak in water until soft then boil until cooked. I prefer to use brown rice vermicelli as they tend to have more bite and does not fall apart if over-cooked. Dried…

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cendol

cendol

description These pale green strands are cooked green pea powder flavored with pandan leaves. They are popular throughout Asia, eaten in numerous desserts/drinks. Cendol can be bought ready made in packets at some Asian supermarkets. substitutes None availability Asian speciality shop related recipe Burmese faluda

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pandan leaf

pandan leaf

description Sometimes referred to as screwpine leaf, it imparts a delicate yet distinctive aroma. The leaves are pounded and strained before the liquid is added to cakes and sweets turning them a pale green colour. It can also be used to flavour savoury dishes and rice. substitutes None availability Asian stores related recipes Burmese faluda

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ginger

fresh young ginger

description Young fresh ginger has thin, almost transparent skin with a gentle taste. It does not need to be peeled before using in gin thote. Older ginger tend to be fibrous and need to be shredded finely before adding to curries or stir-fries. It is commonly used to help deodorise the strong smell of fish…

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