Flambe - Heated brandy (or other spirits) is poured over cooked or partially cooked food and is then ignited and allowed to burn off.

Julienne - Food is cut into very thin, long matchstick strips

Roux - A mixture of fat and flour sauteed together and then added to liquid to thicken it.

Bind - To thicken the liquid of a soup, gravy or stew with a starch such as flour or cornstarch or with egg yolks.

Blanch - To place in boiling water for a given amount of time and then in cold water, for the purpose of partially cooking or peeling.

Braise - To sear or brown in fat, then cook slowly, covered, with a minimum of liquid, on stove or in oven.

Coat a Spoon - Custards and sauces which contain egg yolk or cornstarch must often cook until they are thick enough to leave a coating on a spoon, indicating their degree of doneness.

Fold - To gently combine a lighter mixture such as beaten egg whites with a heavier mixture such as a cream sauce or cake batter. To do this, place heavier mixture over lighter, cut down through middle of both with a rubber spatula and draw spatula toward you, turning mixture over as you do so. Continue around bowl in this fashion

Cooking Terms


Aerate To pass food through a fine mesh, so that the larger pieces or lumps stay on the sieve. This process makes the flown-flour to be incorporated with air.
AgeTo get food older under controlled conditions. Examples: Aged meat, cheese, wine etc.
AdjustTo taste food while cooking and to add seasonings or flavoring agents according to one’s wish.
Al dente Italian for “to the tooth,” described perfectly cooked pasta. It just means tender but yet offers a slight resistance when bitten.
BakeTo cook food, covered or uncovered, using the direct or dry heat oven.
BasteTo brush a liquid over food. For example basting a sauce or butter to cover the roasted meat, during cooking to keep them moist.
BatterAn uncooked wet mixture, which could be spooned or poured to cook. It could be of heavy chunky consistency to very thin watery consistency.
BeatTo actively whisk with a spoon or an electric mixer until smooth.
Bind To combine two or more ingredients together, in order to hold the morsels in place.
BlackenTo cook a dish for a prolonged period to develop a rich blackened surface.
Bias SliceTo slice vegetables in a slant 45-degrees angle.
BrownTo cook food quickly to develop a richly browned flavorful surface.
BlanchTo partially cook vegetables, fruits and nuts in boiling water or steam to intensify color and flavor. Sometimes, even to free the pulp from skin.
BlendTo combine two or more ingredients to smooth or uniformly mix. Can be done using an appliance or with spoons.
BoneTo remove bone from the meat or even fish.
BraiseTo cook food in a small amount of liquid in a tightly covered pan in a stove top method or in an oven. Best way to cook flaky fish.
BrewTo pass steam over the strong ingredients and collect the percolated water, which is very potent.
BroilTo cook food in a direct heat in a broiler. Preheat the oven, but not the dish, racks or the pan…to avoid food sticking to the pan.
BrushTo give a glaze to the food using a brush.
BurnTo char something up intentionally for flavor.
ButterflyTo split a food, such as shrimps or prawns. Cutting almost but not all the way through, almost like an open book.
CarveTo cut or slice the cooked meat into serving portions.
CanTo preserve the foods and placing them in glass, ceramic or metal containers to prolong shelf-life.
CaramelizeThe process through which the natural sugars in foods becomes brown and flavorful. Caramelizing could be hastened with the addition of sugar.
CharTo blacken the food a little to enhance grilled flavor.
ChillTo place the food in a refrigerator until its completely cool.
ChopTo cut food roughly into small, irregular pieces.
ChunkTo cut foods into irregular shapes, larger than cubes.
ChurnTo use a long stick and rock the food until it separates into two mediums. Usually to buttermilk, where the process pushes out fatty layer to stay on the top.
ClarifyTo remove the solids from the liquids, so its clear enough.
CoddleTo cook gently, below the boiling point.
CrumbleTo break the food into small pieces, not necessarily uniform pieces.
CongealTo turn liquid into solid by chilling.
CoreTo remove the center of various fruits, which eliminated seeds or tough woody centers.
CreamTo beat a fat, like butter until fluffy. Its a technique to ship air into the fat.
CureTo treat food by one of the different methods for preservation purpose.
CurdleTo coagulate or separate into solids and liquids.
CrimpTo pinch or press the dough edges, to create a seal or decorative finish.
DashIf the recipe calls for a ‘dash’ of ingredient, it is somewhat relative. However, the most accurate amount appears to be 1/16 of a teaspoon. Literally, you add an ingredient “in a dash”.
DeboneTo remove bones from the meat.
DecorateTo finish the food with other edibles stuff for an visual appeal.
Deep FryTo cook food by submerging in hot oil.
DeglazeTo add a liquid to the pan, in which meat was done previously to prepare a a quick sauce using the left-over crust and seasonings.
DevilTo add a spicy ingredient to food.
DiceTo cut into small uniform pieces.
DissolveTo cause a dry substance to pass into the solution in a liquid.
DipTo immerse the food in the liquid (usually for flavor).
DoughTo prepare a tough consistency mass of ingredients, prior to cooking.
DredgeTo lightly coat food with a dry ingredients, typically bread crumbs or flour. It develops a delicious crisp exterior after frying.
DrizzleTo slowly pour a liquid, such as clarified butter to bring a uniform glaze.
DeveinTo remove the dark intestine (gut) of a shrimp, though its guts…it is widely perceived as vein due to the very thin appearance.
DefrostTo thaw food.
DustTo sprinkle very lightly with a dry ingredients, typically dry working flour while kneading.
Emulsify To bind liquids that usually can’t blend smoothly otherwise. For example a fat and water. Its a trick to add one by one in slow steam.
Egg WashIs a mixture of eggs yolks / whites mixed with water or milk. Which is used to baste the breads, pies or puffs before baking. It conceals, acts like a seal and give a glaze to the dish.
FermentTo bring about a chemical change in food and beverages; The change itself is caused by the bacteria or yeast. Its much like ‘controlled spoilage’. :)
FilletAs a verb, to remove the bones from the meat or fish. A fillet is a piece of meat after it has been boned.
FricasseeTo cook by braising; usually applied to fowl or rabbit.
FilterTo pass the liquid through a sieve or even percolate through a steamer and bring a desired liquid on the other end.
FlavorTo enrich the food with flavoring agents, like spices and herbs.
FlipTo turn over the food, such as pancakes to finish cooking on the other side.
FloretTo cut vegetables like broccoli and cauliflowers into small clusters.
FoldTo incorporate a light-airy mixture (like an beaten egg whites) with a heavier mixture (cake batter).
Fluff To disturb the food using fork to make it airy and soft.
FreezeTo leave the food in a freezer.
FrostTo cover a cake or cookie with an icing.
FrothTo beat a beverage until the bubbles or foam forms on the surface.
FryTo cook food in hot oil, until brown and crisp.
GarnishTo enhance finished foods with flavor or visual appeal by using other edible products on the plate.
GelTo use a specific ingredient to seal the food. Like egg whites, oil or even water.
GlazeTo process of dipping or brushing, usually with sugar based liquid to bring out a shiny finish to the foods.
GrateTo rub the food in a micro-plane, or alternatively use food processor to yield a fine grated result. The size of the grate depends and varies, according to the recipes.
GreaseTo coat food or the utensils with fat or oil to prevent food from sticking.
GrillTo cook food on a rack over a direct heat source, such as charcoal.
GrindTo process foods finely in a grinder. The advantage of grinding your own stuff is that you have total control over the texture from fine to coarse.
HeatTo apply a heat source to warm the food or utensils.
HullIt actually means to remove the outer husk of the grains, in culinary terms however…it means to remove unwanted stalks, stems and leaves.
InfuseTo steep an aromatic ingredient in hot liquid until the flavor has been extracted. Teas are infusions.
InjectTo force liquid into the foods to enhance flavor, more often to moisten the meat.
ImbibeWhere the lentils or legumes suck enough liquid, when soaked in the liquid.
JuiceTo extract the liquid from the fruits or vegetables.
JulienneTo cut food, especially vegetables into thin matchsticks thickness and about 2 inches long.
KneadTo work dough until its smooth, either by pressing with hands or in a food processor. It develops the gluten in the flour, an elastic tendency.
LayerTo arrange a food one over the other.
LeavenAny agent that causes a dough or batter to raise. Common leavening agents are baking soda, salt or yeast.
LukewarmNeither cold not hot, approximately warm enough to touch…typically like one’s body temperature.
MarinateTo flavor or tenderize a food by letting it to soak in a liquid, usually acidic juices.
MashTo crush a food into smooth evenly textured state.
MeltTo apply heat or sometimes even the room temperature would be enough to bring the solid food to loosen up a little. The consistency varies from ingredient to ingredient.
MinceTo chop into tiny, irregular pieces.
PareTo cut away the skin of the meat, fruits or vegetables. A small knife is used for this purpose, called ‘paring knife’.
Par boil To cook a food partially in boiling water. Thereby it retains some freshness and nutrients.
PasteurizeTo sterilize milk by heating and then rapidly cooking it.
PinchTo amount of a powdery ingredients that could be held between your thumb and forefinger.
PoachTo cook food gently in simmering liquid; where the liquid should be large enough to hold the food and it should dry out that easily.
PoundTo flatten meat to an uniform thickness using a kitchen hammer or rolling pin. This gives out a nice uniform crust to the dish.
PeelTo remove the other skin or rind from vegetables and fruits.
PercolateTo pass the steam through a potent ingredient, which yields a strong liquid.
PitTo remove the seed from the fruits.
PopTo make the food bulge into 2-3 folds.
PickleTo preserve the food (meat, vegetables or fruits) in a brine.
PrickTo pierce a food in a few or many places to prevent bursting.
PureeTo form a smooth mixture by whirling food, usually a fruit or vegetable, in a blender.
PatTo gently press the food to remove moisture or to flatten it.
PlumpTo soak the dry fruits in liquids to make them swell.
PulpThe inner core of the fruits or vegetables, without skin. Or to crush the food into paste.
PipeTo force a food through a pastry tip to use as a decoration or a garnish.
ReduceTo rapidly boil a liquid down to a thicken, so that the much liquid is evaporated.
RoastTo cook food in the oven, in an uncovered pan, so the dry air circulates to bring out an brown exterior to the dish.
RefreshTo run cold water over a food that has been previously boiled or par-boiled to further stop the cooking process.
Reconstitute To restore condensed or concentrated foods to its original strength by adding liquids.
RefrigerateTo leave the food in the refrigerator.
RenderTo heat a solid fat (usually animal fat) over a low heat until it is melted.
RindTo describe the outer skin of the citrus fruits.
RollTo use a rolling pin to flatten the dough or to gather the food to form a desired shape.
RubTo apply seasoning mixture to the surface of the meat or food.
QuarterTo cut or divide into four equal parts.
SauteA French term ‘sautey’ meaning ‘to jump’, it refers to the style of shaking the wok. Its a method to cook food quickly in a small amount of hot-fat in a skillet.
ScaldTo heat milk until tiny bubbles just begin to appear around the edges of the kettle or pan. Its not a complete boil, so use this method to only pasteurized milk.
SearTo brown the surface of the meat quickly in a hot pan to enrich flavor.
ShredTo cut, tear or grate in a such a way that the vegetable or meat looks like thin strips.
SeedTo remove the seeds from the vegetables.
Stir-constantlyTo stir during the entire time of cooking.
StockThe well-flavored broth that is made by simmering meat or poultry, fish or vegetables with herbs spices and vegetables.
ScoopTo take a ladle full of moist food stuff.
ScoreTo cut shallow slices, along the surface of the meat, to tenderize. To peel of a vegetable, can also be scored for a decorative look.
ScrambleTo stir gently with a fork or spoon while cooking. Eggs are often scrambled.
SeasonTo apply flavoring agents, such as spices, salt or herbs.
SeparateTo divide into half or two equal parts.
SieveTo pass the grains or flour through a mesh to yield an uniform or clean ingredient. Where the impurities or lumps gather on the top of the mesh, which is easily discarded.
ShellTo remove the tough non-edible cover of a vegetable or seafood.
SiftTo pass ingredients such as flour through a fine mesh to remove lumps or impurities or for uniformity.
SimmerTo cook liquid gently, alone with other ingredients, over the low-medium heat, well below the boiling point for a considerable duration.
SkimTo remove fat or froth from the surface of a liquid.
SkinTo peel off the outer skin of a vegetable or meat.
SliceTo cut into thin, flat pieces.
SliverTo cut into long, thin strips.
SetTo test for done texture, when the surface of the food is firm to touch.
SmokeTo apply smoke (from a burning wood or charcoal) to irradiate the food and enhance flavor and its widely used in preserving fish or meat.
SoakTo leave the food in a liquid medium until it is completely immersed. And usually they imbibe a lot, so enough liquid is recommended according to the ingredients and quantities…you choose to soak.
ShaveTo use a peeler to shave the foods, like chocolates or cheese.
SprinkleTo scatter lightly.
SteamTo cook on a rack, above the boiling liquid with a well-covered lid.
SteepTo soak dry ingredients, such as spices, tea and coffee in a hot liquid.
StewTo cook either by boiling or simmering with a heavy lid for along period of time.
Stir-fryTo fry small pieces and small portion over a high heat.
StrainTo pass liquid or moist ingredients through a colander, sieve or cheesecloth to hold and remove the solid lumps.
StuffTo fill the cavity of a poultry or vegetables with a well-seasoned mixture prior to cooking.
SnipTo finely cut with kitchen scissors.
SweatTo cook vegetables in small amount of fat, in a low heat with heavy lid…until juices form and the vegetable begin to brown.
TenderizeTo make the food be little tender, either by using tenderizing agents like marinades or its a style of cooking and sometimes, even the right kind of procurements help to tenderize certain foods.
ToastTo apply heat and dry-out all the moisture present in the food.
ThreadTo arrange the foods in a skewer stick.
TrussTo secure the poultry using a skewer or threads to hold its shape, while cooking.
TurnFlip over the food to the other side to cook.
TrimTo lightly cut the edges.
TemperTo hat food gently before adding it to a hot mixture so it doesn’t separate or curdle the entire dish.
TossTo lift and drop pieces of food quickly and gently, to ensure uniform coating.
WhipTo beat an ingredient or mixture rapidly, adding air and increasing volume.
Wash To wash with running tap water.
WedgeTo cut into large slices.
WarmApply heat to the food.
WhiskTo beat ingredients or mixture rapidly, adding air and increasing volume. Whip with whisk or egg beater.
WiltTo heat food until it limps, such as green leafy vegetables.
ZapTo cook something in a microwave quickly.
ZestTo grate the colored peel of the citrus fruits. Sometimes, the peel itself is also called zest. 

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