It’s very difficult for novice cooks, as well as some experienced cooks, to understand the meaning of cooking abbreviations and terminology used in popular Recipe websites, in the Cook Books and in the Cooking Shows on various TV channels. An attempt has been made to add here glossary of cooking terms and some basic cooking abbreviations which are commonly used in the field of cooking.
|fl oz.||fluid ounce|
Glossary of Cooking Terms
Bake: To cook in the oven.
Barbecue (BBQ): To grill food over an open charcoal or wood fire.
Baste: To keep food moist during cooking by adding liquid/sauce over it with a brush to prevent its drying.
Batter: A thin flour and liquid mixture which is easy to be poured.
Beat: To make a mixture smooth by mixing it rapidly by hand-held tool or in a machine.
Blanch: To briefly immerse items in boiling water to cook lightly.
Blend: To thoroughly mix two or more ingredients.
Boil: To heat a liquid until bubbles are formed and they break on the surface of the liquid.
Braising: A cooking method in which food is first seared (eg, browning meat quickly at very high heat), then cooked at a lower heat in a covered pot after adding some liquid.
Breading: To coat a raw food with bread crumbs.
Broil: To cook food on a rack/grill in the oven.
Caramelize: To heat sugar to turn it brown, so it gives a special taste.
Chop: To cut solid food items into pieces.
Combine. To blend or mix ingredients together. For example; combine eggs, water, sugar, and flour together to form a mixture.
Cream: To vigorously mix one or more food items to make them creamy and soft like a paste.
Cube. To cut cooked meat or other solid food items into small squares for salads or casseroles, etc.
Cure: The process of drying, salting or smoking meats to preserve them.
Cut in (or Cutting in): It’s a process of adding butter or some other fat to dry ingredients by using a pastry blender, food processor or your finger tips.
De-grease: To remove fat from the surface of soup, stock and stew.
Dice: To cut food into small cubes of equal shape and size.
Dissolve: Allow a solid dry substance to become a liquid to form a solution.
Dot. To drop small bits of butter, cheese or some other ingredients over the food to enhance its flavor.
Drain. To pour off the excess liquid or fat from food. For example; we drain the excess water from boiled pasta.
Drizzle: To sprinkle drops of liquid over food.
Dust: To sprinkle dry ingredients over food, for example sprinkling salt on a fried egg.
Fillet: A piece of flesh after its bone has been removed, for example, fish fillet, chicken fillet, etc.
Flake: To lightly break food into small pieces.
Fold in (or Fold): Gently adding a new ingredient (such as beaten egg whites or whipped cream), to an already beaten mixture.
Fricassee: To cook by braising small pieces of meat in liquid. Rabbit or fowl is cooked by this method.
Fry: To cook food in a hot fat, for example in butter, oil, etc.
Garnish: Decorating and enhancing flavor of a prepared food dish with parsley, chopped chives, lemon slices or other herbs.
Grate: Rubbing cheese, potatoes and other vegetables over a grater and break them into small pieces or shreds.
Grill: Cooking food on a grill over high heat.
Grind: Reducing solids to small particles by using a grinder or by hand.
Knead: The process of mixing of flour with water and making dough by pressing it with the palms of the hands or with a machine.
Ladle. To dip and serve stew, soup or other food with a ladle (dipper).
Lukewarm: Liquid or food nearly at body temperature, neither cold nor hot.
Marinate: Soaking meat, fish, vegetables, etc., in a marinade (vinegar, honey, oils, herbs, spices, etc.) for several hours to enhance their flavor or make the meat tender.
Mince: To cut or chop food into very tiny small pieces, eg minced meat.
Mix: To combine food ingredients by stirring with fork or in a mixer.
Pan-Broil: A dry cooking method for fish fillets, thin steaks and thin chops in an uncovered frying pan without using fat or liquid.
Pan-Fry: To cook by using a small amount of fat.
Parboil: It’s the partial cooking of food as the first step during cooking, for example, parboiled rice. It is normally followed by cooking in a seasoned sauce, etc.
Pare: To cut off or remove the outer skin of a vegetable or fruit with an instrument such as a knife.
Peel: To remove the outer covering or skin from a vegetable, fruit, prawn, etc. with your hands or a peeler. For example peeling of oranges and bananas.
Pinch: A very tiny amount which can be held between one’s thumb and forefinger, for example ‘pinch’ of salt.
Pit: Removing the stone (pit) from fruit.
Plump: The process of soaking dried fruit in liquid, till it swells. This process will make the fruit softer, juicier and plumper.
Poach: Cooking slowly in hot liquid just below the boiling point, such as poached eggs.
Puree: Mashing fruit or vegetable by hands or putting it in a blender to make it soft, such as tomato puree.
Roast: To cook food by dry heat in an oven. Hot air around the food cooks evenly on all sides.
Saute: Cooking food quickly in a small amount of fat over high heat.
Roll (or Roll Out). To flatten and spread dough with a roller or a rolling pin. For example; roll out is the process to flatten cookie dough with a rolling pin.
Scald: Heating a liquid to a temperature where it is about to reach the boiling point (below 100 °C or 212 °F).
Sear: Browning meat quickly with very high heat. This cooking technique will cause the meat to shrink but develop the flavor.
Shred: Cutting the food into thin and long pieces with a knife or a grater.
Sift: The procedure of putting dry ingredient, such as sugar or flour through a sieve or sifter.
Simmer: Slowly cooking a food in liquid just below the boiling point of water (below 100 °C or 212 °F). The formation of bubbles will be slow but will not be able to reach the surface of the liquid.
Steam: To cook food in steam by using a pressure cooker.
Steep: It’s a method to extract flavor and color of an ingredient into the water by keeping it for a long time on a temperature below the boiling point.
Stew: A slow cooking technique where food is cooked in a small amount of liquid (stock, water, sauce, etc.) for many hours.
Stir: Mixing ingredients until fully blended.
Toss. To mix gently.
Well. A hole made in dry ingredients in which liquid is poured.
Whip: To beat a food rapidly so as to add air to it and make it to expand, such as beating egg whites or cream.