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The must have

I_need_laxatives Nov 3, 2007 01:03 PM

What are a couple of must have ingredients/spices that I should have in my Cooking toolbox?

  1. l
    LeslieB Nov 6, 2007 12:02 PM

    red chili flakes
    vegetable or chicken broth/stock - I like the one-cup tetrapaks now available from some companies
    good peppercorns
    sea or kosher salt
    fresh herbs -- especially basil and cilantro
    coconut milk
    nuts -- almonds, cashews, pine nuts
    good Italian cheeses -- esp. Parm and Asiago
    whole spices (coriander, cumin, etc) and a good grinder
    hot sauce, at least 3 varieties
    canned tomatoes and tomato paste
    dried pasta
    several varieties of rice
    rice noodles
    limes and lemons
    oils -- olive, peanut, sesame
    good butter
    high-quality tea

    Because it's just me and the boyfriend, we buy things like meat egg and most fresh vegetables on an as-needed basis but we seem to always have:
    hot peppers
    bell peppers
    assorted mushrooms

    1. Euonymous Nov 6, 2007 09:14 AM

      Geez, I can't believe nobody mentioned this yet: you'll need some good canned tomatoes, dried pasta, and red pepper flakes.

      1. hannaone Nov 4, 2007 07:22 AM

        Olive Oil
        Blended seame/soybean oil
        Pure roasted sesame oil
        Sesame Seed
        Fine, medium, and coarse ground red chili powder
        Soy bean paste
        Dashi (Dashida)
        White, black, and brown rice
        Brown sugar
        Soy Sauce, Both light and dark
        Fish Sauce
        Clear noodle (sweet potato starch noodle)
        Rice noodle
        Dried fern sprouts
        Dried anchovies
        Dried doragi (bellfower root)
        Fresh Asian herbs/roots as needed NOT the powders.

        5 Replies
        1. re: hannaone
          Gio Nov 4, 2007 07:38 AM

          Aha.... *Now* I know the proper items for an Asian kitchen. Some are already in my pantry. Curiously, this is the week we go to the local Asian market to replenish what we've used up. This list comes with me. Thank you very much!

          1. re: Gio
            link_930 Nov 5, 2007 03:51 PM

            Don't forget the dried anchovies and oyster sauce!

            1. re: link_930
              Gio Nov 5, 2007 04:09 PM

              Right... adding this to my list. Thanx, link!!

          2. re: hannaone
            debby Nov 6, 2007 09:02 AM

            Where and how do you use dried fern sprouts? TIA

            1. re: debby
              hannaone Nov 6, 2007 10:31 AM

              Fern sprouts (gossari in Korean) are used in soups like Yukejon (Spicy beef soup) or reconstituted and sauteed or stir fried as a ban chan dish. Also used in the mixed vegetable and rice dish Bi Bim Bop or the hot pot version Dol Sot Bi Bim Bop.

          3. Gio Nov 4, 2007 06:41 AM

            A couple must haves are Kosher and/or sea salt and pepper corns for grinding fresh.
            That's just the start. Depending on the food you cook regularly, or plan to cook, the list increases according to your needs. When I am about to use a recipe for the first time, I read through it, go into the pantry, check to make certain I have all the necessaires, buy what I need, proceed to cook. It just does not make sense to me to have herbs and spices, et al, sitting on a shelf unused. You'd be surprised just how fast your pantry cache builds when you begin cooking in earnest.

            1. l
              link_930 Nov 4, 2007 06:14 AM

              Depends on what you cook, but here are my additions:

              sage, rosemary, thyme
              instant espresso/coffee powder (for baked goods and marinating meats)
              oils: extra virgin olive, sesame, grapeseed, and canola
              garlic and onion
              sun dried tomatoes
              dried wild mushrooms
              rice, both white and whole wheat: sushi, jasmine, basmati, and regular medium-grain
              pine nuts, walnuts, and almonds

              *Personally am hardly ever without goat brie

              Living alone, so mainly keep bread, meats, and fish in the freezer in single portions.

              1. hohokam Nov 3, 2007 01:12 PM

                Smoked chiles in whole or powder form. Yeah. Yeah. Everyone is bored with chipotle this and chipotle that, but I find that we use a lot of chipotle (pods and powder) and smoked Spanish paprikas (both sweet and hot powdered) in our kitchen. If you're bored with chipotle per se and are looking for a smoked chile flavor with less heat, try pasillas de Oaxaca.

                1. chelleyd01 Nov 3, 2007 01:08 PM

                  baking soda
                  baking powder
                  good vanilla
                  whole nutmeg
                  good salts
                  hot sauce
                  brown sugar
                  corn syrup
                  whole milk
                  sweetened condensed milk
                  good chocolate
                  good coffee

                  the list is endless...what kind of cooking toolbox? savory? sweet?

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