Back to basics: Pantry Essentials

Many people have asked me what they need in their pantry at all times. This month I will show you guys some of my essentials that will help you build dishes with ease and amp them for maximum taste.

  • Salt: this has to be one of the most important seasoning out there. So crucial for seasoning practically everything. My family always told me that salt is bad for you. WRONG! Salt is good for you in small amounts. Just don’t overkill the dish with salt or else you’ll have a salty dish. I like to use iodized sea salt or kosher salt.
  • Black pepper: The king of all spices! Do I really need to explain this one?
  • Baking goods: I don’t bake that much at home but I do at work. Baking soda, sugar, all-purpose flour and baking powder are the 4 main essentials for stress-free baking.
  • Oats: I don’t have any with me right now but you should get it. It’s very versatile for making oatmeal, cookies and bread.
  • Vinegar: I feel like I should make a separate blog for this because there’s so much to talk about. These bad boys bring a wide variety of flavor profiles and color. Some types of vinegar to keep in your shelves are white vinegar, balsamic, apple cider, red or white wine, and rice wine (you don’t really need all of it. Just pick out a few and work your way from there).
  • Oils: This is another one I should make a separate blog on. My top 3 to have at all times are extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil and canola/vegetable oil. Extra virgin olive oil is great for seasoning salads or any kind of vegetable dishes. Don’t buy any of the cheap stuff because the flavor profile will be too different ($10-15 will do nicely). Grapeseed oil is a neutral oil that is perfect for searing meats because of their high smoke points and canola and vegetable oil is good when deep frying.
  • Rice: I personally love jasmine rice because of its fragrant and delicious taste, but you can go for whatever you like, just not white rice. I should make another blog talking about rice (damn I have a lot of work to do…)
  • Honey: Do I really need to talk about this?? Just a great sweetener alternative. If you never have honey, your life is not complete.
  • Broth/stocks: Perfect for sauces, soups, braising and many more. I prefer making my own since it’s so easy. But if you don’t have time to make it, you can get away buying the low-sodium broths. Just don’t buy the broth cubes since they are not as good as the actual boxed broth (and they look like dried up cat piss) .
  • Nuts and seeds: Good for baking, cooking or even just snacking (unless you’re allergic)
  • Noodles: I always keep a pack of frozen udon noodles or dried up taiwanese egg noodles in my kitchen for easy, get-out-jail-free cooking. There’s so much you can choose from so pick whatever works for you. You are the Chef Ramsay of your beef wellington (does that make any sense?).

So there you have it. All your basic cooking essentials. I may have left a few things out here and there but you can adapt this to your own liking. As you continue on cooking, over time you will learn your basic cooking essentials that will fit best for you and your kitchen.

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