Spring Clean Your Pantry: Asian Fusion Edition

Spring Clean Your Pantry: Asian Fusion Edition

We’ve all heard of spring cleaning. Usually it entails going through your closet and getting rid of clothes you haven’t worn in the last year. Sometimes it involves clearing out your shed or garage and other storage areas that become a catch-all space for housing items that don’t have a home. But, what about your pantry? As we welcome the freshness of spring, it's also the perfect time to give your pantry a makeover. Say goodbye to clutter and hello to organized bliss! In this blog, we share what we have in our Mi BOWL kitchen pantry and talk about some tips for revitalizing yours for the spring. 

Asian cuisine is renowned for its bold and diverse flavours, and at the heart of it are pantry staples that add depth and complexity to dishes. From the umami richness of soy sauce to the aromatic kick of ginger and garlic, these ingredients are not only delicious but also incredibly versatile.

Pantry Spring-Cleaning Tips

  1. Take Inventory: Start by emptying your pantry shelves and taking stock of what you have. Discard any expired or unused items to make room for new additions.
  2. Organize Efficiently: Group similar items together to create a cohesive system. For example, you may want to keep all your seasoning sauces and pastes together, and store dry spices and herbs separately. You can also organize by cuisine type (e.g., Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, etc). Invest in storage containers or bins to keep everything tidy and easily accessible.
  3. Prioritize Essentials: Identify your must-have pantry staples. Our recommended list is below. Make sure these items are well-stocked so you can whip up flavorful meals at a moment's notice.
  4. Label Everything: Labeling jars and containers will help you stay organized and avoid confusion during meal prep. Plus, it adds a touch of elegance to your pantry shelves!
  5. Donate or Use Up Extras: If you have surplus ingredients that you won't use, consider donating them to a local food bank or finding creative ways to incorporate them into your cooking.

Some Asian Staples We Can’t Live Without

  • Sauces + Seasonings: soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, gochujang, fish sauce, miso paste, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, sriracha, sambal, chili oil and/or chili crisp, and rock sugar.
  • Umami boosters: dried shiitake mushroom, dried shrimp, lap cheong (Chinese sausage), bonito flakes, kombu 
  • Other essentials: fresh garlic, fresh ginger, spring onion, long grain rice
  • If you want to fancy up your pantry, consider adding: lemongrass, shaoxing wine, plum syrup, mirin, dark soy sauce, fermented black bean, and fermented bean curd.

With a well-stocked pantry and a dash of creativity, preparing delicious Asian-fusion meals at home is easier than ever. So roll up your sleeves, tidy up that pantry, and get ready to unleash your culinary prowess! If you’re looking for some Chinese comfort food that’s super easy to whip up, try out our recipe for tomato and egg stir fry below!

Classic Tomato & Egg Stir Fry

What you'll need:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, medium dice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1.5 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Green onions (scallions) for garnish (optional)

How to make it

  1. Prepare the Eggs:
    • Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat them lightly with a fork or whisk. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
    • Heat a non-stick skillet or wok over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
    • Pour the beaten eggs into the skillet and let them cook undisturbed until the edges begin to set, about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Scramble the Eggs:
    • Using a spatula, gently scramble the eggs until they are just cooked through but still slightly soft. Transfer the scrambled eggs to a plate and set aside.
  3. Cook the Tomatoes:
    • In the same skillet or wok, add another tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat.
    • Add the minced garlic to the skillet and sauté for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
    • Add the diced tomatoes to the skillet and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften and release their juices.
  4. Combine the Eggs and Tomatoes:
    • Return the scrambled eggs to the skillet with the tomatoes.
    • Add soy sauce and sugar to the skillet, then gently stir everything together until well combined.
    • Continue to cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until the eggs and tomatoes are heated through and the flavors have melded together.
  5. Serve:
    • Transfer the Cantonese Tomato and Egg Stir-Fry to a serving dish.
    • Garnish with sliced green onions (scallions) if desired.
    • Serve hot with steamed rice as a main dish or as a side dish to complement your meal.

Enjoy the savoury-sweet flavours of this Chinese classic with your family and friends!

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