Frequently Asked Questions


General

  1. What is Pandan Leave called in Indian language?
  2. Where can I find a recipe for the dessert called Bow Ties?
  3. Where can I get tempeh yeast in Malaysia?
  4. Is there a recipe for a Chinese dessert called fried milk? It looks like a doughnut hole coated with sugar, crispy on the outside and custard like on the inside.
  5. How do I measure grams in cups and teaspoons?
  6. What is the size of a packet of agar-agar?
  7. Where can I find borax powder?
  8. I had a dish at Narita airport that may have tapioca, some chunks of mango and a scoop of mango sorbet in it. It has this liquid (not sure if it was coconut milk) and this clear/firm cubes (again no clue what it is). Would love to find out what it was.

Adzuki

  1. I have noted that adzuki bean should be soaked overnight to rid the bean of its toxins. Is it safe to just boil it without soaking?
  2. Is there a recipe for making red bean tapioca pudding the asian way?
  3. Is there a bread recipe using ground adzuki beans?
  4. Are there recipes for soup or stew using adzuki bean?
  5. I believe there is a recipe for a soup with Azuki beans which helps with weight loss. Do you know of one?

Rice

  1. How to cook Biryani Rice, and how to keep it warm at all time?

Soya

  1. Can I make my own soya sauce?
  2. If I have cooked soya bean how can I add them to a recipe?
  3. We have bought some de-hydrated soya mince cooked with a tomato souce, can we freeze it then thaw and reheat it?
  4. Is there any gluten in soya bean?
  5. I am skeptical about using gypsum in tofu-making. Is there any substitute? I tried using vinegar but it did not turn out right.
  6. Can soya flour be used for making soya milk as well as tofu?
  7. Is there any non-soya substitutes for soya sauce? I love soya sauce, but I'm allergic to wheat, dairy, and soya.
  8. What is the Chinese name for Okara? Wikipedia only shows the Chinese characters which I don't understand.

Cassava/Tapioca

  1. Is there any savory recepies for cassava roots? We have been cooking them like potatoes.
  2. What can I make with cassava flour?
  3. How many carbs are there in plain tapioca pearls before it is cooked?
  4. Where can I find fresh bitter cassava root? I live in NYC.

Answers


General

What is Pandan Leave called in Indian language?

Pandan Leave is called 'rampe' in Hindi and Singhalese. Find out what Pandan Leave is called in Mandarin and Malaysian language at Lakshadweepin.com.

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Where can I find a recipe for the dessert called Bow Ties?

We have checked with a lot of our Asian and Chinese associates, and do not think Bow Tie is an authentic Chinese dessert - at least not within the Asian countries. This is one of those things like fortune cookie, which has been created as a business gimmick to lure the Americans by the early 1900 Chinese emigrants. No real Chinese will make fortune cookies for dessert.

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Where can I get tempeh yeast in Malaysia?

You should be able to find the yeast in any wet market (Malay: Pasar) in Malaysia. Go to the "Ulam" section (where they sell vegetable and food that can be eaten raw). If you are familiar with Kuala Lumpur, you can also easily find it in some Malay stalls in Chow Kit. You should get very helpful direction if you just ask the locals there. If you are not Malaysian, yeast in Malay is "Ragi" - or in this case - "Ragi Tempeh".

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Is there a recipe for a Chinese dessert called fried milk? It looks like a doughnut hole coated with sugar, crispy on the outside and custard like on the inside.

We do not have exactly the Fried Milk recipe you are looking for, which is served in Chinese restaurants. But we do know of a Spanish recipe called Fried Custard Square (Leche frita) that is very close to the descriptions.

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How do I measure grams in cups and teaspoons?

Here are some examples of the measurements to start with:
1 teaspoon = 4.745 grams
1 tablespoon = 14.235 grams
1 cup = 229.92 grams
To find out more about other units, see GourmetSleuth.com

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What is the size of a packet of agar-agar?

The normal packaging of agar-agar in Asia is 35 gram.

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Where can I find borax powder?

You'll find borax in various places depending on the country you are in. It can be found in chemists, hardware shops, supermarkets, etc. Some washing/cleaning brands contain mainly borax. If all else fails, you can find it on Ebay in all shapes and sizes.

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I had a dish at Narita airport that may have tapioca, some chunks of mango and a scoop of mango sorbet in it. It has this liquid (not sure if it was coconut milk) and this clear/firm cubes (again no clue what it is). Would love to find out what it was.

Based on your descriptions, we can't exactly pin-point a particular dessert. But we can see a few different influences from a few countries such as Thailand, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. Mango is a very versatile tropical fruit, which is used in many dessert from many countries. The Thais serve it with sticky rice, making mango icecream and sorbet. There is also a Chinese modified dessert called Mango Mania which is quite similar to your descriptions.

The Thais also has a cold dessert with tapioca pearls (sago) in coconut milk, and chunky bananas. What you had sounds like a similar one, but with mango. Tapioca, coconut milk, and even raisins are often complimenting each other in Asian desserts. Those translucent, firm (if I'm not mistaken, chewy too) cubes, are most probably what we call the Nata De Coco Jelly. It is a product made through the process of bacteria fermentation of cconut water, very often used in Asian desserts, for example in preparing agar-agar. On that note, some may use almond jelly instead of Nata De Coco Jelly.

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Adzuki

I have noted that adzuki bean should be soaked overnight to rid the bean of its toxins. Is it safe to just boil it without soaking?

We usually rinse the beans thoroughly to rid of any dirt, farming chemicals, and unwanted particles before we cook them. Soaking the beans basically helps boiling them an easier task, as it softens the husks. All legumes have a certain lectin toxin, but would not be destroyed by merely soaking them. The boiling and simmering process will naturally do the job. For more detailed reference, please see UK Food Standard Agency

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Is there a recipe for making red bean tapioca pudding the asian way?

Tapioca pearl is one of the common ingredients used in making adzuki bean paste. There are recipes on tapioca puddings, but there isn't a particular Asian recipe for making red bean tapioca pudding that we know of.

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Is there a bread recipe using ground adzuki beans or adzuki bean flour?

To be honest, there is no traditional Asian food recipes that use adzuki bean flour or meal, or ground adzuki bean. The hard nature of the bean requires soaking and boiling to be softened before it can be mashed into another ingredient. However, if you can get hold of adzuki bean flour (which is usually sold in cooked and rehydrated form), it is still possible to mix it with bread flour to make bread. Adzuki bean on its own would not react to yeast as it is not starch. Unfortunately we do not have the recipe at the moment, but there is a recipe for a bread filled with sweet adzuki bean paste.

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Are there recipes for soup or stew using adzuki bean?

Unfortunately, adzuki bean is not a bean used for savoury cooking amongst Asians. We use it mainly to make sweet stuff due to its natural taste. Here are some recipes closest to your description:

1. Adzuki Multi Grain Mix Stew
2. Adzuki Savoury Porridge Japanese Style
3. Adzuki December 8 Porridge La-Ba Porridge
4. Adzuki and Lentil Detox Soup
5. Adzuki and Mung Bean Stew
6. Healthy Adzuki Tricolour Rice (if you double up the amount of water, it will turn into a stew.)
Find other adzuki bean recipes here

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I believe there is a recipe for a soup with Azuki beans which helps with weight loss. Do you know of one?

In principles, adzuki bean has detox properties and is diuretic so it does help with digestion and reduce water retention. You can practically boil adzuki bean till it's all broken down, season with a little sugar or salt, and it will do the trick. However, we do have quite a few delicious adzuki bean soup recipes for you:

1. Adzuki, Barley and Purple Rice Porridge - great for supper or afternoon tea. Reduce sugar as you desired.
2. Adzuki Bean and Honeysuckle Flower Soup - also helps blood circulation and boost immune system. Good for keeping that glow on your face.
3. Adzuki Porridge with Lily and Lotus Seeds - a beauty soup, good for nourishing dry skin.
4. Adzuki and Lentil Detox Soup - very popular detox soup, loved by many of our readers.

Like all nutritious food, adzuki bean doesn't work in just a day, but certainly should not overdose on it. Once or twice a week is a good start but it shall not be an around-the-clock meal. Do have a good mix with other types of high fibre food and that will speed up the weight loss process.
Find other adzuki bean recipes here

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Rice

How to cook Biryani Rice, and how to keep it warm at all time?

We have a full recipe for cooking Biryani Rice. To keep it warm for a longer period of time, cover the skillet full of rice (keep the lid wrapped in cloth) over boiling water in a wok. Just keep it under low heat. Alternatively, transfer the whole step 3 and onwards in Biryani Rice Preparation, into a rice cooker. Once it's cooked, keep the mains turned on and it will stay warm all day.

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Soya

How do I make my own soya sauce?

Soya sauce making is a very complicated process, almost as complicated as alcohol manufacturing. It has been made a mass production for too many generations that nobody within the Asian community would go through the hassle of making it domestically, which will incur much higher cost.

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If I have cooked soya bean how can I add them to a recipe?

Soya bean is mainly used for making primary cooking ingredients such as tofu, soya skin/film, and soya milk, etc. It is rather rare amongst Asians to actually cook whole soya bean then add it into a dish. Here are two recipes for cooking whole soya bean:

1. Crispy Deep Fried Soya Bean
2. Sweet and Sour Soya Bean

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We have bought some de-hydrated soya mince cooked with a tomato souce, can we freeze it then thaw and reheat it?

We don't see any problem with cooking a dehydrated soya mince then freeze it and reheat it, as long as you do not leave it in the refridgerator for a long time. That is when the germs and bacteria start growing. But it is advisable to only reheat it once. Any more than that and you may risk food poisoning due to bacteria growth in the process, and the soya mince will be too soggy to anyone's liking.

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Is there any gluten in soya bean?

Soya bean does not contain gluten. Gluten is found in barley, rye, oat and wheat. You can remember it by the initials: B.R.O.W.

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I am skeptical about using gypsum in tofu-making. Is there any substitute? I tried using vinegar but it did not turn out right.

Vinegar is not a good option for curdling the tofu due to its acidic nature, and it produces a stale smell. You only need very little of gypsum or epsom salt so you needn't worry about consuming it, as long as you are not having it 24/7. Alternatively, a new way we have been experimenting on tofu making is by using agar-agar (strip- or powder- form). It is totally plant-base and contains no iffy chemical. Anything that can become solid can be used. You can try adding some agar-agar strips while boiling the soya milk. When it is cooled to room temperature it can be placed in the refrigerator. Do not use the whole packet of agar-agar, but try adding little by little, every time you have a go, to try to get the exact firmness you like. However, the texture will be different from conventional tofu made from gypsum.

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Can soya flour be used for making soya milk as well as tofu?

Soya flour, in principle, can be used for making soya milk and tofu. But you will have to be prepared for the difference of taste and texture due to the fact that it has been processed and some may be rehydrated. Making soya milk with soya flour can taste rather powdery.

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Is there any non-soya substitutes for soya sauce? I love soya sauce, but I'm allergic to wheat, dairy, and soya.

Soya sauce can be used as seasoning in stir-fry, soup, or stew; main ingredient in sauce-making; fried rice flavouring; or just as an add-on flavour to your cooked dishes. If you are using it for fried rice, it is pretty simple. You can replace it with sea salt. Just dilute a pinch of salt in about 10ml of water before adding it into the rice.

If you would like to try a stir-fry or making sauce, you can opt for an oyster sauce that contains no wheat (some of the brands use cornstarch as thickening agent) or MSG. If you have any intolerance towards oyster or seafood, there is a vegetarian version of oyster sauce which can be found in most supermarkets in Asian countries, the UK, and chinatowns in the US.

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What is the Chinese name for Okara? Wikipedia only shows the Chinese characters which I don't understand.

The Chinese characters (dou-fu-zha) on Wikipedia for Okara simply means 'soya remains' or 'soya pulp', which is what okara exactly is.

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Cassava/Tapioca

Is there any savory recepies for cassava roots? We have been cooking them like potatoes.

Unfortunately Asians only use cassava root and tapioca for sweet dishes, and we haven't come across any savoury cooking with cassava root or tapioca. However, we are told by our user Wai-Ping that some Salvadorian restaurants deep-fry it like potato chips/fries.

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What can I make with cassava flour?

Cassava flour is commonly used as thickening agent in making gravy, and as natural glue. Asians prefer to make desserts and savoury dishes with fresh cassava roots, or tapioca seeds. We have an Asian cookie made with cassava flour, or more widely known as tapioca flour. You can also try more different tapioca/cassava recipes.

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How many carbs are there in plain tapioca pearls before it is cooked?

We do not specialise in nutrition information, but here is a link we find quite useful on carb information.

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Where can I find fresh bitter cassava root? I live in NYC.

As we are not based in NYC, we can only guess that you may be able to find it in China Town area or anywhere that sells Asian staple food.

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