AskDefine | Define parboil

Dictionary Definition

parboil v : cook (vegetables) briefly; "Parboil the beans before freezing them" [syn: blanch]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. To boil food briefly so that it is partly cooked.


Extensive Definition

Parboil (or leaching) is an action which refers to partially boiling food in water before it is finished cooking using another method. When something has been parboiled it has been partially cooked; that is, subjected to boiling for a brief period of time. To be parboiled can also mean to be subjected to uncomfortable heat.
The etymology of the word includes influences from the Middle English parboilen meaning to boil partly and the Old French parboillir meaning to boil thoroughly. These words in turn are derived from Late Latin. The meaning of the word is apparently caused by confusion of par- with part-.
The word is often used when referring to parboiled rice. Parboiling can also be used for removing poisonous or foul-tasting substances from foodstuffs, such as removing gyromitrin from false morels. In the Middle Ages, heads were at times parboiled after executions and before they were posted on poles or gates in cities through Europe. This happened to St. Thomas More after his execution under Henry VIII.

Parboiled rice

Raw rice or paddy is dehusked by using steam. This steam also partially boils the rice while dehusking. This process generally changes the colour of rice from white to a bit reddish. This type of rice is eaten in districts of Dakshina kannada and Udupi and most parts of Tamil Nadu in India. West Africa and the Caribbean African diaspora are also accustomed to parboiling rice.

See also

parboil in Hebrew: חליטה
parboil in Norwegian Nynorsk: forvelling
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