Baby Corn Cobs 小玉米  These small vegetables with their wonderful irresistible sweet flavour are usually used in stir-fried dishes.


Bamboo Shoots 竹筍  Young edible shoots from some types of bamboo: be sure to boil them first to rid them of hydrocyanic acid - a toxin that causes cyanide poisoning. Canned shoots are safer,  and more widely available.  Rinse them well before using.  Submerge any unused shoots in fresh water and store them in a sealed container in the refrigerator, changing the water daily.


Barbecue Sauce 沙茶醬 This is made with oil, soy sauce, shrimps, peanuts, and other seasonings.


Barbecuing 烤炙  Marinated meat is placed over a charcoal fire, and constantly basted to keep it moist.

Bay Scallops  


Bean Sprouts 荳芽  Sprouts of the green mung bean. They're crisp and nutty, and they're the best sprouts for stir-frying, though they can also be served raw. To keep them fresh, rinse them and immerse them in cold water, then store them in the refrigerator.  They're very perishable, so try to use them within a day or two.


Bean Curd see Tofu 豆腐

Bean Curd Cheese = Fermented Bean Curd 豆腐乳  Ivory in colour it comes in two flavours, plain and chilli hot. Used to flavour vegetables or as a side dish with rice.  The white version is often served with rice or used to flavour soups and vegetable dishes, while the red often accompanies meats.


Bear Curd Skins 腐皮  This is the sweet, protein-rich skin that forms on warm soymilk as it cools.  Cooks like to add it to soups or use it as wrappers.  When it's deep-fat fried, dried bean curd skins come as sheets, rolls, knots, and many other forms.  It needs to be reconstituted with water before you can use it, unless you're planning to add it to a soup.  Requires soaking before use.


Bean Curd Stick 腐竹  This is made from the skin that forms on the top of heated soy milk.  It's rich in protein, and is used in soups.


Birds Nest 燕窩  One of the most sought after Chinese delicacies It is sold dried and must be soaked before using; the result is a flavourless jelly which relies on the sauce or broth for flavour.


Bitter Melon = Ku Gua = Karela 苦瓜  Like many Chinese melons, it is not a fruit or vegetable,  and it gives a bitter flavour to a dish.  It is believed to have medicinal properties, and is widely used throughout Asia.


Black Bean 豆豉  Small black soya beans that are fermented with salt and spices.


Black Chicken 烏雞  Many Asians believe that soup made from black chicken has medicinal properties that are especially helpful to women.


Black-eyed Bean = Cowpea 眉豆  Originally from China, these chewy peas were common fare on slave plantations.  They don't need soaking and cook fairly quickly.  Don't overcook them, or they will become mushy.


Black Vinegar = Zhejiang Vinegar 黑醋  The best Chinese black vinegars are produced in the province of Chinkiang (or Chekiang or Zhejiang - there are many spellings).  Black vinegar is more assertive than white rice vinegar, and it's often used in stir-fries, shark's fin soup,  and as a dipping sauce.


Blood Pudding 血豆腐 / 紅  Whole coagulated blood is fried or steamed as a snack,  or cooked in a hot pot.


Braising 燴  Often applied to tougher cuts of meat and certain vegetables. The food is usually browned and then put into stock which has been seasoned with spices, and cooked slowly.

Bok Choy see Pak Choy 白菜

Burdock = Gobo Root = Beggar's Button 牛蒡  This lends an interesting, earthy flavor to soups, stews, or stir-fried dishes.  Select small, firm roots.