ESL Vocabulary for Cooking

To dice
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To cut a vegetable or meat into small cubes

“First I dice the tomatoes and then I throw them in the salad.”

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To deep fry
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To cook in hot oil.

“We can deep fry the fish and it will be delicious.”

To marinate
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To soak meat in a flavorful liquid.

“You will need to marinate the chicken for three hours before cooking it.”

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To grate
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To cut something like cheese into small pieces by rubbing it on a piece of metal with holes in it.

“The waiter will grate the cheese onto your pasta dish.”

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To simmer
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To cook in hot liquid.

“The cook is going to let the potatoes simmer for a while on the stove.”

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To whip together a meal
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To prepare a meal quickly.

“My mom whipped together a quick dinner so we could leave for the game.”

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Homemade
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Food that is prepared at home with care.

“These are homemade cookies prepared by my grandmother today. Try one!”

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To strain
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To pour the water out of the dish you are cooking.

“After 10 minutes of cooking the pasta in the boiling water, strain the pasta and it will be ready to eat.”

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To heat up
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To bring food to a warm temperature

“Let’s just heat up the soup from last night that is in the refrigerator and have that for dinner.”

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To sprinkle
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To put a small amount of something like salt or pepper on top of the food.

“I like to sprinkle a little salt on my steak.”

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To spice up
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To make food hotter and spicier.

“You can put some hot sauce on the sandwich to spice it up.”

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To add a pinch of something
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To add a small amount of spices to a dish.

“The recipe says to add a pinch of garlic powder to the rice and mix it in.”

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To thaw out
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To take frozen food out of the freezer to warm up for use.

“Take the frozen chicken out of the freezer to thaw out. I’m going to cook it tonight.”

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To bring to a boil
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To heat up water to a point where it is boiling.

“Bring the soup up to a boil and then turn down the heat.”

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To coat
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To cover a piece of meat or food with something like melted butter or a sauce.

“Coat the fish with melted butter and then put it in the oven.”

  • Conversation Activity for Cooking Vocabulary
  • Script for Conversation Activity on Cooking Vocabulary
  • Cooking Expressions Worksheet II
  • Listening Activity for Cooking Vocabulary
  • Reading Exercise for Cooking Terms
  • Matching Worksheet for Cooking Terms