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Chimichurri Shrimp With Quinoa

This glossary has been provided by Hispanic Kitchen. Please visit their site for a great selection of Mexican,Tex/Mex & Puerto Rican  recipes

Here, you'll find many common and practical Spanish cooking terms — about 1000 in fact! We've also included some regional (non-standard) terms you might encounter in some of our Spanish-language content. Different names do exist for the same things, depending on the region. For example, in Mexico, peppers are called chiles. In other regions, such as the Caribbean, they are called ají.

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Abrelata — can opener

Abulón — abalone

Aceite — oil

Aceite con achiote — annatto oil

Aceite de girasol — sunflower oil

Aceite de maíz — corn oil

Aceite vegetal — vegetable oil

Aceituna — olive

Acelga — Swiss chard

Acerola — West Indian or Barbados cherry

Achiote or Achote — annatto seeds

Achiotera — a container used to store annatto oil with its seeds. The oil is heated every time it is needed so the seeds can release their yellow color.

Acido — acid; acidic

Acompañante — side dish

Aderezo — dressing (aderezar: to dress or to season)

Adobo — a basic marinade used in various cuisines

Agave — a family of succulent plants, some of which are edible. Tequila in particular is made from the blue agave species.

Agave nectar — a sweetener commercially produced in Mexico from several species of agave. Used as a sugar substitute.

Agitar — to shake

Agridulce — bittersweet

Agrio — sour

Agua — water

Aguacate — avocado. See photos of California avocadoes and Florida avocadoes.

Agua de Azahar — orange blossom water. A distilled water made of orange blossoms, used to flavor traditional desserts like rice-flour stovetop custard.

Aguamiel — The sweet juice of the maguey plant, which when fermented produces pulque.

Aguardiente — a liquor or clear brandy from fermented fruit juice. The word "aguardiente" literally means "burning water."

Aguas frescas — In Mexico, a class of soft drinks made by infusing water with various flavorings including tamarind, chía, and flor de jamaica

Aguas de frutas — juices made from fruits (Mexico)

Aguja — Literally, "needle." A cut of chuck steak that is one of the favorite al carbón (char-broiled) specialties of northern Mexico. Elsewhere, it can also mean a type of slender fish.

Ahumado — smoked

Ahumar — to smoke food. For example, pescado ahumado means smoked fish.

Ajiaco — a general name for a variety of brothy stews

Ají amarillo — Peruvian yellow pepper

Ají caballero or Ají picante — hot chili pepper

Ají chileno — Chilean hot pepper sauce

Ají dulce — sweet chile pepper

Ají manzano — a very hot yellow Peruvian pepper

Ajili Mojili — A traditional Puerto Rican sauce made with garlic, peppercorns, oil, vinegar, and lemon juice.

Ají panca — dry, hot, burgundy-colored, Peruvian chile pepper

Ají rocoto — a hot Peruvian red chile

Ajo — garlic

Ajonjolí — sesame seeds

Ajo porro — leeks

Alacena or despensa — pantry

Alambre or brocheta — shish kabob

Albahaca — basil

Albaricoque — apricot. In Mexico, it's chabacano.

Albóndigas — meatballs

Alboronia de chayote — chayote salad

Alcachofa — artichoke

Alcaparras — capers

Alcaparrado — a mixture of green olives, capers, and pimientos.

Alcapurria — a traditional Puerto Rican fritter made of grated yautia (taro root) and green bananas, stuffed with picadillo. It can also be stuffed with crabmeat or chicken.

Alcaravea — caraway

Al carbón — cooked over charcoal or wood coals

Al gusto — to taste (as in, salt and pepper to taste)

Alimento — food

Aliño — dressing or seasoning

Alioli — garlic mayonnaise

Almeja — clam

Almendra — almond

Almíbar — syrup

Almidón — starch

Almojabana — rice-flour fritter

Almuerzo — lunch

Altea — marshmallow

Al tiempo — at room temperature

Alubias — white beans (Spain)

Al vapor — steamed

Amargo — bitter

Amarillo — "yellow", or ripe yellow plantain

Anacardo — cashew

Anafre — portable burner. Used in the old days in place of a stove.

Anato/Onoto — annatto. In Bolivia, urucu.

Anchoas — anchovies

Anguila — eel

Angulas — elvers (baby eels)

Añejo — aged

Anís estrellado (Illicium verum) — star anise

Anís en semilla — aniseed. Used mostly to prepare desserts.

Anón — sugar apple or sweetsop (fruit)

Antiadherente — nonstick

Antojito — In Mexico, an appetizer

Aperitivo — appetizer or aperitif

Apio — celery; also celery root

Arándano — berry; specifically blueberry or cranberry

Arepa — A dish made of ground corn dough or precooked corn flour. There are many varieties of arepas enjoyed in both Colombia and Venezuela.

Arequipe — milk caramel

Arrachera — In Mexico, marinated, grilled flank or skirt steak

Arroz — rice

Arroz amarillo — basic yellow rice made with annatto oil, which can also be combined with meat, seafood, or vegetables.

Arroz blanco — white rice

Arroz con coco — coconut rice

Arroz con dulce — Puerto Rican rice pudding. A traditional dessert made with rice, coconut milk, ginger, and spices.

Arroz con gandules — yellow rice with green pigeon peas. This is Puerto Rico's national rice dish.

Arroz con pollo — yellow rice with chicken

Arroz integral — brown rice

Arroz moros — White rice blended with black bean sauce and black beans

Arroz y habichuelas — rice and beans

Arroz Valencia — short-grain white rice (also known as pearl rice)

Arveja — pea

Asadero — A barbecue or grill. In Mexico, also a type of cheese the texture of mozzarella that is made with half fresh and half day-old milk.

Asado — roasted; also, a roast

Asadura — offal

Asar — to roast or broil

Asopao — A stew thickened with rice, some meat, shrimp or pasta and commonly enjoyed in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Atole — a traditional masa-based Mexican and Central American hot drink.

Atún — tuna

Auyama — squash (Puerto Rico usage)

Avellana — hazelnut

Avena — oat

Ayote — pumpkin

Azafrán — saffron

Azúcar — sugar

Azúcar de confección — confectioner's sugar

Azúcar glas — powdered or icing sugar

Azúcar granulada — granulated sugar

Azúcar morena (piloncillo) — brown sugar

Azúcar moscabada (piloncillo) — brown sugar

Azúcar prieta — brown sugar


Bacalao — salted codfish (if you want fresh, unsalted cod ask for "bacalao fresco")

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