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Dec 19, 2006 02:26 PM

Must Haves

What are the 4 or 5 items you cannot be without in your home pantry? Mine are: kosher salt, butter, good olive oil, lemons.

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  1. Speaking for my Shanghainese wife, I'd say Canola oil, "lao" soy sauce (she seems to favor Kimlan label), Shaoxing rice wine, Zhenjiang vinegar and sugar. With these and fresh green onions, she can cook just about anything.

    1. Great question!

      Whole nutmeg
      Whole black pepper
      Olive Oil
      Rice Vinegar

      1. sea salt
        olive oil
        good balsalmic
        frank's red hot (hides in shame)
        butter and lots of it (ok, not really in the pantry, but close by in the fridge and freezer...after cooking 3 major meals last week for multiple guests i think i went through about 11 lbs of butter alone last week. a meal at my house comes with a free angioplasty)

        1. Given an unlimited supply of fresh meat and produce, I think I could get by with just kosher salt, brown or white sugar, and neutral oil.

          In the real world, I need an arsenal of spices and seasonings from around the world, but those three are the only things I use every single day.

          1. fresh garlic
            fresh basil
            good olive oil
            kosher salt and peppercorns
            baguettes to warm
            garam marsala