Food Dictionary

Kaffir lime leaves
Dried leaves from the Kaffir lime tree. Pale green in color, resembling a bay leaf. Purchase in packages in Oriental markets.
Kahlua
A sweet coffee liqueur imported from Mexico.
Kalakukko
A Finnish dish of bread filled with fish.
Kale
A non-heading member of the cabbage family. Cultivated for over 2,000 years, this vegetable can be prepared and eaten in much the same way as spinach.
Kamoboko
A variety of Japanese fish paste cake.
Kampyo
Japanese gourd shavings that are a popular stuffing for sushi. Find in Japanese markets.
Kamut
A variety of high-protein wheat that hasn't yet been hybridized. Kamut kernels are two-to-three times larger than most wheat and provides a higher nutritional value.
Kanpyo
Strips of dried gourd, popular in Japan. The strips are soaked in water to soften before they are used in sushi, soups, and broths.
Kanten
A tasteless dried seaweed that is used as a thickening agent. Sold in blocks, powder, or stands. Agar can be used in place of gelatin, but less is required. Also called "agar" and "Japanese Gelatin."
Kasha
Also known as "buckwheat groats." Kasha is the hulled, crushed kernels of buckwheat. Normally cooked like rice and is available in coarse, medium, and fine grains.
Katsuo
This small tuna (6 to 8 pounds) has a light-colored meat similar to yellowfin. "Katsuo" is the Japanese name for this fish. The Hawaiians call it "aku."
Katuray
The edible flower of a tree native to the South Pacific and parts of Asia. Especially popular as a food in the Philippines. Also called "Sesbania Flower."
Kebab
A dish of small pieces of meat or vegetables threaded on skewers and cooked over coals or a grill. Usually associated with Middle Eastern cookery.
Kedgeree
Traditional British breakfast dish, originally from India, mainly consisting of rice, cooked flaked fish and hard-boiled eggs. The fish is usually smoked haddock.
Kefir
A fermented milk drink similar to a lassi, flavored with salt or spices. Where available, kefir is made with camel milk. The word "kefir" is derived from the Turkish word keif, which loosely translates to; good-feeling, feeling of well-being or feeling-good. Kefir is a refreshing probiotic cultured-milk beverage, which is believed to originate in the Northern Caucasus Mountains many centuries ago. Kefir has a uniform thick creamy consistency, a slightly sour refreshing taste, with a mild aroma of fresh yeast. Kefir also has a slight naturally carbonated effervescent "zest". To round this all off, kefir may contain between 0.08 to 2 % alcohol. Many aromatic compounds contribute to kefir's unique flavor and distinctive pleasant aroma.
Kelp
A long, dark brown to grayish-black algae which is harvested, sun-dried, then folded into sheets. A popular ingredient in Japanese cookery. Sometimes pickled and used as a condiment.
Ketchup
A thick, slightly sweet sauce, with one flavour predominating, often used as a cold accompaniment to meals. The best known type is tomato.
Ketjap manis or kecap manis
Similar to soy sauce but sweeter, this extremely rich, dark and thick sauce is used in marinades or as a condiment in Indonesian cooking. The sweetness comes from palm sugar and other flavourings include garlic and star anise.
Key limes
Small, yellow-green limes that are tarter in flavor than the more common Persian limes. They are most famous for their role in key lime pie, the tangy custard pie made with a meringue topping. Key limes are often hard to find.
Kidney
The kidneys are a pair of glandular organs in the abdominal cavities of mammals and reptiles. Calf's and lamb's kidneys are amongst the most delicate. Pig's kidneys are larger and coarser and make good pâtés.
Kidney bean
A popular, firm bean with a dark red skin and a full-bodied flavor. Considered the world's second most important bean (behind the soybean). Popular in "chili con carne" (chili with meat), soups, and salads.
Kielbasa
A highly seasoned smoked sausage of Polish origin made from pork and (sometimes) beef. It is flavored with garlic and other spices. Can be served cold or hot.
Killing the Onion
A Turkish technique for taming onions is described as "killing" the onion: soaking it in salted water to draw out some of its harshness.
Kimchi (kimchee)
The fiery cabbage-based staple of Korea, heavily seasoned with garlic and chile.
King Crab
A giant crab that can grow up to 10 feet, claw-to-claw. It has snowy white meat edged in red. Because their numbers are rapidly decreasing, the catch is rigidly quota-controlled.
King Salmon
Considered the finest Pacific salmon. This high-fat, soft textured fish can reach up to 120 pounds. Also called the "Chinook Salmon."
Kingfish
Any of several varieties of drum found along the Atlantic coast.
Kipper
Salted, smoked herring.
Kippered Snack
Herring that is split, cured by salting, drying, and cold-smoking. Also called "Kippered Herring" and "Kippers."
Kirsh
A clear form of brandy that is distilled from cherry juice and pits. "Kirsh" means "cherry" in German. Kirsh is used in fondues and Cherries Jubilee.
Kitchen Bouquet
Brand name for a bottled seasoning used to flavor and color gravy. It is also known as "baker's caramel (burnt sugar caramel)" or "blackjack." You can make your own by combining 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved (about 2 minutes). Gradually add 1 cup boiling water; continue cooking until it becomes syrupy (about 15 minutes).
Kitchen paper
Paper towel.
Kiwano
An exotic fruit, also known as horned cucumber or jelly melon, with a spikey orange skin. The kiwano's pulp is a pale yellow-green colour and jellylike in texture with a sweet-tart flavour reminiscent of bananas and cucumbers.
Kiwi
The kiwi fruit is originally from China, but is now widely grown in all moderate climates. Its stark green color makes it a popular garnish, but it is a pleasant tasting fruit on its own. It has a unique tart-sweet taste. Also known as the "Chinese gooseberry."
Knackwurst
A smoked and cooked sausage made from beef and/or pork. It is shorter and larger in diameter than a frank and is strongly seasoned with garlic.
Knead
To work and stretch dough either by hand or an electric dough hook. The process makes the mixture smoother and softer or more elastic and evenly incorporates air or additional ingredients at the same time.
Knish
A Jewish potato pancake that is deep-fried or baked. Sometimes meat (primarily beef) or other ingredients are encased in its outer dough.
Kohlrabi
Pale green or purple coloured bulb-shaped vegetable of the cabbage family. It cooks like a turnip and is said to taste of asparagus. Popular in German cookery.
Kolbassy
A highly seasoned smoked sausage of Polish origin made from pork and (sometimes) beef. It is flavored with garlic and other spices. Can be served cold or hot. Also called "polish sausage" or "Kielbassa."
Kombu (Konbu)
A large edible seaweed used in Japanese cooking.
Kome-Kogi
Miso made from rice.
Korean Buckwheat Noodles
One of the most popular varieties of noodles among the Koreans are the brownish noodles known as "naengmyon" which are sold dried. They are made with buckwheat flour and potato starch and are slightly chewier than soba noodles. To prepare buckwheat noodles boil for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. Naengmyon are mostly used in soups.
Korean Pickling Salt
A coarse salt used in making Korean delicacies like Kimchee. Substitute kosher salt if necessary.
Kosher
Derived from the Hebrew word "kasher," which means "proper" or "pure." Kosher foods conform to strict Jewish biblical laws pertaining to the type of food eaten, the kinds of foods combined in one meal, and how an animal is killed.
Kosher salt
Coarse salt used for pickling.
Koulibiac
A Russian pie filled with fish, vegetables, rice and hard-boiled eggs. European cooks have adapted and varied the recipe in many ways, making it with brioche dough or puff pastry and filling it with rice, chicken and mushrooms or with salmon, onions, parsley and shallots.
Koyodofu
Dried tofu (soybean curd cake).
Kugelhopf
A yeast cake from Alsace baked in a large crown-like earthenware dish. It is similar to brioche, though less rich, and flavored with currants or golden raisins and almonds. This is mainly eaten for breakfast.
Kummel
A sweet, clear liqueur that has been flavored with caraway seed, cumin, and fennel.
Kumquat
Small citrus fruit originating in central China but now cultivated in the Far East, Australia and America. Kumquats can be eaten whole - including the skin - or used for pickling and preserves. They are particularly good in stuffings for poultry.