Lots of my students get confused about English verbs when reading cooking instructions in recipes!! Here is a list of common English verbs used in recipes and kitchens everywhere!
cut: To separate or divide into pieces, using a sharp tool (eg: a knife).
Miranda has cut some apple for the children to eat.
slice: To cut into thin, wide pieces.
I’ll slice the bread so it’s ready for the sandwiches.
chop: To cut into small pieces (generally used with vegetables).
The vegetables need to be chopped before they go into the oven.
carve: To cut cooked meat into slices.
My dad carves the turkey on Christmas Day.
mince: to chop food (normally meat) into very small pieces. A machine is often used to do this.
The meat is minced before they make hamburgers.
grate: To divide into small parts by rubbing on a sharp surface. Usually used with cheese, fruits and vegetables.
He always grates cheese onto his spaghetti.
peel: To remove the skin of fruits or vegetables.
Can you peel the potatoes and add them to the soup?
add: To put ingredients together; to put one ingredient with the others.
Add the mushrooms to the mix.
bake: To cook in an oven by using heat.
Put the cake in the oven and bake it for 40 minutes.
beat: To mix quickly and continually, commonly used with eggs.
Beat the eggs together in the bowl.
knead: To press and stretch dough, usually used with making bread.
Gently knead the dough for 5 minutes.
mix: To combine two or more things using a spoon, spatula, or electric mixer.
Mix the sugar, flour and butter together in the bowl.
stir: To mix liquid ingredients by moving a spoon around in a circular motion.
You need to stir the soup every 15 minutes, so it doesn’t stick.
melt: to make something solid become liquid, by heating.
Melt the butter in the microwave.
barbecue: To cook foods (primarily meat) on a grill by using fire or hot coals.
He is barbecuing the meat while watching the football.
marinate: To soak meat or vegetables in juices and spices to flavour it.
I marinate the chicken in vinegar, lemon, lime and sugar.
boil: To heat water until little bubbles form.
Wait until the water is boiling before you add the sugar.
cook: To prepare food by heating it, so the food is not raw.
John cooks dinner on Wednesday evenings.
fry: To cook by putting the food into extremely hot oil.
To make chips, you need to fry slices of potatoes.
grill: To cook by putting the food on a grill; similar to barbecue.
Do you want me to grill or roast the lamb?
microwave: To heat up food within a microwave oven.
Are you hungry? You can microwave the soup in the fridge.
roast: To cook in the oven or over a fire.
She roasted the vegetables in the oven.
stir fry: To cook small pieces of food by moving it quickly in hot oil (similar to saute)
sauté: To quickly fry food by placing it in hot oil in a frying pan (similar to stir fry)
scramble: To mix the white and yellow parts of eggs together while cooking them in a pan.
steam: To cook by placing the food above boiling water. Steam is the vapor that comes from hot water
crack: to break or snap apart
Then, crack the egg into the saucepan.
break: To separate into smaller parts by force.
We should break the chocolate into pieces so everyone gets a piece.
combine: To put two or more things together.
Combine the flour, sugar and cocoa in the mixing bowl.
grease: To cover with a layer of oil or butter.
Grease the baking tray before you add the mixture.
measure: To obtain an exact quantity.
Can you measure half 300g of flour for me?
open: To allow things to pass through something, the opposite of closed.
I opened a jar of jam. / If you open the fridge, you’ll see the cake!
pour: To transfer liquid from one container to another.
Use the jug to pour water into the glasses.
put: To place something in a particular position or location.
Put the lettuce in the bowl.
wash: To immerse food in water and make sure it becomes clean.
Wash the tomatoes before you cut them.
weigh: To measure the weight (grams or pounds) or something
I need 500g of beef mince. Can you weigh it for me?
REMEMBER: Lots of these Verbs become adjectives to describe food. For example:
- Stir-fried vegetables (vegetables that has been stir-fried)
- Scrambled Eggs (eggs that has been scrambled)
- Microwave popcorn (corn that has been microwaved)
- Crushed garlic (garlic that has been crushed)
- Fried eggplant (eggplant that has been fried)