Thursday, November 02, 2006

Spices and Flavors

Most Filipino pantries have the requisite soy sauce, native vinegar, patis, calamansi, native onions, garlic, salt, and pepper. Aside from those, what other flavors and spices do you often add to your grocery list? Here's my list:

  1. rice wine -- useful for Chinese dishes
  2. sesame oil -- again, it adds that dash of Chinese-ness to Chinese dishes
  3. oyster sauce -- one of the easiest things in the world to cook is beef in oyster sauce
  4. ginger -- for fish, chicken, and many Chinese dishes
  5. chili garlic -- again, for Chinese dishes
  6. olive oil -- for cooking our steaks and most Mediterranean dishes
  7. extra virgin olive oil -- for salads
  8. Worcestershire sauce (by the way, the proper pronunciation is "WOOstersheer") -- for steak and other dishes
  9. mustard -- for steak and other beef dishes
  10. red wine -- we buy it for drinking rather than for cooking, but the left over wine always finds its way into some dish
  11. mesquite powder -- hard to find, but Mike loves this; yummy for steaks
  12. wasabi and kikkoman -- for the rare moments when we have sashimi
  13. all-purpose cream -- all purpose!
  14. dried oregano, dried basil, dried rosemary, and dried thyme (altogether sing: "Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme!")
  15. meat tenderizer -- a secret I learned from Mike!
  16. bay leaf -- for adobo; my grand-aunt used to add atsuete as well though I haven't tried it myself
  17. spring onions or leeks or green onions
  18. bell peppers
  19. lemons
  20. curry -- I love curry but mike doesn't like it as much. :( Still I always buy a bit in case I can squeeze in a curry meal when Mike's not looking.
  21. tsokolate balls (tableas) -- I'm half-Batangueno, so every morning, I have to have my breakfast rice the traditional Batangueno way: with tsokolate poured on it!


hunger pangs said...

chicken broth cubes! always makes rice taste really good! :)

rowie said...

Oh yes, broth cubes! We always buy beef broth and chicken broth but I've never used them for rice. Thanks for the suggestion! :)