Archar
A vegetable pickle (Indian)
Akagai
Cockle (Japanese)
Al dente
Term to describe cooked pasta that is soft but firm to the tooth (Italian)
Aloo gobi
Potato and cauliflower dish (Indian)
American lobster
Also called Boston lobster, it is identifiable by a presence of front claws
Amuse-bouche
A tasty starting tidbit sent by the chef (French)
Anago
Conger eel (Japanese)
Antipasto
A course of hors d’oeuvres [plural: antipasti] (Italian)
Aoyaki
Round clam (Japanese)
Armagnac
The oldest brandy from France, named after the region in which it is made
Aspic
Savoury meat jelly used as a garnish or to contain game, eggs, etc
Au gratin
Dish covered with breadcrumbs, butter and/or grated cheese and baked until brown (French)
Au jus
“In its own juice,” used to refer to the serving of meat (French)
Awabi
Abalone (Japanese)
Bak chang
A local rice dumpling filled with savoury or sweet meat and wrapped in leaves
Bak kut teh
A local pork-rib soup which has hints of garlic and Chinese five spices
Béarnaise sauce
Sauce made from egg yolk, butter, shallots, wine, vinegar and herbs (French)
Béchamel sauce
A white cheese and butter sauce (French)
Beef rendang
Beef stewed with spices and coconut milk (Malay/Indonesian)
Belachan
Fermented prawn paste used as a condiment in local cuisine
Bhindi
Okra or lady’s finger (Indian)
Bird’s nest
The edible nest of various small swifts or swallows of southern Asia, made chiefly of glutinous secretions from their salivary glands
Biryani
A dish of basmati rice and meat, seafood or vegetables (North Indian)
Bittergourd
A bitter-tasting vegetable
Bok choy
A variety of Chinese cabbage that grows like celery, with long white stalks and dark green leaves
Bouillabaisse
A spicy Provencale fish stew (French)
Bourguignon
Burgundy style, meaning cooked with red wine, mushrooms, bacon and onion
Brinjal
Aubergine (Indian)
Bruschetta
Toasted bread topped with tomato, garlic, basil and parmesan cheese (Italian)
Buah keras
See candle-nut (Malay)
Caesar salad
Romaine lettuce with croutons and grated Parmesan cheese in a garlic-flavoured olive oil vinaigrette, sometimes with anchovies or bacon
Canard
Duck (French)
Candle-nut
Called “kimiri” in Indonesian and “buah keras” in Malay, it is a smallish white-fleshed nut, shaped like a hazelnut
Capers
The flower buds of the caper plant, which are pickled and used as a condiment
Cardamom
The seed pods of a member of the ginger family, used as a fragrantspice in North Indian and Moghul dishes
Carpaccio
Thinly sliced raw beef fillet, served with olive oil, lemon juice and par mesan shavings (Italian)
Cep
A type of mushroom
Char kway teow
A local dish of broad rice noodles fried with a dark, sweet sauce and cockles, Chinese sausage, prawns, bean sprouts or fish cake
Char siew
Sweetish barbecued pork (Chinese)
Chendol
An Asian dessert made with a mixture of red kidney beans, jelly, coconut milk and brown sugar syrup topped with ice shavings
Cheng tng
A dessert consisting of a bowl of syrup with pieces of herbal jelly, barley and dates (Singaporean)
Chèvre
Goat’s cheese (French)
Chicken rice
A local dish made of rice, which has been boiled in chicken stock and ginger, served with steamed chicken slices
Chilli padi
An extremely hot variety of small chilli
Choy sum
A popular Chinese green vegetable, served steamed with oyster sauce
Chutoro maguro
A cut from the outside of a tuna’s belly (Japanese)
Ciabatta
Crusty bread made with olive oil (Italian)
Clay-pot rice
A rice dish cooked in a clay casserole with pieces of chicken, Chinese mushroom, Chinese sausage and soy sauce
Congee
Chinese porridge
Couscous
A fluffy, small-grained wheat semolina used like rice in Middle Eastern cuisine
Crème brulée
A cream or custard dessert covered with caramelised sugar (French)
Crème caramel
A dessert made of eggs, sugar and milk topped with caramel (French). Also known as Crema Catalana (Spanish)
Crèpe
Thin, sweet pancake (French)
Daikon
A large white radish (Japanese)
Dhal
A dish of pureed lentils (Indian)
Dhosas
Light, crispy, jumbo-sized pancakes brimming with potatoes, onions and spices
Dim sum
Sweet and savoury buns, dumplings and mini dishes served at breakfast and lunch
Di wang
A leafy Asian vegetable
Dolmades
Vine leaves rolled and stuffed with mint-spiced rice (Greek)
Dow see
Fermented salted black beans (Chinese)
Drunken prawns
A delicacy in which live prawns are placed in Chinese wine and then steamed (Chinese)