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opposite for thickening Options
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018 6:42:49 AM

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Hello!

To thicken (e.g. a sauce). Is the opposite action called "thinning"? (to thin a sauce?) I've read "to thin out" but that referred to trees, so I wonder what the word for a liquid would be.

Edit: spelling corrected (sauce).
srirr
Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018 7:18:32 AM

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Dilute


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Sarrriesfan
Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018 7:46:46 AM

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Kirill Vorobyov wrote:
Hello!

To thicken (e.g. a souce). Is the opposite action called "thinning"? (to thin a souce?) I've read "to thin out" but that referred to trees, so I wonder what the word for a liquid would be.


Kirill, firstly it's a sauce not souce that is a liquid used to flavour food.

I have heard thin out used to refer to making a sauce less thick, and I have also heard the process referred to as loosening the sauce although this may just be a term used by chefs.

You could also use dilute as srirr suggests, but to my ears as a British person it's not quite natural in the case of a cooking sauce, I would use it in other circumstances when reducing the concentration of a strong liquid by another one though. One example would be making orange squash, but another would be using certain cleaning products.

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Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018 7:58:10 AM

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Oh, yes, sauce. Thanks, I've corrected it.


Thank you, Sarrriesfan and srirr!
Indeed, it just occurred to me that the equivalent of loosening is used in Russian for this purpose, too, and it does sound "professional", i.e. I'd expect to hear it from either a professional chef or a woman who is really fond of cooking and knows everything about it.

Then "thinning out" (+ "dilution") does seem to be the most likely option. Thanks!
Wilmar (USA)
Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018 11:17:28 AM

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Diluting the sauce suggests making it a lot thinner than it is now. It is common to hear of someone thinning the sauce when it is thicker than desired.
georgew
Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018 2:35:46 PM
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Wilmar is correct. In AE we commonly refer to "thinning" or "thinning out" a sauce that's too thick.
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