The Cooking Terms & Tips

Cooking Curry at home is often healthier and less expensive than eating out, however sometimes recipes contain terms that can be confusing. But don't worry because we are here to save your day. These are the most common cooking terms along with the tips that could really help you to make a perfect curry recipe.

Boiling

Definition:

Cooking in water in which the bubbles are breaking on the surface and steam is given off.

 

Tips: 

Start with a kettle. Sometimes it's easier to start with a kettle-full of boiled water from our electric kettle, poured into the pot. And cover the pot as this will help less heat evaporate and help your water boil faster.



Chopping

Definition:

Cutting food into fairly fine pieces with a knife or other sharp tool.

 

Tips:

Make sure your knife is sharp – a blunt knife is actually more dangerous than a sharp one and a large knife is much more easier to handle. Before you start, making sure that your thumb is tucked in behind your fingers so that it is protected. When you chop, keep the tip of the blade on the board and rock the rest of the blade up and down, rather than lifting the whole blade up off the surface.

 

For Chopping an Onion - peel and cut it into quarters. Pull off a segment of the onion, place it on the chopping board and hold it firmly in place with one hand. First chop the onion segment lengthways, then turn the onion slices round and chop them across into very little pieces. 



Blanching

Definition:

Preheating in boiling water or steam to remove inactive enzymes and shrink food for drying; or to aid in the removal of skins from vegetable.

 

Tips:

For Blanching Noodle - blanch noodle in hot boiling water for 1 minute and rinse in a cold water for about 30 seconds. Quickly blanch the noodle again in boiling water for 10 second for a perfect chewy noodle.



Frying

Definition:

Cooking in a hot fat. The food may be cooked in a small amount of fat (a.k.a pan frying) or in a deep layer of fat (a.k.a deep frying).

 

Tips:

Choose oil with a neutral flavor―such as canola oil, regular olive oil, or peanut oil―that can withstand moderately high heat. Flavorful oils such as extra-virgin olive oil or dark sesame oil may burn or create harsh flavors in the food. To prevent food from sticking, heat the pan first and then add the oil or butter. And take care not to overcrowd the pan, as doing so lowers the temperature and may cause food to stick. It may also hinder evaporation as the food cooks, creating steam in the bottom of the pan and ultimately a soggy crust.



Peeeling

Definition:

Stripping off the outside covering. You'll find it comes off very easily and that you get a smoother, more uniform end result than when you use a knife or vegetable peeler.

 

Tips:

For Peeling off Shallot - first, soak the shallots in boiling water for 5 minutes. Rinse under cold water. Cut off the top and root ends. At this point, you can squeeze the shallots and try to slip off their skins, which should be loosened by the soaking. Make a very shallow cut in the top layer. This should go through no more than one layer of the shallot. Peel away the top layer of the shallot and the skin. There's it, a skinless shallot!

 

For Peeling off Ginger - begin by cutting off the amount of ginger you need and then trimming it of any small nubs so that you have a relatively uniform piece to work with. Then, hold the ginger in one hand and use the tip of your spoon to scrape off the peel.

 

For Peeling off Garlic - There's a new trick to peel a garlic without a knife in just 10 seconds.



Sautéing

Definition:

Fry quickly in a little hot fat.

 

Tips:

Be sure to warm the pan over medium-high heat for a few minutes. It needs to be quite hot in order to cook the food properly. If the heat is too low, the food will end up releasing liquid and steaming rather than sautéing. Fats such as peanut oil, regular olive oil, canola oil are used to coat the food and prevent it from sticking to the pan, aid in browning, and add flavor. Once the pan is hot, add the fat, and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. When sautéing tender vegetables and bite-sized pieces of meat, stir frequently (but not constantly) to promote even browning and cooking. 



Marinating

Definition:

The purpose of marinating is to add flavour and, in some cases, tenderise meat, chicken and fish.

 

Tips:

Marinades vary from recipe to recipe but they generally contain 3 basic components - oil, acid and seasoning. Remember to place the marinade in a saucepan over high heat and boil for 5 minutes then marinate meat, chicken and fish in the fridge to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

 

For Marinating with Oil - the oil content in a marinade locks in the natural flavour of the food and prevents it drying out. Good oils for marinating include olive, sesame, peanut and infused oils (such as chilli).

 

For Marinating with Acid - these ingredients tenderise meat by unravelling its proteins and allows flavours to be absorbed. Acids include vinegar, wine, sherry, and citrus juice. A citrus-based marinade can "cook" raw fish.

 

For Marinating with Seasoning - these provide the unique flavours. Garlic, ginger and onion are great starting points but you can also use fresh herbs and chilli to spice things up, or honey and sugar to sweeten your food. Seasonings include citrus peel, soy sauce, mustard, salt and pepper, and herbs and spices. 



Dicing

Definition:

Cutting food into cubes.

 

Tips:

If you are the type of person who tears a lot when handling with onion issue, there has been a trick many people claim to be very drastically useful is to put a small bread in your mouth. Trust us, it works!

 

For Dicing an Onion - you can watch this video and learn how to easily dice an onion like a pro.



Simmering

Definition:

Cooking in a liquid in which bubbles form slowly and break just below the surface. The temperature range from 85 °C / 165 °F to a temperature just below the boiling point.

 

Tips:

For Simmering Soup - you have to build flavours as you go. Vegetables like onion, garlic, celery and carrots are referred to as ‘aromatics’, thus are part of most soup recipes for this very reason, sautéed in oil or butter as a first step of flavour-making. Be sure they’re cooked long enough to be softened (and release their flavour) before moving on to the next step. Once soup has come to a boil, reduce to a simmer and make sure that it stays there. Boil things too vigorously, and the vegetables will get mushy, the meat will toughen, and the noodles will start to break down. 

 

For Simmering Noodle Soup - don't cook the noodles separately! Add noodles as the final addition, and cook until tender, allowing the noodles to take on the flavour of the soup. Noodles that are cooked separately will lack flavour and break down when added. If you plan on freezing your soup, don’t add the noodles. Instead add them once it has been thawed and brought back to a boil. The noodles will taste much fresher this way.



Stirring

Definition:

Mixing food materials with a circular motion. Food materials are blended or made into a uniform consistency by this process.

 

Tips:

You may think you know which tool is best for stirring. Or, you may just grab the first thing you see and use that. While this may work, there are some tools preferred over others. Typically, we use spoons, spatulas and whisks in the kitchen to stir. You can learn how to stir like a pro in this video.



Shelled

Definition:

To remove the shell of a shrimp.

 

Tips:

Peeling Off Shrimp by Hand - Pull off the legs. Work your thumbs underneath the shell and crack it open. As the shell cracks, you'll be able to peel it away from the shrimp. The tail can often be left on for cooking, but if you'd like to take it off now, pinch the tail where it meets the body of the shrimp and gently pull. The rest of the shrimp should pull cleanly out of the tail.

 

Peeling Off Shrimp with Kitchen Shears - Insert the tip of the shears between the shrimp and the top of its shell and begin cutting the shell along its length. Stop when you get to the tail. Then peel back the shell from either side of the cut and discard. Again, you can either pinch off the tail or left it on for cooking if you like.



Deveined

Definition:

To remove the intestinal tract, which resembles a vein, from a shrimp.

 

Tips:

Gently run your paring knife along the back of the shrimp and give it a shallow cut. Look for the vein - The vein will look like a long, gritty string (you might not find a vein in every shrimp but that's okay). Gently pull up the vein with the tip of your paring knife, starting near the top and continuing to the bottom. It's fairly elastic, so it usually doesn't break. If it does break, just pick it up again and keep pulling.



Pounding

Pounding:

To beat to a powder or pulp; pulverize or crush.



slicing

Definition:

Slicing is the cutting of food into thin, relatively broad slices. 



Steaming

Definition:

Steaming works by boiling water continuously, causing it to vaporize into steam; the steam then carries heat to the nearby food, thus cooking the food. The food is kept separate from the boiling water but has direct contact with the steam, resulting in a moist texture to the food.



Grilling

Definition:

Cooking on a charcoal grill imparts an impossibly rich, smoky flavor.