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How to Make Your Recipe’s Ingredients List Helpful and Informative

How to Make Your Recipe’s Ingredients List Helpful and Informative

What is an ingredients list? Imagine the ingredients list of your recipe as the shopping list for your reader. What do you want them to know before they begin making your meal? There are many different ways of writing them – they can be listed by quantity, preparation, weight, or when to use them. The way an ingredient list is written comes down to each person’s different style of recipe keeping and traditions. The Jikoni team has broken them down into four main methods for writing your ingredients list.


The ratio method of writing an ingredients list is most typically used as a formula for foundational recipes such as the ratio of oil to vinegar in a salad dressing, or water to rice. Ratio-based recipes can easily be scaled up to the desired quantity. Most commonly, you will see ratios used in bread recipes, like Bread Magazine’s sourdough recipe


Often referred to as “no-scroll recipes,” this ingredients list is designed to limit scrolling back to the top of your webpage to re-read how to prepare your ingredients. For instance, a no-scroll recipe would have the amount of onions in the ingredients list, and in the instructions, it will say: “finely dice onions before you begin”. Without preparation included in your ingredients list, we recommend adding preparation methods at the beginning of your recipe’s instructions instead. 


A visual ingredients list can be helpful for recipes with smaller or hard-to-measure ingredients. A great example of this would be a pinch of salt or a handful of herbs. Another form of this is when you measure with household objects like a mug, which is more authentic to people who don’t typically measure when they cook. For example, you can use the lines of your finger knuckle to measure water for rice! 


Favored by many recipe publishers, Quantity With Prep includes all the ingredients, their measured quantities (by weight or volume), and how to prepare them before you start cooking (example: 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced). However, not all people prep their ingredients before cooking, so it is important to list your ingredients in a helpful order. The Quantity With Prep method lists in the order of appearance in the recipe, and then in order of quantity, the biggest first. Our Egusi Soup recipe is a prime example of using the Quantity With Prep method when writing your ingredient list.

Do you have any other tips for how to write a recipe? Share them with us on our socials, and tag us with #MyJikoni to join our growing community of recipe creators!

In Swahili, Jikoni means kitchen. At our core, that’s what we are. A space to cook, to share, to create.

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