HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
What are you cooking today?
TELL US

What are your 12 most essential bottled goodies that you keep in your fridge for cooking?

n
nasilemak Mar 2, 2010 05:05 PM

Non-produce items that are jarred, canned or bottled like sauces, ketchups, pastes, pickles, chutneys and the like.

here are mine -
Gochujang
Miso
Sriracha
Sambal Oelek
Tomato Ketchup
Oyster sauce
Chiu Chow Chilli Oil
Tomato Paste
Taiwanese Barbeque Sa Cha Sauce
Hoisin
Whole Grain Dijon Mustard
Indian Hot Mango Pickle

  1. t
    tonka11_99 Mar 16, 2010 06:55 AM

    I think I will just add things that haven't made the list yet or I want to stress them.

    Madiera wine
    Marsala wine
    Better than Bouillon! beef and chicken It really boosts broth especially for sauces
    Granulated garlic as opposed to garlic powder
    Real Maple syrup dark amber grade A The real stuff is so much better
    Plastic containers of chopped red and green bell peppers in the freezer
    Bottled minced garlic (sorry Julia)
    Frozen peas always tossing a handful into something

    1. chef chicklet Mar 14, 2010 08:17 AM

      capers
      hoisin sauce
      oyster sauce
      soy sauce
      pico pico sauce
      hot and spicy chile garlic sauce
      hot and sweet chile sauce
      dijon mustard
      kim chee

      listing 10 is kind of funny, I have so many condiments and bottled sauces, I too have two fridges but the one addition that I want to add if I can eek it in is Bacon grease.It's a must.

      2 Replies
      1. re: chef chicklet
        CindyJ Mar 15, 2010 08:16 AM

        And a variation of bacon grease: schmaltz (rendered chicken fat).

        1. re: CindyJ
          j
          jvanderh Mar 15, 2010 08:38 AM

          Mmm. I've taken to freezing my animal fats and cutting them into little cubes. I figure they'll last that way, and it's so easy to throw a cube into a skillet.

      2. Crockett67 Mar 14, 2010 07:57 AM

        Sriracha
        Hoisin
        Dijon Mustard
        Natural Peanut butter
        Red Miso
        Red Thai Curry Paste
        Salt encrusted black olives
        Pesto
        Apricot preserves
        Capers

        1. l
          LolaP Mar 9, 2010 06:53 AM

          In fridge:
          anchovies
          fish sauce
          black bean sauce
          capers
          Gulden's mustard
          papaya-curry sauce (tropical pepper co.)
          white wine
          yogurt
          ketchup
          peanut butter
          oil-cured black olives

          Those seem like the essentials! Guess I only have eleven.

          1. MinneapolisMiss Mar 8, 2010 02:53 PM

            Sriracha
            ...Sriracha
            mini dill pickles
            chunky peanut butter (for the pickles)
            Sesame seed oil
            honey
            Wee Willy's bbq
            Soy sauce
            Anchovy Paste
            home made chicken stock
            A good Ranch dressing (emphasis on the good)
            real maple syrup

            1. t
              Toronto Fastfoodie Mar 7, 2010 07:12 PM

              1. Chipotle hot sauce
              2. Hidden Valley Ranch (so my kids never have an excuse not to eat veggies)
              3, 4, 5. Three different ages of balsamic
              6. Ketchup (if we get below 1/4 of a bottle, my 10-year-old declares a ketchup emergency)
              7,8 Olive oil: one for dipping, one for cooking
              9 Cider Vinegar
              10. Grainy mustard.
              11. Tube of tomato paste
              12. Cranberry sauce
              and one more for the mix...lucky #13: Cheeze whiz, for those nights when nothing but movie theatre-style nachos are on the menu

              1. h
                Harters Mar 7, 2010 01:33 PM

                All of the type of items indicated by the OP live in my cupboards not the fridge.

                Although I do have some "special" harissa in there at the moment - the normal harissa is also in the cupboard.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Harters
                  k
                  kookiegoddess Mar 10, 2010 04:39 AM

                  what's special about yr harissa??

                  1. re: Harters
                    r
                    ratgirlagogo May 2, 2010 05:19 PM

                    "All of the type of items indicated by the OP live in my cupboards not the fridge."

                    I was thinking the same thing - the only one for me would be the miso. I know hot sauces often say on the label that they should be refrigerated after opening, but I am a hot sauce addict (have dozens of bottles in my kitchen) and I have found that they usually don't require it. The only exception would some of the green herby ones.

                  2. r
                    runwestierun Mar 7, 2010 11:33 AM

                    Ah, you have found my weakness. I have 2 refrigerators because I have so many jars of pastes and sauces. It's sick.

                    Better than Bouillon: beef, chicken, low sodium chicken. vegetarian beef, vegetarian chicken, vegetable, mushroom and lobster.

                    Mustard: Edmond Fallot --tarragon, dijon and whole grain, Grey Poupon, yellow American mustard, 2 kinds of hot Chinese mustard, 3 other dijons ,horseradish dijon, 3 other whole grains, champagne, 2 honey mustards, cranberry.

                    Horseradish: Bubbies, Beaver, and Hogwash (damn I love that stuff!)

                    Nut butters: Natural peanutbutter, sunflower, cashew and almond.

                    Jam: Bonne Maman cherry, blueberry and apricot, homemade peach, homemade red currant, and homemade strawberry banana, roasted garlic, jalapeno and habanero.

                    Asian sauces: Oyster, black bean, hoisin, plum, szechuan, chili oil, sambal, chili garlic paste, char siu.

                    Hot sauces: sriracha, tabasco, chipotle tabasco, sweet and spicy tabasco, green tabasco, cholula.

                    Barbecue sauces: Stubb's original, Stubb's mop sauce, Sweet Baby Ray's, Cattleman's, KC masterpiece, Kraft, Open Pit, James Gang spiced rum, Bullseye, and 3 different flavors of Stubb's liquid smoke.

                    Dry yeast and sourdough starter in a crock.

                    Tom yum paste, 4 brands.

                    China Blue condiments: red pepper flake, tangy ginger and sesame soy

                    Pickles: Just Jordie's sweet and sour chunks, Claussen's refrigerator dills, Bubbie's bread and butter, Trader Joe's bread and butter, cornichons, dill relish, sweet relish, pickled green peppercorns, capers, Trader Joe's garlic dills.

                    I guess I have learned from this post that I have a large variety of the jarred things that I use the most. I use alot of mustard (mostly to make salad dressing) so I have many kinds. I don't use alot of ketchup, so I just have one kind. Interesting.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: runwestierun
                      groover808 Mar 14, 2010 10:03 PM

                      2nd on the Better than Bouillon! I just discovered it recently, it basically just had meat fat, spices, and sea salt. Where do you get all those various flavors? I've just see chicken, beef, and veggie at my store, another store around me carries the organic versions.

                    2. k
                      kookiegoddess Mar 7, 2010 09:44 AM

                      I'm in London, my crucial ingredients aren't very different to yours but one thing we all tend to have over here is redcurrant jelly, usually served with roast chicken and also a useful ingredient to add to gravy to balance out the flavour with some sweetness.

                      I don't keep mustard in the fridge, or pickles.

                      I recently discovered fermented yellow bean paste which adds a really good flavour to chinese stir fries and noodles, less identifiable than miso.

                      I also have some of that chilli-garlic-dried prawn paste which I don't use often, but I love the flavour added to wonton soups etc.

                      I also love that japanese mayo that comes in a squeezy bottle.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: kookiegoddess
                        d
                        divadmas Mar 14, 2010 12:18 AM

                        just did a clay pot chicken smeared with black bean with garlic paste. liking this clay pot, use with parchment paper.
                        red currant is great, will have to try with chicken I've used it with beef.

                      2. r
                        roro1831 Mar 5, 2010 07:50 AM

                        Pickled Okra
                        Cocktail Onions
                        Pickled string beans
                        gardenia
                        Srirachi
                        Pickles
                        Worcestershire Sauce
                        Hoisin Sauce
                        Balsamic vinegar glaze
                        horseradish
                        Chow chow

                        ok so a few of mine were for drinking, so kill me. lol

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: roro1831
                          j
                          jvanderh Mar 5, 2010 01:11 PM

                          Oh heavens-- if we're including drinking, I can't live without a jar of olives.

                        2. o
                          opehlia payne Mar 5, 2010 04:21 AM

                          miso
                          harissa
                          ketchup- tomato, Maxchup and curry ketchup
                          capers
                          ume plum paste
                          tamarind concentrate
                          sriracha and sambal oelek
                          tahini
                          tube of tomato paste
                          champagne vinegar (the label says it should be refrigerated after opening)
                          mustard- yellow and Dijon
                          peanut butter

                          1. ipsedixit Mar 4, 2010 07:20 PM

                            I don't know if I have 12 bottles of anything in the fridge, much less "goodies" for cooking.

                            1. b
                              brooklynkoshereater Mar 4, 2010 07:11 PM

                              Miso
                              Hoison
                              Sriracha
                              Sesame Oil
                              Brown Mustard
                              dried mushrooms (not in the fridge but always in my pantry - can I count it in?)
                              bottle of red
                              bottle of white
                              Chicken stock (freezer)
                              Beef stock (freezer)
                              veal stock (freezer)
                              garlic

                              1. goodhealthgourmet Mar 4, 2010 05:02 PM

                                ok, so this takes me to 11, but i forgot tamarind paste...thanks to pitterpatter for the reminder!

                                1. p
                                  pitterpatter Mar 4, 2010 04:32 PM

                                  Mayo
                                  Dijon
                                  Pickled ginger (homemade)
                                  Thai Red and Green Curry Pastes
                                  Tamarind Paste
                                  White Truffle Oil
                                  Tapenade
                                  Tahini
                                  Hoisin Sauce
                                  Hot Sauces
                                  Lime Pickle

                                  1. goodhealthgourmet Mar 4, 2010 02:44 PM

                                    ooh, i like the specification for refrigerated items, because if we get to the cabinets my list is far too long.

                                    - miso
                                    - anchovy paste
                                    - tomato paste
                                    - capers
                                    - chipotles in adobo
                                    - numerous hot sauces (includes Sriracha, Cholula, Tabasco Chipotle, Habanero...)
                                    - dijon mustard
                                    - horseradish
                                    - ginger juice
                                    - toasted sesame oil

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                      n
                                      nasilemak Mar 4, 2010 04:27 PM

                                      How does Cholula taste, in relation to the other hot sauces?

                                      1. re: nasilemak
                                        goodhealthgourmet Mar 4, 2010 05:00 PM

                                        it's smoother than some other common hot sauces like Tabasco, and has a fuller, more well rounded flavor - a little smoky, a little sweet, a little fruity, a little vinegar tang, not too much pepper...i almost want to say it even has a hint of saffron.

                                        i might not be the best judge of the heat level because i have an asbestos palate. to me it's mild, but *normal* people would probably classify it as medium.

                                        it's amazing on eggs (*worlds* better than Tabasco), and works surprisingly well on popcorn if you like yours with a little kick!

                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                          d
                                          divadmas Mar 7, 2010 09:08 AM

                                          never had the cholula but like the tabasco chipotle. which do you prefer on eggs?do you use it anywhere else? I'm not so much on heat, like sweet chile sauce. also hot style banana sauce (not very hot) for rice omelet instead of ketchup. for asian style I also like to keep pickled ginger (ben shoga), daikon pickles w/ chili, pickled plums.

                                          1. re: divadmas
                                            goodhealthgourmet Mar 7, 2010 02:38 PM

                                            it depends what i'm putting *in* or serving with my eggs. if cilantro, tomatillos, black beans, etc. are involved, i use the Tabasco chipotle. i also like the Tabasco in things like meatloaf, turkey burgers, BBQ sauce, marinades, and deviled egg filling.

                                            i really only use the Cholula on eggs - plain, with goat or feta cheese & veggies, with herbs other than cilantro...

                                          2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                            Crockett67 Mar 14, 2010 07:50 AM

                                            I totally agree, to really knock the socks off of party goers shake buffalo wings in straight Cholula sauce instead of Franks Red or any other buffalo wings sauce recipe. Spicy a little sweet with a nice tang of vinegar. It's fabulous!

                                      2. l
                                        lgss Mar 4, 2010 02:13 PM

                                        various hot sauces
                                        tamari
                                        various mustards
                                        tahini
                                        miso
                                        apple cider vinegar
                                        chipotle peppers in adobo
                                        safflower oil
                                        maple syrup
                                        agave nectar
                                        various salsas
                                        vindaloo paste

                                        8 Replies
                                        1. re: lgss
                                          k
                                          kpaxonite Mar 4, 2010 03:04 PM

                                          why do you keep oil in the fridge??

                                          1. re: kpaxonite
                                            goodhealthgourmet Mar 4, 2010 03:26 PM

                                            to retard spoilage/rancidity. oil lasts a lot longer in the fridge than it does on the shelf.

                                            1. re: kpaxonite
                                              Cherylptw Mar 4, 2010 04:23 PM

                                              My question was going to be why keep vinegar in the fridge? You can sit it outside all day in 100 degree whether and it will never go bad neither will hot sauce. I have about 8 bottles in my cabinet..

                                              dressings
                                              pickled jalapeno peppers
                                              grape jelly
                                              pickle relish
                                              mustard
                                              mayo
                                              hot chow chow
                                              roasted bell peppers
                                              oil packed sundried tomatoes
                                              homemade sourdough starter
                                              ancho chile paste
                                              Better than Bouillion chicken/beef

                                              1. re: Cherylptw
                                                l
                                                lgss Mar 5, 2010 03:22 AM

                                                Because it's in a bottle that's taller than our storage cabinet, so it would have to be laid on it's side which I'd rather not once it's been opened, again limited countertop space also plays a role.

                                                1. re: lgss
                                                  Cherylptw Mar 5, 2010 04:05 AM

                                                  I get it..I have limited storage as well..

                                                2. re: Cherylptw
                                                  eight_inch_pestle Mar 7, 2010 09:28 AM

                                                  Hot sauce will indeed last forever outside of the fridge. However, some (Louisiana, Tabasco) will discolor.

                                                  1. re: Cherylptw
                                                    a
                                                    adrienne156 Mar 8, 2010 03:20 PM

                                                    Re: hot sauce going bad.

                                                    My bottle of sriracha hasn't gone bad outside of the fridge, but it certainly has fermented and gotten a lot hotter.

                                                  2. re: kpaxonite
                                                    l
                                                    lgss Mar 5, 2010 03:19 AM

                                                    We keep olive oil on the counter, safflower and others in the fridge once they've been opened. Both so it lasts longer and to keep our limited counter & storage space available for other things/purposes.

                                                3. m
                                                  maxie Mar 4, 2010 01:52 PM

                                                  anchovies in a jar
                                                  mustard, Mendicino and Dijon
                                                  miso paste
                                                  capers
                                                  sriracha
                                                  red chili paste
                                                  hot chili oil
                                                  walnut oil
                                                  horseradish
                                                  chipolte chilis in adobo
                                                  soy sauce
                                                  sesame oil

                                                  1. mcf Mar 4, 2010 01:29 PM

                                                    Walkerswood Spicy Jerk Marinade, first and foremost
                                                    A tube of tomato paste
                                                    A tube of anchovy paste
                                                    Dijon mustard
                                                    Chipotle in adobo (freezer, actually)
                                                    Capers
                                                    Ketchup
                                                    Spicy brown mustard
                                                    Hellman's mayo
                                                    White wine

                                                    1. ladyberd Mar 4, 2010 11:27 AM

                                                      Sriracha
                                                      Olive tapenade
                                                      Whole grain dijon
                                                      Fish sauce
                                                      Chili garlic paste
                                                      Hoisin
                                                      Tomato paste
                                                      Anchovy paste
                                                      Chipotle ketchup
                                                      Indian chutney of some sort
                                                      Green curry paste
                                                      Horseradish

                                                      Cheers,
                                                      Ladyberd
                                                      http://ladyberds-kitchen.blogspot.com

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: ladyberd
                                                        b
                                                        BPfahnl May 1, 2010 08:33 PM

                                                        How long are the tubes of anchovy paste and tomato paste good once you've opened them?

                                                        1. re: BPfahnl
                                                          mcf May 2, 2010 08:56 AM

                                                          I don't know, but I keep them forever without regard for dates, and so far so good after many years.

                                                      2. Emme Mar 2, 2010 08:13 PM

                                                        i cook with a lot of things that i can no longer eat... sadly...

                                                        Bragg's Amino Acids
                                                        Stock/Broth
                                                        Garlic Paste
                                                        Hearts of Palm
                                                        Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
                                                        Good Wine
                                                        Balsamic Vinegar

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Emme
                                                          j
                                                          jvanderh Mar 3, 2010 03:54 AM

                                                          I think the only things I really miss when they run out are:

                                                          hot sauce
                                                          pre-made terrayaki sauce

                                                          I also sometimes keep the oil from sauteeing garlic-- it's nice for cooking fries or steak or something, where garlic might burn.

                                                        2. mcsheridan Mar 2, 2010 05:56 PM

                                                          Inside the fridge:
                                                          Chili-Garlic Sauce
                                                          Sesame Oil
                                                          Hoisin Sauce
                                                          Heinz Chili Sauce
                                                          Whole Grain Dijon Mustard
                                                          Deli Mustard (Brown)
                                                          Ginger Paste

                                                          Outside the fridge:
                                                          Tomato Ketchup
                                                          Worcestershire Sauce
                                                          Soy Sauce
                                                          Aged Balsamic Vinegar
                                                          Local honey

                                                          1. TIRGL Mar 2, 2010 05:26 PM

                                                            TOMATO PASTE IN A JAR
                                                            HEINZ KETCHUP
                                                            HOISIN SAUCE
                                                            DIJON MUSTARD
                                                            WHOLE GRAIN MUSTARD
                                                            AMERICAN MUSTARD
                                                            PICKLES(BREAD AND BUTTER, DILL, CORNICHONS)
                                                            CAPERS
                                                            RED CURRY PASTE
                                                            TOASTED SESAME OIL
                                                            TRUFFLE OIL
                                                            WALNUT OIL
                                                            CHIPOTLE CHILIES IN ADOBO
                                                            I could go on but these are the major ones.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: TIRGL
                                                              v
                                                              Val Mar 7, 2010 12:08 PM

                                                              Can everyone who listed "hoisin" please tell me which brand you buy? Thanks very much!

                                                              1. re: Val
                                                                mcsheridan Mar 8, 2010 10:47 AM

                                                                Lum Kum Kee, or Dynasty if I can't find LKK.

                                                            Show Hidden Posts