20 Must Have Items In your Pantry

I believe in a good stocked pantry cause you never know when there is a snow day (I wish) or an epic rainstorm (that’s more like it!) or when a few of your friends come by unannounced. So here are 20 food items you should always have handy in your pantry, like ALWAYS! Meaning when you’re left with just one can of tomatoes, go out and make sure you have at least 2, same goes for everything else on this list.

*TIP: make sure you pick a cool place for  your pantry and keep it dry with these amazing absorbent tubs so your items are all kept fresh in this humid Malaysian climate.

  1. cooking oil of your choice – I use canola oil for deep frying, olive oil  and coconut oil for  flavouring my cooking and when I wanna dress my salads, or dishes.
  2. salt – The best kind of salt is one that not only tastes good but is also beneficial for you. I use Bio Luxury Himalaya Rock Salt  for everyday cooking and flaky sea salt when I am feeling fancy 🙂
  3. black pepper – I would suggest you get whole pepper corns and crush them when you’re cooking. They pack a punch and the aroma and taste is more prominent
  4. rice of your liking – I personally enjoy my white Jasmine rice but if you’re conscentious about your health then brown rice or wild rice will do
  5. pasta – Any type of pasta will do because it’s the one item you can boil with salted water, add some chopped garlic and good olive oil and you have a meal. Spaghetti is the most common one to have but I like fussili too cause the sauce sticks in between the curls and it’s also child friendly 🙂
  6. instant noodles – Now, a pantry isnt a pantry without our famous instant noodles. In Malaysia, we do as Malaysians do and have our favourite kari mee and indo mee goreng in our pantry, it’s perfectly fine. Plus if you want to make noodles that aren’t loaded with MSG, chuck the sachets and just use the noodles. WIN!
  7. garlic – I use garlic a lot. It not only makes your food taste amazing it is actually really good for you too. My nenek use to eat her rice with chopped up garlic. She says eating garlic makes you heal faster. I am guessing she was referring to wounds.
  8. onion – similarly, onions do the same thing as garlic plus this is kind of a vegetable you can eat raw. Toss it in a salad if need be. I would suggest buying a variety of onions shallots, red and large white ones
  9. Ginger – Old ginger (usually larger and skin is darker and dryer, has a lot more flavour and also lasts longer in a pantry than young ginger would
  10. mixed herbs of your choice (my must haves are basil, dill, mixed herbs)
  11. chili flakes – Great to have in your pantry if you like some spice in your life 😉
  12. curry powder – This spice blend is a must in the pantry because you never know when you need to make a pot of curry. Easy Curry recipe here
  13. kicap manis – drizzle some on your sunny side up or your nasi goreng corn beef (recipe here) and your meal is instantly uplifted 🙂
  14. soy sauce – This is the sister to kicap manis, it really is an important pantry ingredient for most Asian cooking
  15. sesame oil – this lil fire cracker of an oil is bountiful with just a droplet. It provides so much flavour to your food and the Koreans call it the butter to their dishes. Great to drizzle on noodles, stir fry vegetables, steamed fish or chicken.
  16. vinegar – A very important ingredient for both eastern and western cooking. Vinegar is also good to have to have in the house and acts as a superb cleaning agent
  17. canned corn beef – It’s meat in a can. Yea I know! its brilliant!
  18. canned tomatoes – Canned tomatoes can be so useful because its not only usable for western food but you can make masak merah sauce with it, nasi tomato, tomato soup amongst various other recipes
  19. canned tuna – Also very, very useful because this you can eat straight from the can and it’s great for pasta dishes and also salads
  20. eggs – eggs guys! It’s the best protein you can keep in your pantry. Buy kampung eggs, they last longer and they are free range, meaning the chicken that laid them lives a very happy life (hence why the yolk is yellow – actually I don’t know if this is a fact. Sounds legit though)