A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Laksa Leaf
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A tropical herb with a strong fragrant which grows wild in wet places. It is so named as it is an important ingredient in a Singapore curry noodle dish known as Laksa. It is also widely used in Vietnam and Malaysia, where it is known as rau ram and daun kesom respectively.

Lemon Grass
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Cymbopogon citratus
A grass with a bulbous base that has a nice fragrant known in Malay as Serai. Only the tender base is used in Southeast Asia, either ground in spice paste or bruised and used whole in soup and curries. If the grass is old and fibrous, do not grind but use whole crushed. Store well in the freezer. The leaves which we usually discard are used by Maxicans to make a lovely tea.
Lentil
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Lens culinaris
Lentil is of Western Asian orgin and may come in red, green or brown. Commonly known as brown dhal, it is flat and creamy yellow inside. Need just about 15 minutes to cook or it'll get mushy.
kencur.jpg - 6413 Bytes Lettuce
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Often used raw in spring roll or dipped in soup. Sometimes blanched but rarely fully cooked.
Lily buds (Golden needles)
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Hemerocallis fulva
The dried unopened flower buds of the yellow day lily is delicous with a somewhat sourish taste. It was introduced to Southeast Asia by the Chinese and found its way into IndoMalay cuisines. For reasons not fully known, it is usually tied into a knot before being cooked. Soak briefly and remove the hard base. Fresh buds is a new addition to Southeast Asian markets. It tastes quite different and should not be used as a replacement.
Lime, Fragrant Lime/leaf
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Citrus hystrix
Not particularly juicy, it is the highly aromatic fruit rind and the leaf that are much valued. The rind is widely used in Thailand in spice paste while the leaves are popular in IndoMalay cooking. The Thais often use the leaves shredded but elsewhere in Southeast Asia they are mostly used whole and not eaten as the taste is deemed much too strong.
Lime, kesturi (kalamansi, limau kesturi)
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Citrus microcarpa
A small round lime about 3cm in diameter that has a very sharp sour-sweet flavour. It turns yellow when ripe. Very juicy and easy to squeeze, it is often served whole at the table. Squeezing it fills the air with a wonderful citrus aroma that is very much part of a meal. Replace with any type of sour lime.
long bean
long bean
Long Bean
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Vigna sesquipedalis
Easily recognisable, Asian long bean contains large seeds which are delicious.
longan Longan
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Dimocarpus longan
Of Southern Chinese origin, the name longan means dragon's eye. The species Dimocarpus lingana found in the IndoMalay region has much thinner flesh and is known locally as cat's eye, or Mata Kucing. Dried longan is often used in Chinese soups.
long pepper Long Pepper
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Piper longum
Used in traditional Chinese medicine and known as bibo, it is occasional found in regional Asian kitchen as a spice.
Lotus leaf
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Nelumbo nucifera
Used by the Chinese as food wrap, it imparts a nice flavour to food. Soak dried leaves in hot water and rinse before use.
lotus root Lotus root
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Nelumbo nucifera
The starchy root of the lotus is a delicious vegetable and may be stir fried or use in soups. Peel and discard the joints.
Lychee
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Litchi sinensis
A treasured seasonal fruit sized like a strawberry native to South China. It has a thin hard shells which is easily pressed open. It contains a single black stone and its taste is sweet with a hint of sourness. The sweetest I've ever tasted is a variety from Australia.

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