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Glossary of Cooking Terms

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

P

Parboil - To partially precook in boiling salt water or other liquid before adding to another dish. Used when the total cooking time of the main dish is not sufficient to ensure thorough cooking, or to shorten the overall cooking time. Parboiling is used for dense food such as carrots and potatoes. Never parboil meat, fish or sausages, which should be cooked thoroughly at first cooking to kill any bacteria which may be present.

Peel - (v.) To remove the outer skin or shell from a food either manually or with a peeler or paring knife. (n) The rind or skin from a fruit or vegetable.

Pickling - The most important forms of pickling are in soy jam in China (often fermented flour jam) or soy sauce. Pickling in vinegar is not so common. Pickling in syrup or honey is for dessert material and not a dish-forming process. Pickled cu­cumbers in soy sauce are a great delicacy. They can be found canned on the shelves of Chinatown .

Pig's feet - The feet and ankles of pigs, which are available fresh, smoked or pickled. Also known as trotters (particularly in Great Britain).

Pinch - A measuring term that generally refers to dry ingredients such as spices. The general rule is that it should measure about 1/16th of a teaspoon.

Plunging - Plunging is a very quick form of soup-cooking on the principle that the more surface is heated the less time it takes. Thus, you cut meat, fish, or poultry to flying-thin slices, dip them in a mixture of soy sauce, wine, and corn flour, then plunge them into boiling clear soup or water. One or two minutes, and it is done, both tender and savory. The soup also improves after the pieces have been plunged in.

Vegetables with thin parts such as spinach need not be sliced, but as they take longer to cook than meat of similar size, they should be boiled a little before the meat slices are plunged in the last minute or so. In China , plunging is often done at the table when a fire-pot is served in winter.

Poach - To cook food gently in liquid just below the boiling point. The liquid's surface should begin to show some movement. Eggs, fish, fruit and meat are often poached in sweet or savory liquids. See simmering. Chinese cooking techniques defined here.

Poon Choi - is also called Big Bowl Feast. It is a traditional type of Chinese food served in wooden basin instead of the porcelain or metal. Poon Choi includes ingredients like pork, beef, lamb, chicken, duck, abalone, ginseng, shark's fin, fish maw, prawn, crab, dried mushroom, fish ball, squid, dried eel, dried shrimp, pig skin, bean curd sticks and radish, etc etc. Poon Choi is special in the way that it is composed of different layers of many ingredients. Also, It is eaten layer by layer instead of "stirring everything up", but those who cannot wait will often choose to pick up the juicy radish at the bottom first using shared chopsticks. It is often served during religious rituals, festivals, special occasions and wedding banquets, Poon Choi can now be enjoyed at many restaurants in the autumn and winter or on special occasions throughout the year.

Pork belly - A cut of pork comprising the spareribs and a large amount of fat streaked with lean meat that is usually smoked and cured for bacon.

Preserving - A preparation method for food so that it can be kept for longer periods of time without spoiling. Preserving can be accomplished in a number of ways including refrigeration, freezing, canning, salting, smoking, freeze-drying, dehydrating and pickling.

Pulses - these are peas, beans, lentils and split peas.


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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Last Modified: 11/28/11.