Cooking Terms Dictionary: Common Culinary Words Explained (With Pictures)

filo pastry cooking term - foodalayaCooking is an art. The technique of cooking varies widely across the world and it also reflects the unique environmental and cultural traditions.

To become a skilled chef or to understand cooking better, one must know all the terminologies that are used in culinary art.

This article mainly focuses on some of the most essential culinary terms used for cooking. So, here we go:


A La Carte: 

This refers to menu in which beverages and items are priced separately.

A La Carte cooking term - Foodalaya


Al dente: 

This refers to food which is cooked until its “firm to the bite”.

Al dente cooking term - foodalaya


Bouquet Garni

These are herbs – parsley, thyme, bay leaf which are tied up together and used in soups and stews before serving.

Bouquet Garni cooking term - foodalaya


Bind:

Adding eggs, cream or water to a recipe to hold all ingredients together.

Bind cooking term - Foodalaya


Blanch: 

Adding food into boiling water and then placing it in cold water to stop the cooking.

blanch cooking term - foodalaya


Braise: 

Food is cooked slowly in a tightly sealed lid with minimum amount of liquid.

braise cooking term - foodalaya


Coulis: 

Sauce made out of puree of fresh fruits and vegetables.

coulis cooking term - foodalaya


Capers:

These are small flower buds usually preserved in vinegar or salt and gives a sharp flavor to our dishes.

capers cooking term - foodalaya


Deglaze:

Adding wine or other liquid to your food after all the roasting and sauteing.

deglaze cooking term - foodalaya


Dropping Consistency:

The consistency that’s needed while preparing cake: the batter just drops off the spoon with some reluctance.

dropping consistency cooking term -foodalaya


Filo pastry: 

These are thin sheets of pastry used in Eastern Europe. It is usually brushed with oil and butter and then layered.

filo pastry cooking term - foodalaya


Freezing:

This refers to tightly sealing off any food that you place in the freezer so that you avoid any freezer burn caused by air on your food.

freezing cooking term -foodalaya


Glaze: 

To coat food items with syrup, jam or juice.

glaze cooking term - foodalaya


Infuse: 

Extracting flavor from one food to another by heating or steeping.

infuse cooking term - foodalaya


Lukewarm:

A temperature that’s neither too hot nor too cold (35 degree Celsius)

 lukewarm cooking term - foodalaya


Mesclun: 

This is readily available at the supermarket, it is a combination of young herbs, lettuces and green shoots that can be used in a salad.

Mesclun cooking term - foodalaya


Mushimono

Japanese term referring to steamed dish.

mushimono cooking term - foodalaya


Maceration

Softening / breaking into pieces using liquid.

maceration cooking term - foodalaya


Mirepoix

Roughly chopped vegetables, usually a mixture of carrots, onions.

mirepoix cooking term - foodalaya


Panfry: 

Cooking food open in a heated pan using small amount of butter or oil.

panfry cooking term - foodalaya


Parboil: 

To cook partly in boiling water, ensuring that the vegetables are firm but not raw.

parboil cooking term - foodalaya


Pesto

This refers to an Italian paste of basil, pinenuts, garlic, parmesan cheese and oil. You can also include variety of herbs and nuts.

Pesto cooking term - foodalaya


Puree:

To mash and blend together well cooked vegetables or fruits and create a thick smooth paste out of it.

Puree cooking term - foodalaya


Reduce

This means to rapidly boil the food in order to evaporate liquid, concentrate the flavors, and thicken.

Reduce cooking term - foodalaya


Roux: 

This is a method of adding flour and butter to your sauce, then gradually stirring in the ingredients. This will thicken your sauce.

Roux cooking term - foodalaya


Salsa:

This is a mixture of finely chopped fruits or vegetables combined with other flavors and is served cold.

Salsa Cooking term - foodalaya


Saute: 

This means to fry food in an open pan by continuously stirring and shaking the pan.

Saute cooking term - foodalaya


Scald: 

This means to heat liquids until they reach their boiling point.

Scald cooking term - foodalaya


Simmer: 

This means to cook food in a liquid until we notice small bubbles appear on the surface.

Simmer cooking term-foodalaya


Skim: 

This means to remove all the fat layer from a boiling liquid. Eg removing cream from milk

Skim cooking term - foodalaya


Stir-fry: 

This means to use a pan, and cook finely chopped food at high temperatures while you constantly toss and turn your food until it is cooked.

stir fry cooking term -foodalaya


Stock: 

This is a liquid which is used as the base for soups and stews. It could be homemade or packaged. You just have to boil the vegetable, strain the water and use that water as a stock.

stock cooking term - foodalaya


Sweat:

Here we cook vegetables particularly onion until it dries out and the color fades off. However the vegetable will soften.

Sweat cooking term - foodalaya


Swiss roll tin: 

A shallow rectangular baking tin often used to bake slices.

swiss roll tin cooking term foodalaya


Whip:

This means to use an egg beater and beat egg whites until it becomes frothy and thick.

whip cooking term - foodalaya


Whisk:

To beat with a wire whisk until the batter becomes thick and frothy.

whisk cooking term - foodalaya


Zest:

This is the outer skin of lemon which contains essential oils, this could be grated and used as a topping when you cook food.

Zest cooking term - foodalaya


So all the budding novice chefs out there, I’m sure you’ve got an idea about most of the essential culinary terms! Henceforth whenever you want to understand the works of the master chefs you’ll be able to easily understand their cooking vocabulary and things will be quite easy for you.

If this article has been quite useful for you please share it across your dear ones. Please let me know how you felt about the article. Have a great day folks!

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