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Go Back   REVscene Automotive Forum > Vancouver LifeStyles (VLS) > Food & Fine Dining

Food & Fine Dining Hungry? Come on down to Wings - Fun, Food and Drinks.
Top Restaurants in town? Got a good recipe to share? Share culinary info or post up photos of your delicious dish. #revsceneVLS

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Old 05-22-2013, 03:29 AM   #1
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Your Cooking Secret Weapons

I was going to respond to Willystyle's post, but it ended up branching off with me talking about the stuff I use in my kitchen.

Let's discuss our "secret" weapons in our kitchens. The tools and ingredients we absolutely cannot live without and more importantly, where to acquire these items cheap!



So carrying on from Willystyle's Chinese Chili Oil thread, I'll talk about how I add spiciness to my dishes.


To me, these are my requisite heat sources in my kitchen:



I use the same brand as Willystyle's, but their other type, it's a finer grind.
I actually don't use sriracha and I stopped using cayenne months ago.

I use the first 2 sauces pictured here when making mapo tofu for my non-fancy meals.
The gochugaru (korean red pepper powder) is my substitute for cayenne, I find it has a much more lively flavor.

The one pictured is a fine grind like cayenne.
I also have a coarse grind I use in spicy Chinese and Korean cooking.

In an asian kitchen, I think these are all pretty standard, nothing special.
T&T will have the first 2 for sure, but will probably hella overcharge for the gochugaru.


Gochugaru and sea salt is heavily used for kimchi, so it's actually quite cheap at H-Mart.
H-Mart is actually your ultimate source for sea salt. They sell in various sacks at 1/4 of the price compared to Western supermarkets.



The last ingredient I use is sacha sauce otherwise known as Chinese BBQ sauce. It's actually not quite spicy, but used similar to the other spicy ingrdients. The name is actually a bit confusing.
Sacha sounds like satay, but is not even close at all. Sacha is deep, meaty and oniony whereas satay sauce is usually lighter in flavor and peanut-based.
And to make matters worse, sacha has nothing to do with Chinese-style BBQ. None of the 3 major items (roast pork, bbq pork and roast duck) use sacha.

Culinary uses: Stir fry and finish with a spoon or 2 of it. Mapo tofu. Hot pot dipping sauce.

Cheap Source: Buy in bulk, it lasts forever. Rice World or Kuo Hua.
You probably won't use it too much in day-to-day cooking, but come hot pot season, you will burn through this.
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:38 PM   #2
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I don't know if I can call these secret weapons....

I cannot cook without lemon, butter, garlic, kosher salt, & freshly ground pepper.

For buffalo chicken wings and other spicy dishes, I like to use Frank's Hot sauce.
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Old 05-22-2013, 04:11 PM   #3
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Secret weapon? For me the weapons is not be flustered and be well prepared. I find nearly all kitchen equipment are pretty good these days don't have to be expensive but one must to have spares.. eg in my kitchen has 3-4 1" bamboo cutting board from $ stores. 2x hand held mixer wisks, blender heads, kitchen aid bowls, knives etc. So when you are going through the cooking process you don't have to wash.. oh ditch the stainless steel pans and just go cast iron (a heck lot cheaper too at princess auto).
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Old 05-22-2013, 04:16 PM   #4
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Cumin and tamarind.
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Old 05-22-2013, 05:19 PM   #5
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Old 05-22-2013, 05:20 PM   #6
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sweet thai chilli sauce=p
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Old 05-22-2013, 05:20 PM   #7
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mine's MSG








jk, I find it hard to live without chicken/beef/vege stock. Water just doesn't cut it!
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Old 05-22-2013, 05:51 PM   #8
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HUNGARIAN SMOKED PAPRIKA GOES ON EVERYTHING



this is the same brand, but I use the HOT stuff, not the sweet.
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Old 05-22-2013, 05:55 PM   #9
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Freshly ground salt and pepper!
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Old 05-22-2013, 06:17 PM   #10
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Another thing I do:

Grow a lot of basil (around now).. harvest them, put most of them in the blender, add fresh garlic cloves, salt, pepper and olive oil.. blend and store them in ice tray cubes.. then you have handy pre portioned pesto for the season.

Also don't let basil plants grow too tall.. they will die quicker.. pick quick and don't let them flower.
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Old 05-22-2013, 06:44 PM   #11
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:51 PM   #12
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:23 PM   #13
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sesame oil and smoked paprika
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:00 PM   #14
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a big o'tub of pork fat and beef fat..
i try to cook with them as much as possible
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:04 PM   #15
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Fresh ground pepper, cook it up a bit in the hot oil
to activate the flavour.
Works for other seedy/oily spices.
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:20 PM   #16
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onions if i can incorporate it
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:40 PM   #17
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:03 PM   #18
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Omg I could list a thousand things...but..:

Garlic, shallots, fish sauce, sea salt, chilli flakes/peppers, chicken stock (homemade is even better),
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Old 05-22-2013, 11:02 PM   #19
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sesame oil and smoked paprika
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Interesting tidbit.
I have recently swapped over to Korean sesame oil instead of the Chinese stuff I grew up using. I find it has a much nicer toasted and nutty flavor.
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Old 05-22-2013, 11:20 PM   #20
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Smoked paprika, lemon.
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Old 05-22-2013, 11:42 PM   #21
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The entire spice rack because I am exactly the type of idiot who assumes everything is better with herbs and spices.
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Old 05-23-2013, 12:10 AM   #22
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Interesting tidbit.
I have recently swapped over to Korean sesame oil instead of the Chinese stuff I grew up using. I find it has a much nicer toasted and nutty flavor.
I'll definitely try the Korean stuff whenever I run out.
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Old 05-23-2013, 12:20 AM   #23
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Jalapeno peppers cut up in a blender then put into a zip lock back and frozen. Just break a piece off and throw it into anything I am cooking.
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Old 05-23-2013, 12:46 AM   #24
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Ingredients: fish sauce

Tools: pepper mills, mortar&pestle.
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Old 05-23-2013, 12:59 AM   #25
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