Know your vegetables (photos of common vegetables)

spring onions

Spring onion. Daun bawang. Hokkien calls it ‘chang’. It is a plant grown from onion, obviously. 😛
In normal cooking, I usually do not like to use it. Be careful if you sprinkle spring onion on your foods because if the vegetables are moist, it will cause foods to go bad very fast as water/bacterias are trapped in those leaves.

lemon grass

Lemon grass. Serai. Chang mau. Citronella (used as insects repellant too)
This is one of the best herbs to have in curries and other dishes. That’s why we Malaysians are so blessed to have them aplenty and fresh too. Lemon grass of course, has nothing to do with lemon tree. But the fragrance probably resembles lemon. We only use the bottom parts. Remember to wash them clean because it has lots of soil/grain of sands. You can smash up a few stalks, add some tamarind juice and make a kick-ass assam soup. And blending lemon grass, onions and tumeric will give you many delicious meals.

coriander leaves

Coriander leaves. Daun ketumbar. Guan sui. (not to be confused with Chinese celery or daun sup which looks similar but coriander leaves are smaller and it smells much stronger)

You either like it or hate it. Best used in steam fish, fish soup and Thai dishes. When making tomyam, I cut the roots and boil it in the stock. The fragrance is fantastic.


Leek. (sorry I do not know the BM term) Hokkien call it suan-na.

This is superb in stews because it imparts the flavour and fragrance. You can use it to stir fry as well but not everyone likes leek. Leek stir fried with taukua (beancurd) and prawns is delicious. I believe leek originates from garlic family?

I notice an increase number of people buying vegetables at the hypermarket. Sometimes, the poor chaps stood there wondering which is which. That’s why I am bring this back to basic series.

Post Author: Lilian

Food, travel, recipes. Chinese Malaysian, blogger, photographer and writer.

3 thoughts on “Know your vegetables (photos of common vegetables)

    Agnes Tan

    (April 26, 2008 - 3:42 pm)

    At first I came from thru the text © MalaysiaBest dot com – Visit Best Recipe and Travel for more great recipes and travel tales.
    But not dot com, it’s dot NET la.. you confuse me.
    It’s my first time to know that daun bawang will cause food to spoil, thanks for the useful tip!!


    (April 26, 2008 - 4:27 pm)

    Additional information on the vegetables you highlighted to the ‘blur-blur’ chaps on Aisle 3 Vegetable section:
    Spring onion & Coriander/cilantro roots: after washing off the earth/mud or whatever that gets stuck there; can add flavor to your soup or stocks. Rough chopping or using a mortar/pestle – ‘tumbuk’ with garlic (white skin), then frying them in a little oil on medium flame until fragrant, makes good topping condiments for your soup/tom yam.
    Serai/Lemon grass: Although we generally only use the root end, slicing thinly (also called julienne) 3-4 inches or to the middle of the stalk, then frying them in the above method; gives a milder citrus taste. Combine it the next time you make fried rice, sure get thumbs up.

    […] flavour, no matter how you combine the sauces and the vegetables. You can see photos of the basic vegetables like coriander, lemon grass, spring onions and leeks […]

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