Tamarind in Indian and Thai cooking

Jan 31st, 2009 | By | Category: Ingredients

The juice of the pulp around the seeds of the tamarind, sometimes called the Indian date, is used to give a fruity, sour flavour to many Asian curries and spicy dishes.  Those that do not contain coconut milk tend to be cooked in tamarind juice. Generally, tamarind is used with seafood while coconut accompanies meat […]



What is galangal?

Jan 29th, 2009 | By | Category: Ingredients

Galangal looks very much like its relative the ginger root, but has a paler pinkish color.  It cannot be eaten raw and is usually ground up with other ingredients to make a paste. There are two varieties of galangal, the greater and the lesser galangal. Both are used a lot in Thai cooking but it […]



Cooking with tofu skin

Jan 25th, 2009 | By | Category: Ingredients

Cut the tofu skin up and cook it in soups, stews and casseroles just like meat, or soak it until soft to form the basis of many Chinese-style dishes. You can also use it to make delicate spring rolls quite unlike conventional wheat-flour rolls, which were created by Chinese cooks in Western countries when tofu […]



What are kaffir lime leaves?

Jan 19th, 2009 | By | Category: Ingredients

These are the leaves of a lime tree native to tropical Asia. The leaves are shaped like a figure eight, with two leaves held together from the tip to the base.  The small fruit of the kaffir lime can also be purchased from Asian food stores. Imparting their full, fresh, citric flavor, both the aromatic […]



Choosing tomatoes with flavour

Jan 12th, 2009 | By | Category: Ingredients

Left to themselves, tomatoes are a seasonal vegetable (or more accurately, fruit), but they are now very widely grown all year round.  Consumer demand has resulted in the production of vine-ripened tomatoes, and these have more flavour than those picked under-ripe for long transportation to the market. It is best to keep recipes that are […]



How to use a vanilla pod?

Dec 30th, 2008 | By | Category: Ingredients

The strongest flavour is in the tiny seeds and the pulp surrounding them, so the pod should be split open and the seeds scraped out for adding to custards or ice creams. Infusing a vanilla pod in hot liquid is an economical way to extract the flavour, as the pod can then be rinsed, dried […]