Learn How to Talk About COOKING in ENGLISH

Learn How to Talk About Cooking in English. Do you want to be able to talk about cooking without feeling like a fish out of water? Then learning the language of cooking is essential.

 

 

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced chef, there are certain phrases and terminology that you need to know in order to communicate successfully about cooking.

 

Food Preparation Terms

Once you understand the terminology, you can apply it to any type of cuisine.

Mise en Place
Mise en place literally means “put in place” or “everything in its place”. It’s the process of preparing all of your ingredients in advance before you start cooking. It involves measuring out all of the ingredients, chopping up any vegetables or herbs, and prepping any other ingredients that need to be cooked.

Flambé
Flambé is a French cooking term that means to “flame” or “flambe” with liquor or other flammable liquid. This is usually done to add an extra bit of flavor and to make a dish look visually appealing.

Sauté
Sautéing is a French cooking term which means to fry or brown in hot butter or oil.

Simmer
Simmering is the process of cooking food in liquid at a lower temperature than boiling. This is usually done with sauces or soups in order for them to thicken and take on more flavor.

Braise
Braising is the process of slow-cooking meat and vegetables in a covered pot with a small amount of liquid. This is usually done for a longer period of time in order to get all of the flavors to combine together.

Blanch
Blanching is the process of boiling vegetables for a short period of time in order to lessen any bitterness and to help them keep their vibrant colors.

 

Cooking Equipment

It’s also important to know the correct words for all of the cooking equipment that you may need.

Food Processor
A food processor is a kitchen appliance used to quickly and easily chop, grate and mix food.

Blender
A blender is an electric kitchen appliance used to mix, purée, and emulsify food.

Grill
A grill is a flat cooking surface used to quickly and evenly cook food over high heat.

Stovetop
A stovetop is a flat cooking surface used for a range of tasks including boiling, sautéing and simmering.

Mixer
A mixer is an electric kitchen appliance used to whip, mix, and blend ingredients.

 

 

Cooking Techniques/Actions

Once you know all the essential equipment and ingredients, you need to understand the basic techniques.

Mincing
Mincing is the process of cutting food into very small pieces. This is usually done with herbs, vegetables and meats.

Chiffonade
Chiffonade is the process of cutting herbs and vegetables into thin ribbons. This is usually done with basil, kale and spinach.

Deglazing
Deglazing is the process of adding liquid to a hot pan with browned bits of food in order to make a sauce or gravy.

Searing
Searing is the process of browning the outside of a piece of meat or fish in order to seal in the juices.

Marinating
Marinating is the process of soaking food in a flavorful liquid in order to add moisture and flavor.

Brining
Brining is the process of soaking food in a saltwater solution in order to add flavor and moisture.

 

 

Cooking Exercises

It is always best to practice and perfect your cooking skills. Here are some common cooking exercises:

Knife Skills
Knife skills involve learning the proper techniques for cutting and chopping. This includes proper grip, proper knife selection, and the correct way to hold the blade to maximize safety and accuracy.

Sauces
Making sauces requires understanding the basic principles of emulsification, reduction and thickening. It also involves learning to master the flavors in order to create the perfect balance.

Grilling
Grilling requires understanding how to properly preheat your grill, how to use the right amount of heat, and how to minimize flare ups.

Roasting
Roasting requires understanding how to arrange the food in the pan, how to use the right amount of oil, and how to properly monitor the temperature so that the food roasts evenly.

Steaming
Steaming requires understanding how to properly organize the food in the steamer, how to use the right amount of liquid, and how to maximize the flavor of the food without adding fat.

 

Conclusion

Learning how to talk about cooking in English can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. With a basic understanding of the terminology, equipment, and techniques, you can begin to learn how to prepare delicious meals with ease.

FAQs

What is mise en place?

Mise en place is the process of preparing all of your ingredients in advance before you start cooking.

 

What is flambé?

Flambé is a French cooking term that means to “flame” or “flambe” with liquor or other flammable liquid.

 

What is sautéing?

Sautéing is a French cooking term which means to fry or brown in hot butter or oil.

 

What is simmering?

Simmering is the process of cooking food in liquid at a lower temperature than boiling.

 

What is braising?

Braising is the process of slow-cooking meat and vegetables in a covered pot with a small amount of liquid.

 

What is blanching?

Blanching is the process of boiling vegetables for a short period of time in order to lessen any bitterness and to help them keep their vibrant colors.

 

What is knife skills?

Knife skills involve learning the proper techniques for cutting and chopping. This includes proper grip, proper knife selection, and the correct way to hold the blade to maximize safety and accuracy.

 

What is deglazing?

Deglazing is the process of adding liquid to a hot pan with browned bits of food in order to make a sauce or gravy.

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