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Food's Glossary

A to Z commonly used food's glossary and cooking terms.



Kare-kare is a Philippine stew or curry. Any Filipino fiesta, particularly in the Tagalog region, is not complete without kare-kare, which is made with a variety of vegetables. It is made from a peanut sauce (sometimes spiced with chili), stewed ox tail, goat, chicken or beef, bagoong and occasionally offal or tripe.

A kebab is essentially small chunks of meat threaded onto a skewer and grilled or cooked over coals. Kebabs can be served on their own with dips or sauces, with rice, or removed from the skewer and used to stuff an open pitta bread.

Kebabs are part of the culinary tradition of the Caucasus, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and other parts of Asia, as well as numerous other cuisines. Vegetables can be used instead of or as well as meat. Kebabs are particularly good for barbecuing because you can satisfy all kinds of tastes on a single skewer - from veggie kebabs to chicken, lamb, beef or fruit

Often called catsup in the US, this thick, slightly sweet and spicy sauce is a traditional American accompaniment for French fries, hamburgers and many other foods. It's usually made from tomatoes, vinegar, sugar and spices, but other flavours such as mushroom ketchup or various fruit ketchups are available.

Ketjap Manis
Also spelled kecap manis. Similar to dark soy sauce but sweeter, this extremely rich, dark, syrupy sauce is used in marinades, as a condiment or as an ingredient in Indonesian cooking. The sweetness comes from palm sugar; other flavourings include garlic and star anise. It's available from Asian supermarkets.

Kimchi, also known as gimchi or kimchee is a traditional Korean dish of fermented chile peppers and vegetables, usually based on cabbage. The Korean word seems to originally have meant "steeped (or submerged) vegetable".

King Crab
King crabs, also called stone crabs are a family of crab-like decapod crustaceans chiefly found in cold seas. Their large size means that many species are widely caught and sold as food.

The King Mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla) is a migratory species of mackerel that lives its entire life in the open waters of the western Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. At present, king mackerel are primarily marketed fresh. They may be sold as fillets, steaks, or in the round (whole). Their raw flesh is grayish, due to its high fat content, They are best prepared by broiling, frying, baking or, especially for large ?Smoker? King, by smoking.

From the German 'kirsch' meaning cherry, this is a clear liqueur distilled from cherries and their almond-flavoured stones, often used in sponge cakes, for macerating and to flavour dishes containing fruit. It's often added to fondue and is used in the dish cherries Jubilee - poached cherries flambéed with kirsch.

An exotic fruit from New Zealand, also known as horned melon or jelly melon. It has a bright yellow-orange skin covered in stubby spikes and a pale yellow-green pulp with a jelly-like texture and tangy flavour. It's a refreshing fruit to eat as it is from the shell, or you can spoon the flesh into fruit salads, over ice cream or use it in puddings.

Kiwi Fruit
The kiwifruit is the edible fruit of a Cultivar Group of the woody vine Actinidia deliciosa and hybrids between this and other species in the genus Actinidia. It is marketed worldwide as kiwifruit but is more commonly called kiwi in North and South America and in Europe. The most common cultivars of kiwifruit are oval, and about the size of a large hen's egg (5-8 cm long and 4.5-5.5 cm diameter). It has a hairy, dull green-brown skin that most people peel off before consumption. The flesh is bright green or golden with rows of small, black, edible seeds. The texture of the fruit is soft and the flavour is sometimes described as a mix of strawberry, banana, and pineapple.

To work and stretch dough either by hand or using an electric dough hook. The process makes the mixture smoother and softer and develops the elasticity of the gluten. It also evenly incorporates air and any additional ingredients at the same time. Depending on the recipe (and your energy levels!) kneading usually takes about seven to ten minutes.

A knish is an eastern-European snack food popular in Jewish communities. A knish consists of a filling covered with dough that is either baked or fried.

One of numerous members of the brassica family, a pale green or purple, bulb-shaped vegetable that tastes a bit like a mild turnip. It's grown more for its bulb-like stem than for its greens leaves, although these can be eaten too if they're attached when you buy it. Kohlrabi can be substituted for turnip in any recipe, and is good steamed or boiled, sliced and stir-fried and added to stews or soups.

Korma, also spelt qorma, is a mild curry, often made with yogurt sauce, cream, or nuts. In some cases it is made with coconut cream. Especially with chicken.

Kosher foods are those that meet certain criteria of Jewish law. Invalidating characteristics may range from the presence of a mixture of meat and milk, to the use of produce from Israel that has not been tithed properly, or even the use of cooking utensils which had previously been used for non-kosher food.

This is a ceremonial bread served for Easter in Russia. Kulichi are baked inside large cans, its'' not a bread, and thus has to be a unique form, usually tall & rounded. The topping of the Kulich, by mixing confect. sugar with water and a squeeze of lemon. This glaze is placed on the Kulich once it cools down. Also, instead of using flour after buttering the inside form, you should use bread crumbs. Once you serve the Kulich, you should serve it with Paskha and painted eggs for Easter celebrations.

A small citrus fruit originating in central China but now cultivated in the Far East, Australia and America. Kumquats - sometimes called Chinese oranges - can be eaten whole, including the skin, or used for pickling and preserves. They're as sharp in taste as lemons. Choose small, shiny fruits. Wash and eat them whole, poach them in sugar syrup and serve with ice cream, or use in a fruit salad. They're particularly good in stuffings for poultry.




Ladies' Fingers (Okra)
An alternative name (because of its appearance) for okra, an ingredient that's widely used in Indian, Middle Eastern, Caribbean and southern US cookery where it's an essential ingredient in gumbo.

A long green pod with a slightly fuzzy skin, it's full of edible creamy seeds. Okra exudes a glutinous juice in cooking which thickens stews and braised dishes.

Rendered and clarified pork fat, lard is a fine white fat that's less used these days because of its high animal-fat content. It's used particularly for slow cooking, but also for deep-frying, and it's said to make the best crisp, flaky pastry.

Lardons are small, chunky cubes of bacon (smoked or unsmoked) used to flavour dishes such as quiches. They can also be fried and scattered in salads. They're often sweated with onions as a base for soups or stews. They give a good salty depth of flavour to robust dishes such as coq au vin.

Rectangular sheets of Italian pasta, about the size of a standard envelope. The baked dish that incorporates them is also called lasagne and is usually prepared with alternate layers of Bolognese sauce, lasagne sheets and béchamel sauce, topped with grated Parmesan cheese and baked in the oven until browned.

Lasagne can be made with many different fillings, such as roasted vegetables, spinach, aubergine, fish or chicken. A simple tomato sauce could be used in place of béchamel or different cheeses can be grated on top.

A traditional Indian drink that used to be made from buttermilk poured into earthenware crocks, with salt added to help combat dehydration in the hot climate. It's now made from thin yoghurt, often sweetened with sugar or rosewater or sometimes spiced with cumin. To make your own, dilute plain yogurt, with water or milk, add salt or sugar to taste, then blend vigorously with crushed ice.

The Leek (Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum (L.) J. Gay) is a vegetable belonging, with onion and garlic, to the Alliaceae, the onion family. Leeks are generally considered to have a finer flavor than the common onion. They can also be used raw in salads, doing especially well when they are the prime ingredient.

Very sharp, acidic citrus fruit with a shiny yellow skin and sour but zingy flavour. Lemons are rich in vitamin C but with a low sugar content. They're available all year round and used in both sweet and savoury dishes.

In the U.S. and Canada it refers to an uncarbonated soft drink made of a mixture of lemon juice, sugar, and water. An approximate recipe for U.S. and Canadian lemonade is to mix equal volumes of lemon juice and sugar and add water to taste, approximately four times as much water as lemon juice. About three quarters the volume of sugar is likely to be better to the taste of most people. It is traditionally served cold, preferably with ice. In many upscale supermarkets, tall bottles of supposedly European lemonade can be purchased. These are always carbonated or ?sparkling.? Often, these are translucent yellow, more like North American lemonade, though there are occasionally transparent and pink varieties as well.

A main ingredient in Thai and South-east Asian cuisines, lemongrass is a pale green stalk that can be used fresh, dried or powdered to impart its lemon flavour to sweet or savoury dishes. Fresh stalks are sold in many supermarkets now.

The lentil (Lens culinaris) is a bushy annual plant of the legume family, grown for its lens-shaped seeds. The plant originated in the Near East, and has been part of the human diet since the aceramic Neolithic. With 25% protein it is the vegetable with the highest level of protein other than soybeans, and because of this it is a very important part of the diet in many countries, and especially India which has a large vegetarian population. A variety of lentils exist with colors that range from yellow to red-orange to green, brown and black. The colours of the seeds when removed from the pods also vary, and there are large and small varieties. They are sold in many forms, with or without the pods, whole or split.

Lettuce is a temperate annual or biennial plant most often grown as a leaf vegetable. In Western countries, it is typically eaten cold and raw, in salads, hamburgers, tacos, and several other dishes. In some places, including China, lettuce is typically eaten cooked and use of the stem is as important as use of the leaf. There are 4 main types of lettuce whichh are Iceberg, Butterhead, Romaine, and Looseleaf.

The process of thickening a sauce, soup or stew. This includes all rouxs, starch and water mixtures (slurries), beurre marni and egg yolks with or without cream. Egg yolks must be tempered with hot liquid before adding to the liquid in order to prevent curdling.

Lima Bean
The lima bean is palatable and nutritious both immature as a fresh vegetable and mature as a dry pulse. Immature lima beans are one of the principal ingredients of succotash. Dry lima beans require lengthy soaking of about twelve hours and thorough cooking.

Small, green citrus fruit is used mainly for its juice. It can be added to savoury dishes, as in Asian cuisine, curries in particular. It has a stronger, more sour taste than lemon. Lime juice and zest can be used in marinades and salsas or just squeezed over finished dishes. It's used in ceviche to effectively 'cook' the raw fish.

A limpet, (Opihi in Hawaiian) is a one of a group of marine Mollusks within the class Gastropoda. There are several varieties of limpets known as 'Opihi in Hawaii. The variety with a green border on the underside is known as makaiauli. The variety with a yellow foot is known as alinalina, and the gray-footed variety is ko'ele

Limu is also the Hawaiian word for algae. Limu played an important part in the ancient Hawaiian diet. It was used to add flavor to an otherwise particularly bland diet of kalo (taro), 'uala (sweet potato), and 'ulu (breadfruit). Limu, together with sea salt and mashed kukui nuts were the ingredients of 'inamona, a seasoning mixture much enjoyed by early Hawaiians.

Lingonberries are a dark red soft fruit similar to a cranberry, traditionally used in Scandanavian cooking. They can be used to make lingonberry juice which can be served hot or cold, and lingonberry jam.

A flattened spaghetti-like pasta. It's best served with a medium-thick sauce which will cling to the thin strands well. Cream-based sauces go well with linguine and it's often served with seafood. Allow about 75g/21⁄2oz of pasta a person. Use spaghetti if you can't find linguine, although it's available from most supermarkets either fresh or dried.

A liqueur is a sweet alcoholic beverage, often flavoured with fruits, herbs, spices, flowers, seeds, roots, plants, barks, and sometimes cream. The word liqueur comes from the latin word liquifacere which means "to dissolve." This refers to the dissolving of the flavorings used to make the liqueur. Liqueurs are not usually aged for long periods of time, but may have resting periods during their production to allow the flavors to marry.

A distilled beverage is a liquid preparation meant for consumption containing ethyl alcohol purified by distillation from a fermented substance such as fruit, vegetables, or grain. The word spirits generally refers to distilled beverages low in sugars and containing at least 35% alcohol by volume. Gin, vodka, rum, whiskey, cognac, and tequila are types of spirits. Beverages high in both alcohol and sugar content such as Grand Marnier, Frangelico and schnapps are generally referred to as liqueurs. The term liquor may mean spirits, spirits and liqueurs, or all alcoholic beverages, including wine, sake, beer, and mead.

Although there many lobster varieties around the world, the two main ones are the American (or Maine) lobster, which is considered the biggest and best, and the European lobster, which tends to be smaller. They can be used interchangeably in recipes.

A hybrid between a blackberry and raspberry, the loganberry is a large soft dark-red berry, a little bigger than a raspberry. It has a less subtle flavour than a raspberry and can be quite tart, so needs plenty of sugar when used in desserts. Use it as you would other summer berries - eaten fresh with sugar or cream, in desserts, jams and coulis. In savoury cooking it goes particularly well with game dishes.

A loin is a cut of meat that comes from the back of the animal. It's sold as a roasting joint, with or without bones, as well as chops and steaks which are good for grilling and barbecues. You'll occasionally find the word loin describing some fish, such as tuna loin or monkfish loin.

Lo Mein
Lo mein is a Chinese dish based on stir-fried wheat noodles. It often contains vegetables and some type of meat or seafood, usually beef, chicken, pork, or shrimp. The Chinese word "lo" means stir or mix. It can either mean "stirred by the chef" or "stirred by the eater". The name refers to totally different dishes in different parts of Chin.

Lomi Lomi
To massage, knead or rub; lomi salmon is a popular lu'au dish.

Also known as sea parsley, the leaves and stem of the lovage plant add an intense celery-like flavour to soups, stews and stocks or pork and poultry dishes. It can also be used to enhance potato dishes.

A luau (Hawaiian lu'au) is a traditional Hawaiian feast that normally features foods such as poi, kalua pig (pork prepared in an imu, or earth oven), poke, and lomi salmon. Hawaii residents often hold luaus to celebrate special occasions such as a child's first birthday. Commercial operations in Hawaii also specialize in luaus that cater to visitors to the Islands.

A fruit that originated in China and is now grown in the Far East and the West Indies. It's about the size of a small plum and has a thin, hard, rough shell that comes off easily. The white, juicy flesh has a similar texture to grapes but is more chewy, with a delicate scent. There is a large dark brown stone in the centre



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