Chinese ingredients

Bean thread noodles, cellophane noodles, transparent noodles, mung bean threads

These noodles are not made from a grain flour but from ground mung beans, which are also the source of the more familiar bean sprouts.

Bird’s nest

A truly exotic food, bird's nest is one of the most sought-after delicacies of China. Historically, it was most popular in southern China, though served in other parts of China also.

Bean sauce (yellow bean sauce, brown bean sauce, bean paste, soybean condiment)

Seasonings made from germinated soybeans are one of the oldest forms of food flavouring in China. Before 200 B.C., the ancient Chinese used a form of salted and fermented soybeans, as well as another type of thin, salty sauce.

Bean curd (leguminosae glycine max)

Bean curd, which is also known by its Chinese name, doufu, or by its Japanese name, tofu, has played an important part in Chinese cookery since it was discovered during the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. - A.D. 220).

Bamboo shoots (dendrocalamus; phyllostachys)

Bamboo shoots are the young edible shoots of certain kinds of bamboo (part of the grass family). There are as many different types of bamboo shoots as there are kinds of bamboo - that is, over 100 - and at least 10 of the 100 or so are marketed.

Aubergine/Eggplant (solanum melongena)

A popular and inexpensive food found throughout China, the white-skinned variety was the first that English-speaking people encountered, hence the name eggplant.

A walk through Mr. Lin’s grocery store

The small grocery store where I shop is a typical mom-and-pop Asian grocery. Once inside, you are in another land, but you need no passport or visa to enter this place!

The Chinese store cupboard

Traditionally, a Chinese housewife is supposed to have firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce, vinegar and tea. A Chinese cook in the west has no need for firewood, but there are a few more items they need to add.