We've put together a handy glossary of cooking terms and ingredients. Click the letters below to view the glossary of terms.
Rack of lamb: A tender portion of the rib section of lamb.
Raclette cheese: A scalded curd, semi-hard cheese from Valais in Switzerland. Raclette cheese has a nutty flavour that matures with age.
Radicchio: A purple leaf vegetable with a bitter flavour.
Radish: A small, red root vegetable with a strong peppery taste. The white radish variety, called Daikon, is widely used in Asian cuisines.
Ragout: A French term for stew (a Ragu in Italy). May also be used to describe any dish whereby meat and/or vegetables are cooked within the sauce that they are served with.
Rainbow trout: A freshwater fish, whose flesh is soft, moist and pink in colour.
Raisins: Refer Dried fruit.
Raita: A blend of natural yoghurt and cucumber, served as an accompaniment to Indian dishes.
Raki: Turkish aniseed liquor.
Rambutan: A tropical fruit, sometimes called a 'hairy lychee', with a bright scarlet, spiky skin and white, moist flesh.
Ramekin: A small, single-serve ovenproof dish.
Ramen: A thin, dried egg noodle, used in Asian cookery.
Rancid: Anything that is rancid is generally considered off. Technically, it means exhibiting a disagreeable odour and flavour, indicating that the fats within red and white meat have badly deteriorated due to oxidation during storage.
Rare: When cooking red meat, this term refers to meat that is sealed on the outside, but red and bloody on the inside.
Raspberries: A soft, aromatic berry, related to the rose family. Raspberries are red, black and yellow in colour, although the red and black varieties are the most common available in Australia.
Ratatouille: A vegetable ragout, made from tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, onions, garlic, capsicum and herbs simmered in olive oil.
Ravioli: Small squares of pasta dumplings, with a filling (i.e. cheese; cheese and vegetables; meat; poultry; seafood) that are served alongside a sauce when cooked.
Red cabbage: A variety of cabbage, with a deep purple colour.
Red Cheshire cheese: A semi-hard, cow's milk cheese with a crumbly texture, salty taste and a yellow colouring.
Red coral lettuce: A red lettuce variety, with a sweet flavour and leaves that are wavy and coral-like in shape.
Redcurrant: A translucent, small red berry with a high acid content.
Red date: A wrinkled, small dried red fruit resembling a regular date, with a firm, chewy, slightly sweet-and-sour flesh. May also be called a Chinese red date, Hoong job, Tsao or Jujube.
Red delicious: A variety of apple more suited to fruit salads than cooking, as this apples has a tendency to become mushy when cooked.
Redfish: A fish with fine moist flesh and a delicate flavour.
Red-grained truffle: A variety of Truffle.
Red kidney bean: A popular legume or dried bean, kidney shaped a colour ranging from pink to red. May also be called a Raajma.
Red Leicester: Refer Leicester cheese.
Red lentil: A pulse or dried pea.
Red mustard: A salad vegetable with bronze-red leaves that are quite peppery.
Refresh: In cooking, vegetables that have been boiled or blanched are immediately plunged under cold water (or into a bowl of ice and cold water) to stop or slow down the cooking process. Refreshing prevents the item from overcooking, and helps the vegetables to preserve their bright colours.
Regional cuisine: A term of reference for any cuisine that originates from a specific area or region (i.e. the Cantonese style from China, or the Provencale style from France).
Relish: A condiment, sauce or pickle, used to accompany cold meats or plain foods.
Remoulade: A French mayonnaise based sauce, flavoured with mustard, capers, chopped gherkins, herbs and anchovies.
Rennet: An agent used in cheese making that sets the curd after bacteria have acidified the milk.
Rennin: An enzyme contained in rennet.
Retort: To apply heat, at a specific temperature and for a specified time, to sterilize the product, and to cook it to a point where further preparation by the consumer is minimized.
Rhine Riesling: A white grape variety simply known as Riesling in Germany, from where this grape originates.
Rhubarb: A stem vegetable, pink-red in colour and served as a fruit. Rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid and are poisonous, but the stems are edible. This fruit is used mainly in desserts like rhubarb pie, or fruit compotes.
Rib bones: The bones surrounding the belly cavity of a fish. These extend from the backbone towards the ventral margin of a round fish, and are usually removed from fillets.
Riberry: The native berry from the Lillipilli Trees, with a pink colour with a fresh, tart and clove-like flavour.
Riboflavin: Vitamin B2, required by the body for the growth and repair of tissue, and to assist the body in utilizing proteins. The main source is yeast extract, almonds, dairy products, fish, meat, kidney and fresh liver.
Rice: Small, oval grain cereal, of which many varieties are available. They include long-grain white rice (remaining after the outer layer of bran is removed during milling); medium-and short-grain rice; basmati rice (an aromatic, long grain rice); Calrose rice (a medium grain white rice); wild rice (a dark, chewy, long grain rice with a nutty flavour, wild rice is the grain from wild grasses, and may also be called Tuscarora rice); Carolina or Patna rice (a high quality long grain, brown glutinous or sticky rice available in both black or white grains. Carolina rice becomes slightly gluggy when cooked); Arborio, vialone and carnaroli.
Rice bran: The outer husk of the rice grain that has been removed during the milling process. Refer Bran.
Rice flour: Fine flour made from milled rice, and used in the production of rice noodles, biscuits (i.e shortbread) and tempura batters.
Rice-flour noodles: Refer Asian noodles.
Rice noodle: A fresh or dried noodle made from ground rice and water, and available in many shapes and sizes. Dried rice noodle are called bi-sun and long rice, while fresh rice noodles may be called kway teow, bun pho and sar hor fun.
Rice paper: A fine edible 'paper', made from rice, used to wrap nougat, or placed on the bottom of Asian steamed buns.
Rice vinegar: Mild vinegar used to pickle food or create a sour flavour in cooking.
Ricotta cheese: A moist, delicate, fresh unripened white cheese made from the whey of cow's milk. Originating in Italy, there are three classifications of ricotta cheese: unsalted and unripened (tipo dolce); salted, dried and firm (tipo molitemo); and matured (tipo forte).
Riesling: A popular German white grape variety, and enjoying resurgence in Australia.
Rigatoni: Long tubes of pasta with large ridges.
Rillettes: A paste of pork, pork fat, garlic, and fresh thyme, eaten with fresh bread or toast.
Risotto: An Italian rice dish commonly made using Arborio, vialone nano or carnaroli rice.
Risoni: Small rice shaped pasta.
Roast: a) A large cutlet, darne, loin or steak. b). To cook food in an oven at a temperature between 180°C and 230°C. Usually the temperature is higher to start with and then reduced.
Rocket: A spinach-like green, sometimes called Arugula. The leaves resemble those of the dandelion and have a peppery flavour.
Rock lobster: A large, saltwater crustacean. Australian lobsters are called Rock Lobsters, and sometimes Crayfish, but this species should not be confused with freshwater Crayfish. Australian species include the eastern rock lobster (also called the Sydney-spiny or packhorse rock lobster); the southern rock lobster; the tropical or painted rock lobster; the western rock lobster.
Rock salt: Salt sold as a large, crystallized form.
Roe: Demale seafood eggs. Roe is classified into two types - Hard roe, being the eggs, and Soft roe, the male milt or sperm. The "roe" of sea urchins includes both eggs and sperm. Refer also Caviar and Coral.
Roesti: A Swiss term meaning golden and crisp. Also a term used to describe the Swiss potato pancake made from cooked potatoes, sometimes flavoured with bacon.
Rognon: A type of offal, Rognon is the kidney from beef, lamb, pork or veal.
Roll: A thin fish fillet rolled into a cylinder shape, often with the skin facing inside. The fillets can also be spread with a filling, before being rolled, and can be cooked by poaching, grilling or braising. This process is called Paupiette in French culinary terms.
Rollmop herring: Pickled herring fillets, often filled with peppercorns and onions, rolled and placed into pickling jars containing spiced white vinegar.
Room temperature: The surrounding air temperature in a room, which usually ranges between 20°C and 25°C.
Rose: A pink wine made from the juice of red wine grapes, but with minimal skin contact, to produce a light coloured wine.
Rosemary: An aromatic herb with blue flowers and spiky grey-green leaves, both of which can be used in cooking. The wooden stems are often used as skewers when making kebabs.
Rosti: A Swiss potato pancake made from cooked potatoes, sometimes flavoured with bacon.
Roti bread: An Indian and Malaysian flat bread, either griddle-cooked or baked.
Rotisserie: a). Cooking equipment that can be fuelled with wood, gas or electricity. B). A method of roasting meat slowly over hot coals or a low flame until it is cooked.
Roux: A thickening agent for soups and stocks, made with equal quantities of fat or water to flour.
Rub: A method of combining fat and flour, usually with ones hands and fingers.
Rye: a). A long narrow cereal grain, ground for meal or flour. Rye is popular in Europe where it is used to make dark breads, often with a heavy consistency and texture. B). A term to describe American or Canadian whisky made from rye and other grains.
Rye bread: Any bread made using rye flour.
Rye flour: Flour made from milled rye.