Time consuming when you have to prepare them from scratch

I am all for fun and efficiency in the kitchen, so when it comes to certain must-have ingredients in the Asian kitchen, you need to have them handy and ready to use.

Why?

Because it takes time to prepare them from scratch, and if you have all these necessary premade ingredients in place, you can really make your cooking efficient, more fun and pleasurable.

OK, here are a few ideas that would make your experience in the kitchen more enjoyable with my three must-have premade ingredients for Asian kitchens.

(1) Garlic

Garlic Oil

Fresh minced garlic in oil

Garlic is essential for most Asian dishes, whether you have freshly chopped garlic in the fridge or a pot of garlic oil. To chop garlic, you can use a knife, blender or mini vegetable chopper.

As for me, for desperate and last minute garlic, I use my knife to chop a few garlic cloves each time.  When I am organised, I use the vegetable chopper or electric blender for a larger quantity.

This is video that I did about using the manual vegetable / garlic chopper –

(2) Stock: whether it is chicken stock or vegetable stock, make a batch and freeze some.

Chicken stock

Frozen chicken stock

Prepare a batch for the week, as brewing stock takes at least 15-20 minutes in a pressure cooker. If you have them on hand, it will make your cooking very efficient.

For example, the other day I needed to make a small pot of noodle soup in the morning for an unwell child. I did not have stock on hand, so I had to either endure a tasteless broth noodle or defrost the meat and cook it in the soup, or brew the stock from scratch.

I chose to brew a small pot of stock from scratch as I only had chicken carcasses, which took 20 minutes. By the time I added ingredients to the stock, I ended up without the noodle soup as it was too late. My son had to leave for work; I was frustrated and it caused unnecessary stress in the morning.

(3) Chilli

I bought a whole box from the market. Normally you would wash and de-seed them before pounding or blending; however, I blended them whole without de-seeding and froze them. It was not overly spicy hot. This whole batch lasted me a few months.

Freeze them in smaller batches, so when you need to use them, just take one of the batches rather than from a whole tub – which requires some time to defrost. And from there, you can create various chilli sauces, sambal belachan etc. on demand.

Sambal belachan

Hope you will find the above tips helpful. Have a wonderful day creating!

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