About this Course
This course introduces a number of basic scientific principles underpinning the methodology of cooking, food preparation and the enjoyment of food. All topics covered have a strong basis in biology, chemistry, and physics application. Among others, they include the consumption of cooked food, the physiological and evolutionary implication of the senses, geographic and cultural influences on food, and the rationale behind food preparation. We will also discuss issues such as coupling of senses to improve sense stimulation; altering flavor by chemical means; and modification of the coloration to improve the appearance of dishes. Following the video demonstrations of the scientific principles of cooking, you will learn to recognize the key ingredients and their combinations for preparing good healthy food. At the end of this course, you will be able to: - appreciate the scientific basis of various recipes; - develop your own recipes by integrating some of the scientific principles into new dishes; - recognize the influence of the material world on human perception from the different senses; - appreciate the art of integrating science into cooking and dining. Important Note: This course is not designed for people with special dietary needs such as vegetarian, diabetic, and gluten-free diets. If you feel uncomfortable with any part of the assignments or activities of this course, you can substitute some of the ingredients or ask friends and family members to help with the tasting of your assignments. Alternatively, you may skip that specific assignment provided that you have fulfilled all other qualifying requirement to pass the course. Course Overview video: https://youtu.be/H5vlaR0_X2I

100% online course

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Approx. 18 hours to complete

Suggested: 3-4 hours/week
Comment Dots


Subtitles: English

100% online course

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Approx. 18 hours to complete

Suggested: 3-4 hours/week
Comment Dots


Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course


5 hours to complete

Orientation, Module 1 and Module 2

This week, we will focus on “Energy Transfer” and “Hunger and Satiety”. Before you start with the content for these modules, please watch the Course Overview, review the Grading Scheme, and read the Important Note on special dietary needs....
26 videos (Total 137 min), 5 readings, 3 quizzes
Video26 videos
1.0: Introduction8m
1.1: Energy Transfer - Topic Outline0m
1.2: What is energy?5m
1.3: How energy can be transferred through conduction?7m
1.4: Demonstration - Comparing heat capacity3m
1.5: Demonstration - Comparing heat conductance4m
1.6: How do we cook by convection?10m
1.7: Demonstration - Increasing boiling point with salt1m
1.8: Demonstration - Cooking medium and convection2m
1.9: Can radiation and phase transition be used in cooking?8m
1.10: Energy Transfer - Topic Summary1m
2.0: Hunger and Satiety - Topic Outline1m
2.1: Why do we need food?5m
2.2: How do I know that I am full or not?9m
2.3: How do I know that the food is good?9m
2.4: Demonstration – Can you see the differences?3m
2.5: Demonstration - Sound and texture - How does the experiment work?1m
2.5: Demonstration - Sound and texture - Let's hear other people's views1m
2.6: I love chocolate but I don’t want to keep eating it, why?8m
Assignment 1 - Instruction Video3m
Assignment 1 - Result Sharing5m
2.7: What factors can affect my choice of food?17m
Assignment 2 - Instruction Video3m
Assignment 2 - Result Sharing7m
2.8: Hunger and Satiety - Topic Summary2m
Reading5 readings
Grading Scheme10m
Important Note on Special Dietary Needs10m
2.5: Demonstration - Sound and texture - Now is your turn10m
Assignment 1 - Instruction10m
Assignment 2 - Instruction10m
Quiz3 practice exercises
Pre-course survey38m
Assignment 1 – Submission22m
Assignment 2 – Submission4m


4 hours to complete

Module 3 and Module 4

This week, we will talk about how flavor and aroma of food affects our perception of taste of food....
25 videos (Total 153 min), 3 readings, 3 quizzes
Video25 videos
3.1: It tastes good!11m
3.2: There are more than four basic tastes9m
3.3: Can we taste the “temperature”?14m
Assignment 3 – Instruction Video2m
Assignment 3 – Result Sharing2m
3.4: There are infinite possibilities with tastes13m
3.5: Demonstration – Sweetness suppresses bitterness4m
Assignment 4 – Instruction Video2m
Assignment 4 – Result Sharing3m
3.6: Why the ice-cream doesn’t taste as sweet when it is served after chocolate?10m
3.7: Demonstration – The cocoa tastes less bitter!2m
3.8: The Sense of Taste - Topic Summary1m
4.0: The Sense of Smell - Topic Outline0m
4.1: What are we smelling?9m
4.2: Demonstration – Factors affecting diffusion rate4m
4.3: How do I smell coffee?10m
4.4: Why do orange and lemon smell different?9m
4.5: Why can’t I taste the “strawberry”?11m
4.6: Demonstration – How does aroma affect our taste?4m
Assignment 5 – Instruction Video2m
Assignment 5 – Result Sharing1m
4.7: Smelling good makes it tastes better!14m
4.8: Demonstration – It is all about congruency!3m
4.9: The Sense of Smell - Topic Summary1m
Reading3 readings
Assignment 3 – Instruction10m
Assignment 4 – Instruction10m
Assignment 5 – Instruction10m
Quiz3 practice exercises
Assignment 3 – Submission8m
Assignment 4 – Submission10m
Assignment 5 – Submission4m


3 hours to complete

Module 5 and Module 6

This week, we will talk about how color and texture of food affects our perception of taste of food....
21 videos (Total 123 min), 3 readings, 2 quizzes
Video21 videos
5.1: Coloring food with a different taste6m
5.2: It is good to see red!13m
5.3: Why the pepper doesn’t look good?11m
5.4: Making it looks good, and it tastes good!9m
5.5: Demonstration - Can color affect our taste perception? - How does the experiment work?2m
5.5 Demonstration - Can color affect our taste perception? - Let's hear other people's views1m
5.6: Demonstration – The darker the color, the better it tastes?4m
5.7: The Sense of Sight - Topic Summary1m
6.0: The Sense of Touch - Topic Outline0m
6.1: How do we feel the texture in our mouth?13m
6.2: We can also feel pain and have self-awareness in our mouth!6m
6.3: Demonstration – Seeing with our mouth! Measurement4m
6.4: Demonstration – Seeing with our mouth! Feeling the shape9m
6.5: The more complicated the texture, the more we enjoy the food, why?10m
Assignment 6 – Instruction Video1m
Assignment 6 – Result Sharing3m
6.6: How can we control the texture of food?11m
Assignment 7 – Instruction Video2m
Assignment 7 – Result Sharing6m
6.7: The Sense of Touch - Topic Summary1m
Reading3 readings
5.5: Demonstration - Can color affect our taste perception? - Now is your turn10m
Assignment 6 – Instruction10m
Assignment 7 – Instruction10m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Assignment 6 – Submission4m
Assignment 7 – Submission8m


3 hours to complete

Module 7 and Module 8

This week, we will look at how fruits and vegetables can enhance the quality in cooking and to learn about the properties of meat....
17 videos (Total 126 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video17 videos
7.1: What gives the rigid texture to plants?9m
7.2: How can we manipulate the texture of plants?12m
7.3: What gives green color to plants?12m
7.4: Why some plants are not green in color?7m
7.5: Demonstration – Manipulating the color of red cabbage3m
7.6: Why does the apple turn brown?7m
7.7: Demonstration – What is the best way to prevent browning?5m
7.8: What are the prominent tastes in fruits and vegetables?8m
Assignment 8 – Instruction Video2m
Assignment 8 – Result Sharing4m
7.9: Fruits and Vegetables - Topic Summary1m
8.0: A Perfect Steak - Topic Outline0m
8.1: How to cook a perfect steak?4m
8.2: What are the components of meat?9m
8.3: Why fish muscles are different from that of mammals?17m
8.4: What else does a piece of meat contain?16m
Reading1 readings
Assignment 8 – Instruction10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Assignment 8 – Submission12m


3 hours to complete

Module 8 (continued) and Module 9

This week, we will continue our focus on the preparation and cooking of meat and learn about the elements that affect the preparation of sauces....
18 videos (Total 138 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video18 videos
8.6: How to choose a piece of meat – body parts?9m
8.7: It’s tough, what should I do?17m
Assignment 9 – Instruction Video1m
Assignment 9 – Result Sharing3m
8.8: How does heating change a steak?9m
8.9: Does it matter to have more connective tissue or more muscle?7m
8.10: Choose the right temperature for meat cooking4m
8.11: Create your own meat flavor and color in steak cooking16m
8.12: The final touch on a steak – its juice and its flavor4m
8.13: A Perfect Steak - Topic Summary1m
9.0: Sauces - Topic Outline0m
9.1: The Importance of sauce in a dish3m
9.2: Sauce and viscosity8m
9.3: Things to know when changing the viscosity of a sauce10m
9.4: Changing the viscosity of a sauce I: Larger or smaller molecules?13m
9.5: Changing the viscosity of a sauce II: Particles and bubbles16m
9.6: What makes an ideal sauce?5m
Reading1 readings
Assignment 9 – Instruction10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Assignment 9 – Submission4m


5 hours to complete

Module 9 (continued) and Module 10

This week, we will continue our focus on the preparation of sauces and finish up the course with the last topic on dessert. After completing all the content, it's time to test your understanding on the entire course. Take the final exam and complete the post-course survey. Your valuable feedback will certainly help us improve future iterations of the course....
19 videos (Total 140 min), 3 readings, 4 quizzes
Video19 videos
Assignment 10 – Instruction Video2m
Assignment 10 – Result Sharing3m
9.8: Using alcohol in sauce5m
9.9: Using protein in sauce10m
9.10: Using fat in sauce10m
9.11: Using starch in sauce14m
9.12: Sauces - Topic Summary0m
10.0: Dessert - Topic Outline0m
10.1: Textures in desserts4m
10.2: How is gluten formed?14m
Assignment 11 – Instruction Video3m
Assignment 11 – Result Sharing1m
10.3: Factors affecting the formation of gluten6m
10.4: Chemical or Biological Leavening Agent?16m
10.5: What do we need to make a cake rise?8m
10.6: The stable egg white foam15m
10.7: Ginger milk curd11m
10.8: Dessert - Topic Summary1m
Reading3 readings
Assignment 10 – Instruction10m
Assignment 11 – Instruction10m
Rate this course10m
Quiz4 practice exercises
Assignment 10 – Submission12m
Assignment 11 – Submission8m
Post-course Survey38m
Direction Signs


started a new career after completing these courses


got a tangible career benefit from this course

Top Reviews

By JZApr 24th 2018

100% Recomendado. Didáctico, interesante, se va a los fundamentos de la gastronomía y permite saber mucho más de todo lo que es la ciencia involucrada en el proceso. Muy interesante.

By JANov 20th 2017

It was vary good gave me ideas on how to improve my cooking technique, and allowed me to use my imagination to make my dishes better!



King L. Chow


Lam Lung Yeung

Associate Professor

About The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

HKUST - A dynamic, international research university, in relentless pursuit of excellence, leading the advance of science and technology, and educating the new generation of front-runners for Asia and the world....

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • If you pay for this course, you will have access to all of the features and content you need to earn a Course Certificate. If you complete the course successfully, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. Note that the Course Certificate does not represent official academic credit from the partner institution offering the course.

  • Yes! Coursera provides financial aid to learners who would like to complete a course but cannot afford the course fee. To apply for aid, select "Learn more and apply" in the Financial Aid section below the "Enroll" button. You'll be prompted to complete a simple application; no other paperwork is required.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center