Cooking 101: A beginner’s guide

We’re here to stop you from deep frying and takeout foods when you’re at home

How often do you stock up your refrigerator with frozen foods? Do you order fast food takeaways on a regular basis? Well, there’s no need to feel guilty about it. Many of us have done it and some are still doing it due to their busy schedules. However, continuous consumption of these foods can lead to an unhealthy diet which could eventually be a primary cause of cardiovascular diseases. Now, you wouldn’t want that, would you?

So, we’re here to help you take your cooking game beyond the deep-fried fast food and takeout. Having said that, you’re going to need certain skills to help you waltz through the kitchen every time you cook. So, here’s a simple list to help you figure out what you need to get started with.

Invest in basic kitchen utensils

In order to put your new habit into practice, you’ll need to have some basic kitchen utensils for you to prepare your food and to cook. Not only does it make cooking easier for you, but it also makes it less stressful especially for beginners.

You do not need to buy a variety of kitchen tools that are not only expensive but aren’t necessary at the moment. All you’ll need to focus on is to get the best quality according to your budget and build your kitchen from there as you slowly develop new cooking skills along the way.

Some of the tools you’ll need are:

  • A chef knife 
  • A strainer 
  • Cutting board 
  • Non-stick skillet and a cooking pot 
  • Measuring cups and spoons 
  • Oven-proof baking dish 
  • Containers to store your goods in the refrigerator 
  • Vegetable peeler (if you do not know how to peel using a knife) 
  • Ladles, whisks, spatula and tongs 
  • Towels and potholders

Recipe sites for beginners

Cooking your own meal is one of the greatest ways to ensure that you have healthy meals all the time. However, learning to cook takes patience as it isn’t exactly a cakewalk! As easy as those drool-worthy foods you see in social media, without a doubt, the results aren’t always picture-perfect when you try them out. Not everyone is born with culinary skills, so there’s no harm in making mistakes as you go.

What you need is some help and advice from reliable sources like your mother, a relative or anyone close to you who knows a thing or two about cooking. Be that as it may, you can also visit recipe sites to assist you in the basic understanding on how to cook. To help you get on your feet, here are some cooking sites for beginners such as The Essential Cooking Course (www.homechefrevolution.com/) and The Kitchen   

(https://thekittchen.com/12-easy-recipes-for-beginners/). 

For more simple recipes, you can browse through our website (www.1twenty-80.com) too! Simply search for recipes on the search bar.

Quote: Cooking your own meal is one of the greatest ways to ensure that you have healthy meals all the time.

Fill your pantry with essential herbs and spices

Herbs and spices give a dish its vibrant colour, fragrance and flavours. As you continue with your cooking journey, you will also acquire knowledge on the variety of herbs and spices that are available.

Having lots of delicious spices will definitely make your meals extra flavourful. However, as someone who’s new to cooking, it isn’t essential for you to have all the seasonings that are available in the market. If you have trouble deciding what condiments you should have in your pantry, fret not we’re here to help. Simply start by having the basic condiments in most Asian kitchens, which are: 

  • Star anise, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom 
  • Turmeric 
  • Chili powder 
  • Curry powder 
  • Oregano 
  • Ground cumin Black and white peppercorns 
  • Salt

You may add more to the list as you master your cooking and would like to try out something new. Also, if you have more condiments than what is listed above, it’s okay! You may search for easy recipes to use those extra spices you have sitting in your pantry.

It isn’t necessary for you to have ground onion, garlic or ginger powder as found in many Western recipes as you can always use them fresh.

Learn as you cook! 

Do you always say you should learn how to cook but just don’t have the time? Well, guess what? Now’s the time to do so! As you start to cook you will make mistakes along the way, especially if you’re trying out a new recipe and that’s alright! A great tip when it comes to avoiding the same mistakes are by:

  • Setting all your ingredients on the counter before you start cooking. 
  • Read the recipe thoroughly and if in doubt, read it again. 
  • If you’re watching a YouTube video on a recipe you’re eager to try, remember to jot down the ingredients and instructions on a piece of paper instead of making a mental note. 
  • This way, if you ever forget something you can always refer back to the notes. 
  • Lastly, if you ever overcooked or burnt something, do not panic. Switch off the stove and start over.

Good luck trying! 

Ultimately, all you’ve got to do is to follow these simple steps, and in no time you will cook more often than you know it.

Once you feel ready and confident enough to do more than these basics, you can browse through some new recipes that would not only improve your cooking skills, you’ll also be able to enjoy various dishes at the comfort of your own home!

Sources: Food & Wine, Self, MakeUseOf