Cooking 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.
This refers to food which is cooked until its “firm to the bite”.
These are herbs – parsley, thyme, bay leaf which are tied up together and used in soups and stews before serving.
Adding eggs, cream or water to a recipe to hold all ingredients together.
Adding food into boiling water and then placing it in cold water to stop the cooking.
Food is cooked slowly in a tightly sealed lid with minimum amount of liquid.
Sauce made out of puree of fresh fruits and vegetables.
These are small flower buds usually preserved in vinegar or salt and gives a sharp flavor to our dishes.
Adding wine or other liquid to your food after all the roasting and sauteing.
The consistency that’s needed while preparing cake: the batter just drops off the spoon with some reluctance.
These are thin sheets of pastry used in Eastern Europe. It is usually brushed with oil and butter and then layered.
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.
To coat food items with syrup, jam or juice.
Extracting flavor from one food to another by heating or steeping.
A temperature that’s neither too hot nor too cold (35 degree Celsius)
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.
Japanese term referring to steamed dish.
Softening / breaking into pieces using liquid
Roughly chopped vegetables, usually a mixture of carrots, onions.
Cooking food open in a heated pan using small amount of butter or oil.
To cook partly in boiling water, ensuring that the vegetables are firm but not raw.
This refers to an Italian paste of basil, pinenuts, garlic, parmesan cheese and oil. You can also include variety of herbs and nuts.
To mash and blend together well cooked vegetables or fruits and create a thick smooth paste out of it.
This means to rapidly boil the food in order to evaporate liquid, concentrate the flavors, and thicken.
This is a method of adding flour and butter to your sauce, then gradually stirring in the ingredients. This will thicken your sauce.
This is a mixture of finely chopped fruits or vegetables combined with other flavors and is served cold.
This means to fry food in an open pan by continuously stirring and shaking the pan.
This means to heat liquids until they reach their boiling point.
This means to cook food in a liquid until we notice small bubbles appear on the surface.
This means to remove all the fat layer from a boiling liquid. Eg removing cream from milk
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.
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.
Here we cook vegetables particularly onion until it dries out and the color fades off. However the vegetable will soften.
Swiss roll tin:
A shallow rectangular baking tin often used to bake slices.
This means to use an egg beater and beat egg whites until it becomes frothy and thick.
To beat with a wire whisk until the batter becomes thick and frothy.
This is the outer skin of lemon which contains essential oils, this could be grated and used as a topping when you cook food.
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.
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