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Old 12-16-2016, 09:18 AM   #1
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Any tips for beginners to choose cookware and accessories

I am now seriously learning to make some Chinese dishes. However, I can't cook every meals, and I only cook for one person only. In many videos cooking tutorials, they usually involve many many different ingredients, usually up to 10.

Do you have any tips on cookware and accessories to use and store the unused ingredients for next time?

I also cook sometimes but I do not have appropriate storage box. Usually I cannot store unused ingredients appropriately.

Any recommendation on Amazon?

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Old 12-16-2016, 10:03 AM   #2
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Invest in a cooking thermometer and a deep fryer.
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Old 12-16-2016, 10:43 AM   #3
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Do not buy a set of pans. Only buy pans you will use. I recently bought a two quart saucepan with glass lid. I could have bought a three quart one for just a couple of dollars more. Most of the time I cook for just myself. When cooking for two my purchase still meets my needs. I have a huge 15 inch frying pan with helping handle. It was a gift. Otherwise, I would never buy it for myself. I use it for high volume sautéing. Like eggplant.

I have two empty coffee canisters covered in contact paper. I use them for flour and sugar. I printed out labels on self-stick labels.

I recently had to replace my baking powder. And it is a good thing I did. It forced me to take a hard look at my food cabinet. I tossed out stuff that I had been keeping for eons, thinking I would get healthy enough again and use them. Mostly stuff for baking. Seems like the whole family is on a diet. When purchasing food items that require storage time, check expiration dates. Buy items that have the longest expiration dates.

When I look at a recipe, I only will consider, not counting salt, about five or six ingredients. I, like so many members here, cook from scratch. For veggies, it is to my advantage to buy only a couple of what I need. A small bunch of two or three carrots. (for stews or soups) Two or three large potatoes, one or two of the largest onions I can find. I save the unused part tightly wrapped in plastic and then placed in a zippy bag. I don't buy fresh celery unless I know for sure I am going to use it. I pick off all the leaves and dry in the oven for recipes that call for celery seasoning. I try to buy according to portion control. One person, one potato. The only can goods I might buy are American whole tomatoes for American Chop Suey, canned milk for emergencies, and creamed corn. A weakness of mine. Don't waste your limited space on seasonings or can goods you will never use. I will never make anything that is highly seasoned such as chili. Hence, no space wasted.

Now to Amazon. Find what you like or can afford and at look at the reviews. Anything with more of two and three stars than five, run away from that product. You might want to look at Amazon Prime. It cost $99.00 a year. You can cancel anytime you want if you feel you are not getting your monies worth. The info for cancelling is at the very bottom of each page.
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Old 12-16-2016, 10:44 AM   #4
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Invest in a cooking thermometer and a deep fryer.
For sure!
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Old 12-16-2016, 11:16 AM   #5
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Agree with the thermometer, but I've never owned a deep fryer, and I don't think that would be among the first things I'd advise someone to buy. On the occasions that I need one, I put oil in one of my pots and do it on the stovetop.
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Old 12-16-2016, 11:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenny1999 View Post
I am now seriously learning to make some Chinese dishes. However, I can't cook every meals, and I only cook for one person only. In many videos cooking tutorials, they usually involve many many different ingredients, usually up to 10.

Do you have any tips on cookware and accessories to use and store the unused ingredients for next time?

I also cook sometimes but I do not have appropriate storage box. Usually I cannot store unused ingredients appropriately.

Any recommendation on Amazon?
Hi, kenny. What do you mean when you say you don't have an "appropriate storage box"? Why can't you store unused ingredients appropriately?

Most of the ingredients used in Chinese cooking last a very long time. I keep fresh ginger in a jar of sherry in the fridge and it lasts forever. I also keep sesame oil in the fridge, because oils can become rancid at room temperature.

Fresh onions and garlic keep a long time on the counter. Soy sauce, oyster sauce, Sriracha and other ingredients in jars keep practically forever and, because of the high salt or vinegar content, don't need to be refrigerated.

Keep in mind that you don't have to follow the recipes you're seeing exactly. Once you've made the base and the sauce, you can use whatever proteins and vegetables you want.

I use a 3.5-quart sauté pan for stir-fry. It's a very versatile pan and can be used for many other types of dishes as well. I also have a set of bamboo utensils - some of which I received as part of a wedding gift over 30 years ago - that I use in practically all of my cooking. A cooking thermometer is also a great idea.

Please give us a few links to the videos you're watching so we can give you better advice.
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Old 12-16-2016, 11:26 AM   #7
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Agree with RP that a deep fryer is not a necessity for a beginner cook.
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Old 12-16-2016, 12:12 PM   #8
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Hope everyone realizes this is the person from the onion ring thread that refuses to take/accept the advice he's been given; thus, the mention of the thermometer and deep fryer.
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Old 12-16-2016, 12:15 PM   #9
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Keep in mind that you don't have to follow the recipes you're seeing exactly. Once you've made the base and the sauce, you can use whatever proteins and vegetables you want.
I just wanted to mention, as an example, I have a recipe for stir-fry with brown sauce that calls for using diced chicken and shrimp, along with carrots and 2 cups of onions. I never make it with shrimp; I use either chicken or pork. And I almost always use a combination of onions, green bell peppers, red and/or yellow bell peppers, and celery that adds up to the total amount veggies called for in the recipe.

And I use only about half of each of the peppers. Then later in the week, I'll use the rest to make spaghetti sauce or a Thai curry (with store-bought curry paste and coconut milk) or a Mexican dish like enchiladas or fajitas.
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Old 12-16-2016, 12:40 PM   #10
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Hope everyone realizes this is the person from the onion ring thread that refuses to take/accept the advice he's been given; thus, the mention of the thermometer and deep fryer.
Oh yeah. Mr. Know-it-all.
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