What’s In My Online Order: Two Hot Asians
FRUIT & VEG
Garlic: Regardless of the time of year, we use garlic in most of our dishes. Not only is it great for you, but it also makes everything taste better. We like to add thinly sliced garlic into veggie stir-fries or fried garlic chips to any meal, because who doesn’t like a little bit of tasty, crunchy texture in their food?
Mushrooms: It’s mushroom season right now, so you’ll find some of the most beautiful mushrooms at your local supermarket or greengrocer. Inevitably, we end up forgetting about some fruit or veg at the back of the fridge, especially when it’s full. A tip to avoid mushy mushrooms is to thinly slice and dehydrate them in the oven at 55°C for 3-8 hours. Keep them in an airtight container and you can use them by rehydrating them in warm water. They are great in broths, a simple mushroom pasta dish, or even blended with some salt to make mushroom salt.
Pears: We try to buy seasonal produce as much as possible, and right now is the time for pears to shine. There’s nothing like biting into a juicy sweet pear. We love them in a salad (usually with blue cheese and walnuts), in a dessert, like poached pears, or simply as a snack during the day.
Spinach: Sometimes our eating habits can be quite childish (as in you won’t see a vegetable in sight) but one thing we will never say no to is creamed spinach, so for the sake of a ‘balanced’ diet, there will always be spinach around.
Spring onions: This is a staple garnish in a lot of the Chinese dishes we make at home, so having them around is handy. To keep them fresher for longer, store them in a cup with water by the window. That way, they will keep growing and you will get a lot more for your money.
Lettuce: Whether it’s romaine, gem or Chinese lettuce, there is always some in the fridge. Either for a side salad, light lunch, to grill or add to a congee, it’s always being used in the house.
Carrots: They work in everything, from salads, to curries, fried rice or in a coleslaw; they’re a great staple. You can also grate them and hide them in sauces to ensure fussy eaters (like kids) get their veg intake.
Lemons & limes: Essential for drinks, salads, sauces, marinades, and baking.
Salted Butter: And lots of it. Ana likes to put her money where her mouth is, and in this case that means quality butter. We keep it in a butter dish at room temperature, but we always have extra in the fridge for emergencies. It makes it so much easier to spread and/or mix in other ingredients. We love Ampersand Cultured Butter or the Sublime Pink Himalayan Salt Butter, but will also settle for Lurpak.
Free range eggs: We keep eggs in the fridge, but a pack of ten never lasts longer than three days. Nine out of ten times, we have eggs for breakfast, and most likely scrambled eggs on toast. They’re so handy to have around for a quick and easy meal. A trick we learned from our chef friend Jenny (from Ling Ling’s) is that you can save the egg whites – usually by freezing them when you’re doing a recipe that only requires yolks – and use them for panéing (breading).
Scottish salmon fillets: Salmon fillets have been a regular addition to our shopping list ever since we bought our air fryer last year. From start to finish, you can have a delicious and perfectly cooked piece of salmon within ten minutes. Marinate it with some spicy miso and you have a crowd-pleaser.
Dried shrimps: Not only is this one of the staple ingredients in our XO Sauce, the tupperware on the bottom right of the fridge shelf is where the dried shrimps live. Usually found in Asian supermarkets like Long Dan, they last forever as a little goes a long way. If we’re feeling lazy and wanting a quick pasta dish, we rehydrate the dried shrimps in warm water for half an hour or so before cooking them in butter, and boom: you have a fancy shrimp pasta dish that won’t break the bank.
Cheese: We’ve kept this one quite broad because we love all things cheese. We love Philadelphia Cream Cheese, feta, goat’s cheese, parmigiano, pecorino, gruyere, Babybel and Cheestrings. If Ana had to pick one, the child in her would always go for a Cheestring.
MSG: What is MSG? Monosodium glutamate is the sodium salt of glutamic acid and it’s in a lot of things you already have, like tomatoes, mushrooms and parmesan. Like everything in life, it’s only bad if you use it in excess. We add a small teaspoon of MSG in most of my dishes at home and it just takes it to another level. Trust us, next time you are having movie night at home, add some to your salty popcorn.
Plain Flour: We always have this in the cupboard. We use it to thicken sauces, coating fish or meat for frying, making pancakes, waffles and all sorts of cakes and pies. If we’re feeling a bit smug, we’ll use it to make hand-pulled noodles, too.
Soy sauce: Another way of adding umami to your dishes. We always have both dark and light at home, but if we had to pick one it would be light soy sauce for dressings or seasoning.
Cirio Italian Chopped Tomatoes: We use this as base for a lot of stews, ragus and soups.
Rapeseed oil: This is Emily’s go-to oil for every type of cooking. Rapeseed oil is low in saturated fats and it has a very delicate taste so it’s not only great for cooking, but it’s also a great flavour conductor when used with spices, allowing them to shine without stealing the spotlight.
Knorr Chicken Noodle Soup: This is our go-to hangover food. Back in the day, Knorr Chicken Noodle Soup would always bring us back to life, and somehow we still have a few packs in our cupboard for when we are feeling lazy or just need a hug in a bowl.
Jasmine rice: Rice is life, right? Well, at least it is for us. Our go-to is the Village Pride 10KG bag. Truth be told, our main use for rice is to make congee – we could happily eat it every day.
Giuseppe Cocco Pappardelle: We always have pasta in the cupboard to whip up quick yet impressive dishes for guests. Our favourite is cacio e pepe but we add a tablespoon or two of our Two Hot Asians XO Sauce for something a little extra.
Knorr Chicken Powder: A great alternative to stock cubes in our opinion. You can use as much or as little as you want.
Chilli flakes: We all need a little bit of heat in our life, right?
Sesame oil: It adds a lovely nutty flavour to any dish, and can be used for dressings and marinades, as well as in stir-fries, in congee, or to sauté meat and vegetables.
Waitrose Belgian Dark Chocolate With Raisins And Almonds: Cadbury’s is too sweet for us these days so Waitrose’s version of its fruit and nut bar is perfect for when we want something sweet.
Love Corn Chilli Habanero: We love crispy corn kernels. They’re a great snack and you can also crunch them into smaller pieces to add some texture to salads.
Crisps: We’re both addicted to Torres crisps, especially the Black Truffle and Olive Oil flavours.
Freshasia Dumplings: Although we love making dumplings from scratch, we don’t always have the time with our busy schedules, so the second best option is to always have some in the freezer. You can pan fry them or have them in broth – either way, they are so comforting.
Frozen peas: These are so handy to have for adding some greenery to meals. We add quite a generous amount to our fried rice.
Ice-cream: We always have a couple of tubs in the freezer. Right now, our favourite brand is Araw.
Fruit teas: We love infusing big jugs of water with a couple of bags of fruit teas overnight in the fridge.
Milk oolong tea: We tried this for the first time about eight years ago and it’s one of our favourite teas. It has a natural milky creamy aroma/taste. It’s like having a milk tea without adding milk to it.
Orange juice: OJ is always part of our breakfast ritual on the weekends – and the only time when Ana lets her partner cook!
Altos tequila: When Emily does drink, tequila is her favourite. She likes it simply with soda water and fresh lime juice.
Sparkling water: We mostly drink still water, but we like to have a couple of glasses of sparking water with some lime for something extra refreshing.
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