Have you ever experienced wanting to cook something, only to end up settling for another dish because you don’t have the ingredients for what you were craving?
We bet many of us can relate to this—the disappointing feeling of finding out that you’ve run out of an ingredient and you can’t buy one from the store. This can especially feel frustrating when you already got excited, thinking that you’ll get to finally satisfy your cravings. (Read: Quick 3-Ingredient Recipes You Can Do During Busy Days)
So, to save us all from the disappointment, My Pope rounded up some of the pantry staples we all should have in our kitchen. These can especially be helpful in these times of a pandemic when we can’t easily go out and go on a grocery run to buy what we need.
We Filipinos love to use dry ingredients to add more flavor to your dishes. We believe that they are needed for many recipes—from the most basic to most complicated ones—as our dishes can sometimes taste bland without them.
- Salt and Pepper. Almost, if not all recipes, require salt and pepper to add taste to dishes
- Cayenne pepper or chili powder. These are especially important for people who love spicy food. It also adds a little kick to your meals!
- Sugar (brown and white). Their tastes differ, depending on the preferences and needs of the taster. This is why it’s good to have both in your pantry at all times.
- Breadcrumbs. Love crunchy, crispy dishes? Then breadcrumbs are your perfect go-to!
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are an essential part of dishes. Not only do they increase a food’s nutrient content, but they also enhance the flavor of all the other ingredients—plus, they are almost always needed in every Filipino dish! (List: Fruits and Vegetables You Can Re-Grow From Leftovers)
- Turmeric (luyang dilaw). These are essential—especially for seafood dishes to remove the fishy smell and taste.
- Lemons or calamansi. They add more flavor to your dishes and also contradict the fishy odor.
- Onions and Garlic. Every dish needs onions and/or garlic, so make sure to always have them in your kitchen!
- Potatoes. It is a versatile vegetable that you can use as a substitute for rice, or as a side dish or main entree.
Wet ingredients can be used as dipping sauces, sarsa, or added flavor to the soup. Whatever you use it for, it is essential to keep a stock of these items so you would not have to change your menu just because you ran out of any of these liquids.
- Milk. Lovers of cream-based dishes should always these at home!
- Soy sauce and Vinegar. These two usually come in hand—especially for Filipinos who love cooking adobo or eating their food with sawsawan.
- Stock or Broth. They add that brothy flavor to soups and dishes!