Glossary of asian ingredients

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Measure Ingredient

Oriental Chili Sauce: Used to add heat as well as genuine flavor.

Tremendously hot, add small amounts at first, then more as you build up a chili tolerance. Will keep indefinitely in the refrigerator.

Mirin: Slightly syrupy rice wine made from glutinous rice, a koji mold and a distilled 90 proof liquor called shochu. It is indispensable in Japanese cooking, adding sweetness and providing an attractive glaze. choose one with no preservatives.

Oyster-Flavored Sauce: A smooth-tasting thick brown sauce made from oyster extracts, it adds a certain richness with no hint of fishiness. It is used sparingly to enhance the flavor of sauces, soups and stir-fried dishes. Look for brands from Hong Kong.

Refrigerate after opening.

Sake: A Japanese wine brewed from steamed rice, koji mold and high-quality spring water. The alcohol content ranges from 12 to 15 percent. Amino acids in sake tenderize meats, dispel fishy odors and are a balancing agent for other salty seasonings such as soy sauce.

Store in a cool place. Refrigerate after opening.

Sesame Oil: Aromatic amber-colored oil pressed from sesame seeds.

Rarely used as a cooking oil, it will burn when subjected to high temperature and the delicate flavor will be destroyed. Add sparingly to marinades and sauces or drizzle a few drops over a finished stir-fry dish. Do not substitute oil from untoasted sesame seeds found in health food stores.

Southeast Asian Fish Sauce: Known as nampla in Thailand and petis in Indonesia, this thin, amber, salty fermented fish sauce is used extensively as a seasoning. It adds wonderful depth and flavor to dishes and enhances the natural taste of foods without adding fishy taste or odor.

Soy Sauce: A brown, salty liquid seasoning fermented from soybeans, wheat, a koji mold and water. The enzymes in soy sauce accentuate the natural flavor of foods. Light or thin soy sauce is saltier than a medium-dark variety. Japanese brands are less salty than their Chinese counterparts. Do not use domestic supermarket brands, which are chemically fermented; better to omit soy sauce entirely.

Simply Seafood Fall 1993

Submitted By DIANE LAZARUS On 01-13-95

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