A Question From A Reader: What’s in Your Pantry?

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Q: “What would be the top ingredients to stock up on in the pantry? I [would like] to see a list of the main things to keep on hand to be able to whip up something!”

A: This is a great question! Yet it has a subjective answer, as everyone has different preferences when it comes to food. I really like Asian style cuisine, so a lot of our “staples” lean that way. But let’s say you prefer Italian, French or Latin foods. Your staples would likely be different. I’ll try to list some things I know Bruce always tries to have on hand. It may seem like it would cost a lot to have all this, but every other week, or once a month, pick something new up. Before you know it, you have a great selection.

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Some of Bruce’s Kitchen Essentials

* Eggs, Butter, Flour, Chocolate (or cocoa), Honey & Coconut Milk – We always have these. Basic dried herbs & spices: Garlic, onion, Badia Complete Seasoning, dill, red pepper, coriander, oregano, cloves, sage, etc… as many varieties as you can afford!
VEG: onions, garlic, potatoes, ginger, tomatoes (fresh or canned), carrots, green onions, fresh or dried mushrooms, cilantro & 1-2 fruits too
STARCH: basmati rice, red or wild rice,rotini, shell or elbow pasta, thin spaghetti, Chinese /raman style noodles (the ones in little nest shape), quinoa, dried beans, etc

Sauces: soy sauce, fish sauce, a good hot sauce (or 3), dijon, ketchup, red curry paste, veg &/or chicken stock base, hoisin sauce, rice wine vinegar, mayo, chili oil, peanut butter, sesame oil and his newest love, Korean Red Pepper Paste.

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His Sauce & Oil Cabinet

With these, plus your own personal favorites in the cupboards, you can always whip up pasta in tomato sauce, eggs & homefries, Korean BBQ, sweet grain porridge, half a dozen kinds of soups or salad dressings, Veg Lo Mein, Stir Fried Rice, curry stew, quinoa salad…you get the idea!

I am sure I forgot many things, but I think this is pretty representative of his favorite Kitchen Basics. Hope it helps!

Happy Cooking!

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