Pantry Essentials

After a few months of tinkering in the kitchen, I’ve come to see a pattern in Chinese cooking. Most dishes require the same condiments, so as long as you have the following list in your pantry, you can conquer most dishes:

  • Cooking oil
  • Salt
  • Granulated white sugar
  • Oyster sauce
  • Fish sauce
  • Light soy sauce
  • Dark soy sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Corn starch
  • Cooking wine

I like that I can reuse the condiments for almost all dishes, it is certainly more convenient than Western dishes that require unique spices like oregano or basil. Maybe if I cooked more Western dishes I might feel the same way about the spices, but as I am outnumbered in my household with regards to affection for non Asian dishes, I have to stick to my sesame oil for most part. 😦


Recipe Depository

Most times when I’m cooking something I’ve already attempted before, I refer to this space as it contains the reference links plus my own small notes. I thought I should also do up a collection of recipes that I intend to try eventually:

  1. Nasi Goreng
  2. Bolognese Sauce
  3. Lemon Chicken

I cooked braised tofu the other day but it didn’t turn out the way I imagined it would have. I couldn’t get the sauce to thicken despite adding corn starch solution. After looking through tons of recipes in Mandarin (I googled 红烧豆腐) I realised my original recipe was too complicated! I will try again next time.

Chinese Cabbage Soup

A reluctantly offered to cook Sunday’s dinner, but it ended up being a team effort anyway. I had all these ingredients for cabbage soup, so we followed the instructions here meticulously.

I added some wolfberries into the soup since 1) I have a big bag of it and 2) I think you can add wolfberries to everything (?), and I used the dried scallops that we bought from Hokkaido. The soup turned out pretty well, except I started farting and shitting endlessly the next few days thanks to the cabbage.

My husband is weird in the kitchen, he doesn’t want to look at recipes and can’t hold the ladle properly, plus he refuses to listen to my reasoning when I tell him he has to fry the onion before the garlic (garlic browns easily and thereafter turns bitter). But at least he tries.

Steamed Egg

I told the MIL that I was going to cook dinner, and she replied that there’s still tofu in the fridge. That’s when I realised I’ve been “cooking” tofu way too often because it is the most idiot proof and least time consuming dish to serve.

So I took it upon myself to try steaming an egg again. My last try failed quite badly because I only had water to mix with the egg. This time I found a packet of chicken stock, so I added the packet to 2 beaten eggs, sieved the mixture a couple of times, and then steamed for 15 minutes.

The results were AMAZING! I had silky smooth steamed eggs with tofu texture and it actually tasted quite good! A was disappointed that there was nothing underneath the egg though – he was expecting minced pork or something. I’ll try that next time. But hey, at least I don’t have to prepare tofu all the time anymore.