Vegetables Category


Vegetables is a catch-all category that includes many of the edible parts of a plant, like stems, roots, flowers, tubers, and leaves. Some biological fruits that aren't very sweet, like tomatoes, squash, peppers, eggplants, and beans, are considered by cooks to be vegetables.

winter melon, tallow gourd, winter gourd, Chinese preserving melon, ash gourd
winter melon
This Asian squash-like fruit has a mild flavor similar to a cucumber. It should be peeled, seeded, and cooked before eating. Don't confuse it with sweet melons like Honeydews or cantaloupes, which sometimes also go by the name "winter melons."
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winter purslane, Cuban spinach, Indian lettuce, miner's lettuce, spring beauty
winter purslane
This resembles ordinary purslane, only the leaves and stems are smaller and more delicate.
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winter squash
winter squash
Winter squash come in many sizes and shapes, but all have hard outer rinds that surround sweet, often orange flesh. Winter squash arrive late in the growing season and they have a long shelf life, so they've long been a staple in winter and spring, when other vegetables are harder to come by. Unlike summer squash, winter squash must be cooked. They're usually baked or steamed, and then sometimes puréed. Select squash that are heavy for their size.
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wood ear mushroom, black fungus, jelly ear, tree ear mushroom, woodear mushroom
wood ear mushroom
Chinese markets carry fresh or dried pieces of this tree mushroom. You're supposed to soak or simmer the dried chips until they soften, and then rinse them carefully to remove any dirt. They're not very flavorful, but they have an interesting texture and are believed to have medicinal benefits.
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xcatic chili
These fresh yellow peppers are long, curved, and very hot.
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yacon, Peruvian ground apple, yacón
The yacon is a sweet root vegetable that can be eaten cooked or raw.
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yam, moist-fleshed sweet potato
Americans use the word "yam" to refer to a sweet, moist, orange-fleshed variety of sweet potato. To everyone else in the world, a yam is what Americans call a tropical yam, a firm tuber with white flesh. Varieties of American "yams" (sweet potatoes) include the garnet yam (pictured at left) and the jewel yam.
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yamaimo, East Asian mountain yam, Japanese mountain yam
This is a sticky yam that the Japanese peel and grate or julienne for salads. It's also fried or used to make soba noodles.
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yard-long bean, asparagus bean, bodi, boonchi, Chinese long bean, dau gok
yard-long bean
These beans usually aren't a yard long--half a yard is more typical. Asians like to cut them into smaller pieces and add them to their stir-fried dishes. You can also boil or steam them like green beans, though they're not as sweet and juicy. They don't store well, so use them within a few days of purchase.
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yau choy, edible rape, flowering edible rape, green choy sum, yao choy
yau choy
Yau choy is more tender and delicately flavored than other Asian cabbages.
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yellow Finn potato, Finnish yellow wax, Yellow Finnish potato
yellow Finn potato
These are great all-purpose potatoes, known for their yellow flesh, creamy texture, and buttery flavor.
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yellow foot mushroom, funnel chanterelle, winter chanterelle
yellow foot mushroom
Though not as flavorful as golden chanterelles, these mushrooms work well in most chanterelle recipes.
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yellow onion, yellow globe onion, yellow storage onion
yellow onion
This is what most cooks reach for when a recipe simply calls for "onion." It's higher in sulfur than the white onion, so it has a more complex flavor. The sulfur, unfortunately, is also what makes you cry when you cut into it. Yellow onions turn a rich brown and become sweeter and milder when cooked. Many people find them too pungent to eat raw.
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yellow squash, crookneck squash, yellow crookneck squash
yellow squash
This category includes yellow straight-neck squash and yellow crookneck squash. They're interchangeable with zucchini.
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yellow wax pepper , Hungarian wax chile pepper, hot Hungarian wax pepper
yellow wax pepper
These are easily confused with milder banana peppers. Sample before using. They are moderately hot.
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Yukon Gold potato
Yukon Gold potato
These are good all-purpose potatoes that have yellow flesh and a rich flavor. They're great for boiling, but they tend to fall apart if over-cooked.
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zucchini, baby marrow, courgette, Italian marrow squash
America's most popular summer squash, zucchini can be served raw, sautéed, baked, grilled, and even shredded and baked in a cake. Green zucchini is the most popular, but some grocers also carry a bright yellow variety. There's also a globe-shaped round zucchini that's easy to stuff.
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