Flavorless, colorless oil expressed from safflower
seeds. High in polyunsaturates and has a high smoke
point, making it good for frying. Unlike some of the
other oils, lacks vitamin E.
Saffron: A flavoring
derived from the autumn crocus. Lends a yellow color
and distinctive taste. Although relatively
expensive, a little goes a long way.
Seitan (SAY-tan): A
chewy, meat-like, high-protein food made from boiled
or baked wheat gluten. Available in dry mixes;
prepared chilled in the deli section and prepared
Serrano chili (seh-RRAH-noh): Small, slightly
pointed chili with hot, savory flavor. As it ages,
green color gives way to scarlet then yellow.
Available fresh, canned, pickled, packed in oil and
in carrot and onion mixtures. Dried serranos are
called chile seco.
Sesame seeds (SEHS-uh-mee): Tiny, flat seed
that comes in shades of brown, red and black. The
most common is pale ivory. Used in Middle Eastern
foods such as halvah and
tahini, and in Asian cuisine. Gomasio is a
popular Japanese bottled condiment of sesame seeds
and sea salt, sometimes with added flavors such as
the sea vegetable nori or garlic.
Sesame oil (SEHS-uh-mee): Expressed from
sesame seeds, comes into two basic types, light and
dark. Lighter varieties are good for salad dressing
and sautéing; dark sesame oil, which burns easily,
is drizzled on Asian dishes as a flavor accent after
Shallots (SHAL-uhts): Small, mild-flavored
Shiitake mushroom (shee-tah-kee): A rich,
woodsy mushroom with an umbrella-shaped brown cap
used in traditional Japanese cuisine.
Silken tofu: White, easily digestible curd
made from cooked soybeans. Silken tofu is
Japanese-style and milder in flavor and higher in
protein than regular, Chinese-style tofu. Silken
tofu is available firm or soft in 10 1/2-oz. aseptic
Snow peas: Flat and edible green beans pods.
Popular in Chinese cuisine. Usually stir-fried,
steamed or eaten raw.
Soymilk: A milk-like
liquid made from soybeans. Used as a beverage or to
replace dairy milk in cooking.
alternative to refined white sugar made by
evaporating then granulating sugar cane juice.
Retains more vitamins, minerals and trace elements
Sun-dried tomatoes: Chewy and rich in flavor.
Available dried or packed in oil. Reconstitute the
dried form by soaking in hot water until softened.
Oil-packed tomatoes can be used straight from the
Sweet rice: Most often used in desserts. It
comes in short- and medium-grain varieties and must
be soaked before cooking. A high starch content
makes the grains stick together when the rice is
cooked. Also called sticky or glutinous rice.
Szechuan peppercorn (SEHCH-wahn): Mildly hot
spice from the prickly ash tree with a distinctive
flavor and fragrance. Also known as Chinese pepper
or Sichuan pepper. Available in specialty markets.