British expat cooking

Cooking for the British Expat can be difficult with local terms being used for food and cooking methods.

A dictionary can be of great help, but sometimes it’s not always available, so British essentials have decided to post a blog to help expats get their head some of the terms used abroad when it comes to cooking.

We will cover all the major areas expats are likely to relocate to, the US, Asia, Oz.


There are a few terms our friends over the pond use that can confuse the average Brit. Terms such as "Broil" which is essentially 'grilling' for the UK folk. Along the same sort of lines "Grilling" in the US is using a BBQ grill.

BBC America have made a lovely little cheat sheet for some terms

different words for food uk usa us

These are just a small selection of ALL THE TERMS The US use.


There are many languages and terms in Asia (who thought eh?) but one popular cuisine I’m sure you’ve heard of is that of the Chinese. Using the ‘Pin-Yin’ alphabet which is commonly used in China, Singapore and Taiwan for transcribing Standard Chinese.

Here’s some useful information for you

Zhu = Cook/boil

Jian = Pan fry or shallow fry

Chao = Stir Fry

Zheng = Steam

Zha = Deep Fry

There are of course many more which are useful if you are a expat in that particular area of Asia.


“shrimp on the barby” is probably the 1st thing that comes to mind when thinking of Australian cooking. But! There is more to the ozzys than just a great BBQ, Australia has a mix of British and US foods in its staple. From burgers with beetroot, to Grilled Kangaroo, the ozzys have taken on a unique mix of both of our cuisines.

Here’s some terms that will help you get by;


  • Eggplant(US, AU) is an aubergine (UK).
  • Zucchini(US, AU) is a courgette (UK) when harvested young or a marrow (UK, AU) when allowed to mature further.
  • Summer Squash(US) are members of the squash family with a short storage life typically harvested before full maturity; typically available starting in the spring and summer; includes zucchini, yellow and crookneck squash.
  • Winter Squash(US) are members of the squash family that are allowed to reach full maturity before harvesting; typically available in the fall; includes pumpkin, acorn and butternut squash.
  • Arugula(US) is rocket (UK, AU).



  • Ground beef(US) is minced beef (AU, UK).

  • Canadian bacon(US) is also back bacon (from the loin).
  • Bacon(CA, US) is streaky bacon (UK) (from the belly). In the UK, bacon is most likely back bacon.
  • Green Bacon(UK) is "unsmoked bacon cured in brine" 


Another great list can be located here

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