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
Click one of the indexed letters above to browse through our cooking dictionary, or simply type what you're searching for in the box below and click Search.
25 results found.
Term Pronounciation Definition
yaki fu [yah-kee FOO] see  FU
yakinori see  nori  [yah-kee-NOH-ree]
yakitori [yah-kee-TOH-ree] A Japanese term meaning "grilled" (yaki ) "fowl" (tori ), usually referring to small pieces of marinated chicken that are skewered and grilled.
yam This thick, tropical-vine tuber is popular in South and Central America, the West Indies and parts of Asia and Africa. Although SWEET POTATOES and yams are similar in many ways and therefore often confused with one another, they are from different plant species. In the southern United States, sweet potatoes are often called yams and to add to the confusion, canned sweet potatoes are frequently labeled yams. True yams, however, are not widely marketed and are seldom grown in the United States. Though they can be similar in size and shape to sweet potatoes, yams contain more natural sugar and have a higher moisture content. On the downside, they're not as rich in vitamins A and C as sweet potatoes. There are over 150 species of yam grown throughout the world. They can range in size from that of a small potato to behemoths over 7 1/2 feet long and 120 pounds. Depending on the variety, a yam's flesh may be various shades of off-white, yellow, purple or pink, and the skin from off-white to dark brown. The texture of this vegetable can range from moist and tender to coarse, dry and mealy. Yams can be found in most Latin American markets, often in chunks, sold by weight. When buying yams, select unblemished specimens with tight, unwrinkled skins. Store in a place that's cool, dark and dry for up to 2 weeks. Do not refrigerate. Yams may be substituted for sweet potatoes in most recipes.
Yankee bean see  NAVY BEAN
Yankee pot roast see  POT ROAST
yard-long bean A pencil-thin LEGUME that resembles a GREEN BEAN except that it can grow up to about 3 feet long (though it's usually picked at 18 inches or less). Yard-long beans belong to the same plant family as the BLACK-EYED PEA. In fact, in parts of China the bean is allowed to mature until full-fledged peas are produced in the pod. Yard-longs have a flavor similar to but not as sweet as that of a green bean, with hints of its black-eyed-pea lineage. The texture of the pod is more pliable and not as crisp as that of a green bean. This LEGUME, also called Chinese long bean , long bean  or asparagus bean , can be found year-round (with peak season in the fall) in most Asian markets and some supermarkets with specialty produce sections. Select those that are small (which equates to younger) and very flexible; the peas should not have matured. Refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to 5 days. Yard-long beans are most often cut into 2-inch lengths and sautéed or STIR-FRIED. Overcooking will make them mushy. These beans are rich in vitamin A and contain a fair amount of vitamin C.
yarrow [YAR-oh, YEHR-oh] Any of several very pungent, aromatic herbs found in Europe and North America. Known as milfoil  in Europe, yarrow has a very strong aroma and flavor and is therefore used sparingly to flavor salads, soups and occasionally egg dishes. It may also be used to brew a TISANE (herb tea).
yeast [YEEST] Yeast is a living, microscopic, single-cell organism that, as it grows, converts its food (through a process known as fermentation) into alcohol and carbon dioxide. This trait is what endears yeast to winemakers, brewmasters and breadbakers. In the making of wine and beer, the yeast's manufacture of alcohol is desired and necessary for the final product; and carbon dioxide is what makes BEER and CHAMPAGNE effervescent. The art of breadmaking needs the carbon dioxide produced by yeast in order for certain doughs to rise. To multiply and grow, all yeast needs is the right environment, which includes moisture, food (in the form of sugar or starch) and a warm, nurturing temperature (70° to 85°F is best). Wild yeast spores are constantly floating in the air and landing on uncovered foods and liquids. No one's sure when these wild spores first interacted with foods but it's known that the Egyptians used yeast as a LEAVENING agent more than 5,000 years ago. Wine and other fermented beverages were made for millennia before that. Today, scientists have been able to isolate and identify the various yeasts that are best for winemaking, beermaking and baking. The two types commercially available are baker's yeast and brewer's yeast. Baker's yeast, as the name implies, is used as a leavener. It's catagorized into three basic types — active dry yeast, compressed fresh yeast and YEAST STARTERS. Active dry yeast is in the form of tiny, dehydrated granules. The yeast cells are alive but dormant because of the lack of moisture. When mixed with a warm liquid (105° to 115°F), the cells once again become active. Active dry yeast is available in two forms, regular  and quick-rising , of which the latter takes about half as long to leaven bread. They may be used interchangeably (with adjustments in rising time) and both are available in 1/4-ounce envelopes. Regular active dry yeast may also be purchased in 4-ounce jars or in bulk in some health-food stores. It should be stored in a cool, dry place, but can also be refrigerated or frozen. It should always be at room temperature before being dissolved in liquid. Properly stored, it's reliable when used by the expiration date, which should be stamped on the envelope or jar label. One package of dry yeast is equal to 1 scant tablespoon dry yeast or 1 cake of compressed fresh yeast. Compressed fresh yeast, which comes in tiny (0.06-ounce), square cakes, is moist and extremely perishable. It must be refrigerated and used within a week or two, or by the date indicated on the package. It can be frozen, but should be defrosted at room temperature and used immediately. One cake of fresh yeast can be substituted for one envelope of dry yeast. The use of compressed fresh yeast has been primarily replaced by the more convenient active dry yeast. All baker's yeast should be given a test called PROOFING to make sure it's still alive. To proof yeast, dissolve it in warm water and add a pinch of sugar. Set the mixture aside in a warm place for 5 to 10 minutes. If it begins to swell and foam, the yeast is alive, active and capable of leavening bread. Brewer's yeasts are special non-leavening yeasts used in beermaking. Because it's a rich source of B vitamins, brewer's yeast is also used as a food supplement. It's available in health-food stores. Brewer's yeasts are also marketed in specialty beermaking equipment shops, with different strains used for different beers.
yeast bread Any bread that uses YEAST as the LEAVENING agent. As the yeast ferments, it converts the flour's starchy nutrients into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas. The gas bubbles trapped in the elastic GLUTEN mesh of the dough are what make it rise. Oven heat kills the yeast and evaporates the alcohol. The gas expands in a final burst of energy and causes the bread to rise. Among the more well-known yeast breads are BRIOCHE, CROISSANTS, FRENCH BREAD and SOURDOUGH BREAD.
yeast starter Prior to the evolution of commercially available baking powders and yeasts during the 19th century, yeast starters were the LEAVENERS used in breadmaking. Such starters are a simple mixture of flour, water, sugar and YEAST. (At one time, airborne yeast was the only source used, but today convenient commercially packaged baker's yeast is more common.) This batter is set aside in a warm place until the yeast ferments and the mixture is foamy. A portion of the starter — usually about 2 cups — is removed and used as the base and leavener for some bread recipes. Once fermented, yeast starters — the most famous of which is sourdough starter  — can be kept going in the right environment for years simply by adding equal parts flour and water. Herman starter  is a colloquialism (of unkown origin) for a honey- or sugar-sweetened starter used primarily for sweet breads. Starter should be refrigerated and can be stored this way indefinitely as long as it's replenished every 2 weeks. Before using or replenishing, it should be brought to room temperature. If a starter turns orange or pink and develops an unpleasantly acrid odor, undesirable bacteria have invaded it and the mixture must be discarded. Two cups of the foamy starter mixture can be substituted for each package of yeast called for in a recipe.
yellow berry see  CLOUDBERRY
yellow-eyed pea see  BLACK-EYED PEA
yellowfin tuna see  TUNA
yellowtail 1. This large (up to 100 pounds) game fish is found off the coast of Southern California and further south into Mexican waters. It's a member of the JACK family — related to POMPANO — with a flavor and texture similar to TUNA. Yellowtail is only occasionally available commercially. It may be prepared in any way suitable for tuna. 2. A variety of SNAPPER. See also  FISH.
yogurt; yoghurt [YOH-gert] A dairy product that's the result of milk that has fermented and coagulated because it's been invaded by friendly bacteria. This can be accomplished naturally by keeping the milk at about 110°F for several hours. The end result is a creamy-textured yogurt with an astringent, slightly tart taste. Yogurt-making is thought to have been originated by nomadic Balkan tribes thousands of years ago, probably first by accident and then as a means of preserving milk. Today, yogurt is made commercially in carefully controlled environments and the requisite bacteria (usually Lactobacillus bulgaricus  and Streptococcus thermophilus ) are added to the milk. Though yogurt can be made from the milk of many animals, cow's milk is the most commonly used. There are a variety of commercial yogurts now produced. Plain yogurt is made from whole milk, lowfat or nonfat milk without additional flavoring ingredients. Flavored yogurt has sugar and either artificial flavorings or natural fruit (or both) added. Some flavored yogurts contain gelatin or stabilizers for a thicker texture. Fruit-flavored yogurts can either have the fruit on the bottom (to be mixed in by the consumer) or be already stirred — in which case they're referred to as Swiss-style . Frozen yogurt — which resembles soft-serve ice cream in texture — has become very popular and competes head-to-head in some markets with ice cream. The health benefits of yogurt have long been touted. It is certainly a good source of B vitamins, protein and calcium and is much more digestible than fresh milk. It's also said to keep the intestinal system populated with good bacteria and therefore in healthy condition. These benefits, however, are thought to be lost when yogurt is frozen, which destroys most of the beneficial bacteria.
yokan [YOH-kahn] This Japanese confection is made with AGAR (the jelling agent), sugar and ADZUKI-BEAN paste. Other flavorings such as persimmons or chestnuts are also sometimes used. Yokan, which is sold in Asian markets, will keep indefinitely in the refrigerator.
York Imperial apple A medium to large apple with firm flesh that's tartly sweet. The York Imperial's skin is red with yellowish streaks and the flesh is off-white. It's an excellent cooking apple and is a favorite for baked apples because it keeps its shape during cooking. This apple is available October through April. See also  APPLE.
Yorkshire pudding [YORK-sheer, YORK-shuhr] British roast beef wouldn't be complete without Yorkshire pudding, which is like a cross between a POPOVER and a SOUFFLÉ and not at all like a pudding. It's made with a batter of eggs, milk and flour, baked in beef drippings until puffy, crisp and golden brown. It may be prepared in a shallow baking dish, muffin tins or other small containers, or in the same pan as the roast. Like a hot soufflé, Yorkshire pudding will deflate shortly after it's removed from the oven. This specialty takes its name from England's northern county of Yorkshire.
yosenabe [yoh-seh-NAH-beh] A type of NABEMONO (one-pot meal) consisting of chicken, seafood and vegetables all combined in a single pot of seasoned broth — kind of a Japanese BOUILLABAISE.
youngberry A hybrid BLACKBERRY variety with dark red color and sweet, juicy flesh. See also  BERRIES.
yuba [YOO-bah] Soybean milk "skin" that forms on soy milk when it is heated. The delicate milk skin is carefully removed and usually dried in sheets or folded and dried in sticks. Yuba sheets are rehydrated by covering with a wet towel; yuba sticks are soaked in water. Yuba, with its creamy, nutlike flavor, is often used in vegetarian dishes as a meat substitute. It can be found in most Asian markets. Sheets of yuba can be used to wrap other foods that can then be braised, deep-fried or steamed. The sticks are sometimes deep-fried to a crispy brown, to be eaten alone or broken into pieces for use in other dishes. Yuba sticks are sometimes called bamboo  because of their look-alike quality.
yuca; yucca [YUHK-uh] see  CASSAVA
yule log [YOOL] see  BÛCHE DE NOËL
yuzu [YOO-zoo] A sour Japanese citrus fruit, which is used almost exclusively for its aromatic rind. The rind of the yuzu (which is about the size of a tangerine) has an aroma that's distinct from lemons and limes or any other Western citrus fruit. Yuzu rind is used as a garnish or small slivers are added to various dishes to enhance their flavor. It can be found in some Japanese markets.
© The Residential Chef 2019