This ingredient list will encompass food items specific to Asia, excluding Japan, which has its own, exclusive list (find the Japanese Ingredient List here). I’m including everything from India and China, to Southeast Asia (such as Malaysia and Indonesia) and East Asia (such as Korea) in this list.
This page will hopefully help you to navigate the grocery aisles and locate exactly what the recipe calls for (or at least a close approximate!), and will be updated as more recipes are added to the site…
The list is in alphabetical order.
Bean sauce is a frequently used ingredient in Chinese cooking. I use two main types of bean sauce: Black beans and brown beans. Black bean sauce is made with fermented and salted black soy beans, which results in a pungent, salty, and somewhat bittersweet seasoning. It is widely available in Western grocery stores.
Brown bean sauce is similar to black bean sauce, except that it is made with the more mild yellow soy beans. The taste is similar to black bean sauce, except quite a bit more mild.
Sesame seed oil is an oil made from roasted sesame seeds. It is very fragrant, and is generally used as seasoning that is drizzled on to foods after the cook process. Asian sesame seed oil is much darker and more fragrant than unroasted sesame seed oil. It is not suitable for deep frying and cannot be used with very high heat due to it’s low smoking point. It can be found in many Western grocery stores.
Soy sauce can be divided into two main types: dark and light soy sauce. Light soy sauce (not to be confused with “low sodium” soy sauce) is the type that is most commonly used for dipping and cooking. It is lighter in both color and taste when compared to dark soy sauce. On the other hand, dark soy sauce is more complex in flavour, and is thicker and slightly sweet. It is mostly used for braising, stews, and other slowly cooked dishes.