This article discusses culinary recipes. For a discussion of the semiconductor IC recipes used by the semiconductor fabs, see, for example, integrated circuit.

A recipe is a set of instructions that show how to prepare or make something, especially a culinary dish.

Modern culinary recipes normally consist of several components:

  • The name (and often the locale or provenance) of the dish,
  • How much time it will take to prepare the dish
  • The required ingredients along with their quantity
  • Equipment and environment needed to prepare the dish
  • An ordered list of detailed preparation procedures (called Method).
  • The number of servings that the dish will give.
  • A rough estimate of the number of calories or joules contained per serving.
  • A note on how long the dish will keep and its suitability for freezing.

In the early history of recipes, many of these components were omitted or reduced to a note that required oral instruction, some of which may only have the name and the ingredients of a dish.

Recipe writers sometimes also list variations of the traditional dish.

Recipe suggestions are welcome for the Wikibooks Cookbook.


A sample recipe

Fried eggs (two sides done)
About 5 minutes to prepare.
Popular breakfast dish in the USA and Western Europe.
Often served with toast or other fried dishes.
2 teaspoons of butter (or olive oil)
2 or 3 large eggs, depending on appetite
Seasoning to taste
A small (10") frying pan
A spatula
Gas ring, at medium heat
  1. Melt the butter in the pan over medium heat
  2. Crack open the eggs into the pan and let fry until the yolks begin to harden at the edges (indicated by a lightening in the yolk color).
  3. Using the spatula, flip the eggs over and allow to cook for one minute.
  4. Add seasoning to taste, and serve.
Notes and Variations:
It is a cardinal sin for fried eggs to allow the yolk to break. If the cook ensures that the eggs are fresh the yolks will be more 'pert', and less liable to break.
For 'Sunnyside Up', do not flip the eggs. Use a mildly lower heat, and cover the pan with a lid for some of the cooking period. An ideal sunnyside up has a runny yolk, but the white should be cooked. Uncooked white (often called jelly) is normally unwanted and less-preferred than a partially cooked yolk, so err on the side of overcooking rather than undercooking the eggs.
For a richer taste, try sprinkling with grated parmesan or freshly chopped basil and chives.

Other considerations

Some notable features of the sample recipe include:

  • Ingredients listed in order.
  • Pan size specified.
  • Cooking temperature specified.
  • Criteria for cooking time (until yolks set)

Stoves/cookers are not normally mentioned in the equipment list. Indeed, often equipment lists are omitted altogether.

What else might be included

  • Special handling requirements (how are eggs or butter stored? At what temperature should they be when cooking starts?)
  • Garnishing or serving advice (add a sprig of parsley for color).

Additional facts often included in recipes

Recipe writers often add additional facts about the recipe, and, depending upon who you are, they are considered redundant or essential.

Such facts may include the history of the dish, nutritional information, dietary information, philosophical ramblings about the soul-enriching or health-benefiting properties of the dish, or what wonderful hostess in what particular town first served the dish to the author.

Nutritional information normally includes food energy, vitamin content, fat content, etc.

Where are recipes to be found

People have written recipes as recipe cards, recipe books, recipes worked into needlepoint, and computer recipe databases, among others. Take notes when making your favorite dish and share your recipe in the list of recipes or Wikibooks cookbook.

The composer Leonard Bernstein set four recipes to music in his set of songs, La Bonne Cuisine (1947).

External links


de:Kochrezept fr:Recette ja:レシピ he:מתכון


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