Monday, July 5, 2010

Camellia Oil 苦茶油

For the longest time, I had been wondering what 苦茶油 was. The Taiwanese believe this oil is very good for health, and is particularly good for the digestive system. Directly translated, it means "bitter tea oil". Then, one day I came across this bottle in the supermarket here ... with an English translation of 苦茶油 ...

Ahhh ... so 苦茶油 is actually camellia oil! To-date, I've only known camellia oil to be used for cosmetics (see my post on camellia oil beauty pdts by geishas in Kyoto here). I'm still amazed that camellia oil can be used for cooking/consumption.

Apparently, camellia oil has a high smoking point, so it can be used for frying, but given that it is more pricey than other oils, I've been using it for salad dressing, dipping breads, and I intend to use it to add flavour to mee sua/mian xian, which I've seen being served in some eateries in Taiwan.

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