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20 Ingredients (With a Long Shelf Life!) You Should Always Have On Hand

September 18, 2018

Although we love grocery shopping (we think it's part of the fun of our cooking classes!), sometimes you don't want to have to leave the house. So, here are some items with a long shelf live to make your life (a little) easier. Consider these items "must have" in your pantry so you always have meal inspiration in front of you.  These ingredients were curated to also easily shift between cuisines, so Asian to Spanish to Italian and even Hungarian - we've got you covered. 

CANNED TOMATOES

From pasta sauce to Shakshuka, canned tomatoes are one of our absolute MUSTS to have on hand.  We personally prefer whole canned tomatoes over diced or crushed so that you can turn them into whatever you might need in a pinch!

 

 

RICE

Probably the most versatile item on this list. Rice is widely used all over the world and although there are thousands of rice varieties, have at least one in your pantry for a go-to side dish, add-in for soups or last-minute risotto.

 

 

FROZEN SHRIMP

Quickly thawed in a pinch, frozen shrimp are a great protein to have on hand that can be easy inspiration for dishes like pasta, ramen or stir-fries.

 

 

CHICKEN STOCK

Two words : Flavour booster.

 

 

 

CANNED BEANS

To toss in soups or salads, make your own refried beans, chilli and so much more.

 

 

FROZEN VEGGIES

Get your veggies in without worrying about them going bad. We find frozen broccoli, green beans and cauliflower to be versatile among a variety of cuisines, and all hold their texture. Perfect for stir-fries, pastas, curries, and side dishes.

 

 

PEANUT BUTTER

From PB&J sandwiches to savoury Asian sauces (like the to-die-for sauce you learn to make in our Singaporean Satay Cooking Class!), your pantry should have peanut butter.

 

 

FROZEN BREAD

Whatever you find yourself using more frequently, maybe it’s a baguette or pitas, keep some in your freezer to stay fresh and quickly thawed as you need it. If you buy whole loaves, a great tip is to cut it before you freeze it so you can grab and thaw pieces as you need them.

 

 

TUNA

Tuna is an awesome protein that should be in your pantry at all times (if you like tuna of course).  But don't just think of sandwiches - tuna rolled in rice makes for a great impromptu "sushi", too! (see our article on Japanese Foods You Need to Try). 

 

 

CAN OF ROASTED RED PEPPERS

Add them into pasta sauces, soups or salads, use them as a pizza topping or on sandwiches, even pureé them into dips!

 

 

EGGS

Eggs are so much more than just breakfast food. Crack one on top of seasoned rice for a hearty meatless main, hard-boil them for a protein-packed salad, or devil them to make for an elegant starter.

 

 

NUTS

Super healthy for snacking, adds crunch to rice and pasta, and great to add to oatmeal or yogurt. Keep them fresh by storing them in the freezer!

 

 

FROZEN FISH FILLETS

We suggest unbreaded ones so that you have the choice to poach, pan sear, bake, grill, fry or even coat them yourself, just how you want it. Many are able to be cooked from frozen which is a great time saver.

 

 

LEMONS

Citrus is such a great addition to so many dishes and keeping a few lemons on hand will not only brighten up your kitchen but also your meals. Lemons are also the star of Chef Asli's three ingredient Turkish Magic Sauce that you can make in batches and keep in the fridge!

 

 

SOY SAUCE

One of the most versatile things on this list. Soy sauce can be used for so many things like marinades, soups, salad dressings and dips. 

 

 

GARLIC

If you’re a garlic lover like we are then this one is already always in your kitchen, but for those who don’t use fresh garlic often, now is your time to start doing so.

 

 

CURED SAUSAGE

For nights when you might just want a simple meat and cheese plate for dinner. Also a great add-in to rice dishes like jambalaya, or stews like Hungarian Potato Paprika. 

 

 

DRIED HERBS

Don’t worry about having an extensive spice rack, if that's not your thing, just make sure to have a couple favourites on hand to elevate your dishes like dried basil or oregano.

 

 

DRIED PASTA

This one is a no brainer.

 

 

WINE

Wine is great to have on hand to not only use in cooking but also to have a well deserved glass after a long day.

 

 

 

 

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