Tuesday, May 22, 2007

essential condiments

In my first year, I wanted to know what condiments to buy..but wasn't really sure...

after 2.5 years of trial and are my essentials...

For Asian cooking:
sunflower oil
light soy sauce
dark soy sauce
oyster sauce
sesame oil
white pepper
rice wine (hua diao/ shao xing)
fish sauce
corn starch
thai sweet chilli sauce
dried shitake mushroom (can be used in so many dishes....and the soaking water can be used as stock too..)
sesame seeds
rice flour

nice to have:
dark vinegar
dried chillies

'Western' cuisine: (means most of the recipes i get from Aussie magazines/ All Recipes which is US based)

olive oil (extra virgin for drizzling over salads, 'regular' for cooking)
black pepper
white wine
chicken salt
cumin powder
parprika powder
chilli powder
dried mixed herbs
dried parsley (good as garnish on most everything and helps with garlic breath too!)

nice to have:
dried dill (great with tuna and salmon dishes)
sliced black olives
sun-dried tomatoes

my messy side cupboard..herbs and spices on the top 2 racks..flours and nuts on the bottom.

for desserts and baking: (my regular stash)
Sugar: brown, white, icing + rock sugar
flour: regular + self-raising
vanilla essence (i use the imitation type; find the flavour good enough...)
baking powder
baking soda
cocoa powder
dessicated coconut
cinnamon powder
dried black dates

stuff that feature regularly in the fridge/ freezer/ pantry:
coriander greens
greek style yogurt
chicken thigh fillets
pandan leaves
frozen spinach
crumbed fish (great as backups when unexpected guests arrive, just bake and drizzle thai chilli sauce on top)
bean sprouts (just learnt that they can be FROZEN! I have been wanting to cook lasksa for the longest time...that's why they r in the freezer..)
puff pastry
mixed frozen vegetables
crabsticks! (chawan mushi, stir frys, noodles, all-rounder filler)
dried pasta
rice (Jasmine/ long grain best for chinese/ thai/ indian cooking, short grain good for korean/jap/rissotos)

canned goods:
water chestnuts
mixed fruits
coconut cream (Please note distinction between coconut cream and coconut milk. 'Cream' is from the first pressing and much richer, ie: higher in fat!!! Most recipes call for coconut milk. To make coconut milk from coconut cream, just add water to 3 tbsp of coconut cream to make up a cup. Coconut cream, unlike dairy cream, can be stored in the freezer.)

my new dried chinese foodstuffs collection for chinese desserts and soups:
nan xing/bei xing (sweet n bitter almonds)
dried red dates
huai shan
wolf berries
mandarin peel (home-made, just leave 'regular' mandarin peel out til they are dry and crispy.)
green beans
red beans
dried logan
rock sugar

These are just essentials??? Seems like alot of ingredients right....hmmm.....

So what are your cooking essentials??? :)


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noelbynature said...

woah! way cool. I've always wanted to write a post like that, but I was waiting until I became a student again. =D

Student loan said...

Student must be know about this! Complete for cooking

sunflower oil said...

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