Tuesday, 6 June 2006

Common Fresh Herbs

Each HERB has it own Unique Aroma and Form. They are always the soul of different dishes and they heighten your sense of taste and smell. So if you happen to see these beautiful herbs around do try them in your dish and you will be surprised of what you had......



Bay Leaves-月桂叶
Bay leaves are used in cooking for their distinctive flavor and fragrance, and may be used Fresh Or Dried. The Bay Leaf is useful in hearty, homestyle cooking. When you are making bean, split pea and vegetable soups, meat stews, spaghetti sauce, and chili, a Bay leaf can be added for a more pungent flavor. Alternate whole Bay Leaves with meat, seafood, or vegetables on skewers before cooking. Be sure to remove Bay Leaves before eating a dish that has finished cooking. The whole leaves are used to impart flavor only and are bitter and hard to chew.

Chinese Coriander-中国芫西
Coriander is a delicate annual herb with several branches and lacy leaves with jagged edges belonging to the carrot family. Native to South Europe and Asia, this aromatic beautiful herb is found in many parts of the world. Coriander's leaves called cilantro is used as seasoning in curries, salads and soup and its dried ripe spherical seeds mostly in powder form is slightly roasted and used as curry powder in dishes. Eg: Baked Prawns With Dong Fen

Italian Parsley-意大利芫西
Parsley is an aromatic herb native to southern Europe. There are three main species of parsley. Italian parsley has flat leaves and grows to height of one and half feet. Its highly fragrant taste, more muted than curly parsley, is reminiscent of celery. It tastes great and refreshing in soups and itÂ’s nutritious and it contains vitamins A and C.

Sweet Basil Leave-罗勒
Sweet basil is the most important herb grown for fresh cut sales. Basil is quite aromatic with flavors somewhat reminiscent of mint, cloves and licorice mixed together. It is a commonly used in Italian cooking, such as pasta and salads to enrich the flavour. Basil also kills germs, heals coughs and ease sinus congestion. Eg: Pepper Salt Basil Chicken - 九层塔椒盐鸡

Thai Basil Leave-九层塔
It is an herb with small green leaves. It has a stronger taste than many other sweet basils. One variety used in the USA is "Queen of Siam". The herb has small leaves, purple stems and a subtle licorice taste. It is most commonly found is Thai dishes. Eg: Thai-style Basil Chicken Salad or Stuff Eggplant With Basil Pork mince - 塔香茄子肉

Rosemary-迷迭香
Rosemary is the true treasure of herbs. It is highly prized by people around the world for its medicinal, culinary, decorative, and cosmetic uses. Rosemary grows on single stems and its leaves somewhat resemble pine needles. It is always used in Western meat dishes, especially roast lamb, to remove the goaty taste and greasiness. Together with bay leaves and rose flowers, rosemary makes fragrant tea. It also helps digestion, improves memory, kills germs and repels insects. Eg: Roast Herbal Chicken

Sage-鼠尾草
Sage has been used for culinary, medicinal, cosmetic and decorative purposes worldwide. It is commonly used in meat dishes and it also eliminates the fishy taste. Sage is said to have preservative function on food and it also an indispensable ingredients in sausages and meatballs. It helps digestion, reduces blood pressure and relieves menstrual pain. Pregnant women should avoid this.

Mint-薄荷
perennial aromatic herb native to the Mediterranean region. There are 25 different species and 600 varieties. Some types have a flavor reminiscent of apple while other other taste lemony. The flavor varies in intensity from one species to anther. Peppermint and spearmint are amount the most popular species, as they are highly aromatic. There are easy to grow and has healing quality towards cold and flu.




Tarragon-茵陈蒿
This herb grows like a small shrub, and its stems become woody rather quickly. French tarragon is one of the most desirable and scarce culinary herbs. Its sweet, slight licorice flavor is an indispensable ingredient in French cuisine. It is a perfect match with eggs, cheese and meats. It also helps to eliminates the fishy taste in seafood, refreshes breath and whets the appetite.

Thyme-百里香
Not only is it the most popular of all culinary herbs, but it is used commercially in everything from chewing gum to ice cream, mouth wash to cough syrup. ItÂ’s a perfect match with fish and shellfish, thyme has a mild sweet flavour and it helps digestion.

Oregano-牛至
Oregano is similar to Marjoram. Oregano is a small aromatic shrub that grows to a height of approximately 2 feet. It has strong flavour and is commonly used in tomato and beef dishes. A blend of oregano, rosemary and sage lightens up even the most unspectacular dish. Oregano calms the nerves and helps perspiration and is a commonly used in Mexican cuisine.

Dill-莳萝
An aromatic plant native to the Mediterranean basin and western Asia , dill is related to and resembles fennel, with which it is often confused. Dill has been used as a seasoning for centuries. ItÂ’s leaves has a strong flavour and it makes a delicious accompaniment when grilled with meat, potatoes or fish. Frequent consumption strengthens the stomach, helps urination and digestion.

Perilla/Shiso(Japanese Name)/ 紫苏(in chinese)
It is broad and has a sweet flavour with the scents of plum. They are commonly used in Japanese barbecue skewers, salad and sashimi. Although it tastes a little bitter to some, it smells very good. It is considered rich in minerals and vitamins, it also has anti-inflammatory properties and is thought to help preserve and sterilize other foods. Eg: Perilla Chicken Roll

Chive-细香葱
Chive has a green slender stem and a mild onion flavour. It is a nutritious herbs that strengthens the liver, promotes urination and expels Heat accumulated in the body. Chive goes well wit any food but itÂ’s healing quality is destroyed by heat, you can infuse it in rice wine or vinegar.

Lemongrass-香茅
Lemon grass is widely used as a herb in Asian (particularly Thai, Lao, Khmer and Vietnamese) and Caribbean cooking. It has a lemony flavour and can be dried and powdered, or used fresh. The stalk itself is too hard to be eaten, except for the soft inner part. However, it can be finely sliced and added to recipes. It may also be bruised and added whole as this releases the aromatic oils from the juice sacs in the stalk. Eg: Thai Lemon Grass Chicken

Dried Rose Bub-玫瑰
It is enthroned as the queen of flowers, the rose is not only a beauty but also a symbol of justice and love. Rose tea defies aging of skin, warms the stomach, nourishes the liver, calms the mind and regulates menstrual cycle. Eg: Rose & Lavender Fragrant Cookies

Lavender-薰衣草
Besides being an ornamental plants, lavender can also be used in dishes and desserts. Lavender lends a sweet flavour to fish dishes. It calms the nerves, relieves inflammation, kill pain and cures insomnia and the flowers are used in cookies and tea. Lavender has been extensively used in herbalism. An infusion of lavender is claimed to soothe and heal insect bites. Bunches of lavender are also said to ward off insects. If applied to the temples, lavender oil is said to soothe headaches. Lavender is frequently used as an aid to sleep. Posted by Picasa

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