Your Friends in the Pantry: Flavor Boosters!

As I mentioned in the previous post about the well-stocked pantry. there are things that I have to have in mine, which is the basis of my Kitchen Wizard cooking.

Here’s the list of some items I always have in my pantry/fridge for quick, flavorful meals.

Canned beans: (cannellini beans, chickpeas, black beans) for quick soups, chili, salads and dips.

Uncooked sausage, bacon: I use them as condiments.  Click here for some examples with regular uncooked sausagesHere’s for Chorizo.

Tuna in olive oil: (tastes far better than tuna in water, plus you can skip the step of adding oil for cooking and making dressing.) One of my childhood favorite is to mix tuna with chopped green onion and top it on steamed rice with soy sauce.  Yum!

Anchovy paste in a tube: Even though the quality of anchovies are better when you buy them in salt or oil in jars, anchovy pastes are far more convenient, because all you have to do is squeeze out the amount you need, and they also last much longer!

Tomato paste in a tube: same reason as above.  With canned tomatoes, you have to finish within a few days. The tube version keeps much longer.

Mirin: This is Japanese sweet cooking wine. We Japanese rely on this a lot… To me. the smell of cooked soy sauce and mirin mixture reminds me of home… In addition to traditional uses, you could use a dash of mirin as a secret ingredient in many non-Japanese foods, such as ratatouille.  

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