3 Simple Food Storage Practices for the Aspiring Home Cook

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Are you thinking about cooking more often? Good for you! Cooking is a sustainable hobby. Buying raw ingredients from the supermarket allows you to sneak in some exercise during the day. This hobby is also a creative outlet especially when you start to work with new aromas, textures, and tastes. The best thing about cooking, though, is that it saves you a lot of money.

However, if your kitchen does not foster an environment that’s safe for food storage, you will have trouble finding joy in cooking. Below are tips that will help you gain control of the conditions in your kitchen so that you will get the most of all the food you make at home.food-storage

Keep your kitchen well-ventilated

Open the windows or turn on the exhaust fan whenever you cook. This will not only get rid of the smell of the fish you are frying or the onions you are roasting. It also allows prevents heat from being trapped in the kitchen. Heat, especially when mixed with humidity, is not safe for food storage.

Use natural desiccants

Speaking of humidity, kitchen’s humidity measurement is a major factor that determines the safety of your food. Mold and mildew, which hasten food spoilage, are very likely to grow in places where the air is hot and humid.

Use natural desiccants where you store your food. Did you know that instant rice is a better desiccant than uncooked rice? Because instant rice has been steamed before packing, it is more porous and able to hold more moisture than uncooked rice.

Install a pantry

Pantries are not common in traditional Asian homes. However, it is high time you consider installing one two reasons: one, it will function better when it is 3/4 full, and two, some produce are better stored in the pantry.

Root vegetables, nuts, dried beans, preserved fruit, and your condiments are only a few of the food items that should be kept in a pantry. Aside from keeping your kitchen free from clutter, having a pantry also protects your food from moisture and heat. Thus, extending their shelf life.food

Get the most from the ingredients and food items you buy by making sure that you store them well. Remember, cooking is more fun and rewarding when your ingredients are in their best shape.

5 Amazing Things That Will Happen After Switching To Organic Food

organicMost non-organic foods contain toxic elements like pesticides that can do a lot of harm to a person’s body in the long run, depending on one’s health condition. More Hong Kongers are aware of such harm now, hence the increase in people switching to organic food. These are the five amazing things that will happen after switching to organic food:heart4

  1. Healthier and stronger heart Any product produced from grass-fed, organic animals contain higher levels of CLA or conjugated linoleic acid, a type of essential fatty acid that occurs naturally to strengthen the heart, help in the prevention of certain heart-related disease and cancer, and provide general protection for the heart.default-banner
  2. Stronger immune system CLA not only strengthens the heart and prevents heart-related disease and cancer, it also regulates the immune system, making it stronger than ever. Antibiotics overload in the body (due to years of eating non-organic foods) could lead to weakened immune system, so switching to organic food could help to regulate it, eventually strengthening the immune system in the long run.gmo1
  3. Slowed aging signs Toxic elements such as GMOs (genetically modified organisms), herbicides, and pesticides can rapidly age its consumers. Some even develop tumors and die at a young age due to a diet high in GMOs. Switching to organic foods can slow down aging signs and help one to avoid life-threatening health risk.Garden-Harvest-Basket-1440x960
  4. Better overall health condition Non-organic foods tend to carry food-borne illness that can cause massive outbreaks, like E. coli. By switching to organic foods, specifically the meat of animals that aren’t overly drugged or vaccinated, there will be fewer chances of contracting such infections that tend to be drug-resistant.Antioxidants Concept or Anti Oxidants or Antioxidant
  5. Antioxidants impact When switching to organic foods, there will be antioxidants-related impacts that will be positive for the body. Cell-damaging effects caused by free radicals will be killed. Other amazing impacts include better mental health condition, reduced stress, lower risk of heart disease being developed, and faster metabolism.

It’s not very hard to find organic food in Hong Kong that contains zero GMOs, herbicides, and pesticides which are all poisonous to one’s body. When it comes to meat, it’s advisable to consume only free-range meat as they’re raised and farmed in a cleaner environment and contains no drugs and antibiotics. It is highly recommended to start an organic diet as soon as possible. They may cost more than non-organic products, but it’s a long-term investment considering the many benefits they have.

6 Practical Tips for Attracting Repeat Restaurant Customers

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The food industry is rife with competition. Sixty percent of restaurants do not even make it to their second year. It’s tough business, but one of the proven ways to stay up and running is to gain loyal customers.

But how can food businesses attract repeat customers? It does not have to be guesswork. Here are 6 practical ways on how food businesses can survive and thrive in this competitive world:1

  1. Rock the customer service department. If the customer service is mediocre, a dining experience, no matter how awesome the food is, will be sub-par and disappointing. Every aspect of the service matters – from the way the customer is greeted at the door to the moment the check is paid.2
  2. Maintain stellar food quality. Food is the number one thing customers are paying for, so poor quality food will surely turn them off. To attract and keep loyal customers, regular food quality measurement is necessary. Food quality is measured by several attributes such as texture, appearance, flavor, and safety.3
  3. Stay slick. A restaurant’s looks should not suffer through time. Restaurants should stay as sleek and spotlessly clean as they were on day one. Comfort rooms, kitchen area, floors, and utensils are top priorities. No one wants their customers to flee as soon as they can due to stained plates and glasses.front view of many euro banknotes in cupped palms close up
  4. Offer irresistible rewards. Rewarding loyal customers with occasional freebies or discount cards is a sure way to keep them coming back. Creative and personal rewards are especially effective. Offering gift cards of partner retail stores to mommies or one extra slice of cake for sweet-toothed young people will go a long way. Being rewarded is always a great feeling.5
  5. Combine digital and traditional marketing strategies. It is a fascinating time to own a food business because of the ease of online advertising. Advertising on social networking sites or online forums is great, but businesses should not ditch traditional marketing. Giving out leaflets or brochures to locals or putting up posters will keep food businesses in the forefront of customers’ minds.
  6. Encourage feedback. Customers love feeling like their opinions matter, so encouraging honest feedback whether in person or on social media sites is a great way to attract loyal customers. Listen to their concerns, improve the problematic area, thank them for praises, and soon enough customers will perceive how they are valued by the management.

In this age of online review sites, it is crucial to keep customers satisfied with their overall dining experience. With these six tips, any restaurant can attract loyal customers over time. Keep them happy, pampered, and well cared for, and the efforts will surely pay off.

Top 10 Essential Condiments You Must Have For Asian Cooking

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If you often cook at home, condiments are some of the must-have ingredients when cooking to add flavor, in addition to spices and herbs. Every household in Singapore that lives on Asian cuisine must have these top 10 essential condiments in the kitchen for Asian cooking:

  1. Hoisin sauce Often used in Chinese cooking, the dark brown sauce is made of various spices, chili, salt, garlic, vinegar, fermented soy, and sugar. It’s best for glazing or cooking meat as well as a dipping sauce.
  2. Sambal Typically used in Malay or Indonesian cooking, sambal comes in a variety of taste and ingredients. Two of the most common sambals include sambal belacan (shrimp paste) and sambal oelek (grinded chili paste). Sambal can either be used as a dipping sauce or add hotness to a dish.
  3. Soy sauce Soy sauce is made of wheat and soy and is often used in Japanese and Chinese cooking. Soy sauce is pretty flexible and can be used as a dipping sauce or to marinade and season.
  4. Oyster sauce A staple in Thai and Chinese cooking, oyster sauce is made of caramel coloring, thickening starch, sugar, salt, and oyster extract. It’s best for stir-frying. Since the texture is already pretty thick, you don’t really need to mix it with any other ingredient.
  5. Fish sauce Fish sauce is widely used in various Asian cooking to add flavor other than salt. The brown-colored liquid is made of fish fermented in water and sea salt. The pungent sauce is frequently added in curries, sauces, and marinades.
  6. Plum sauce The Chinese condiment is a sweet and sour sauce made of ginger, vinegar, sugar, and plums. Besides serving as a dipping sauce to deep-fried foods like egg rolls, it’s also great for glazing duck, pork, and chicken.
  7. Gochujang The red-colored Korean paste is made of salt, rice, and red chilies fermented with soybeans. It’s often used to marinade pork or beef and add flavor to stews.
  8. Miso paste Often used in Japanese cooking, particularly miso soup, miso paste is made of fermented soybeans and barley or rice.
  9. Mirin Another staple in Japanese cooking, the sweet low-alcohol rice wine is used to add flavor.
  10. Rice vinegar Rice vinegar is often used to cook vegetables or mixed with a dipping sauce.

You can check out the condiments available in Singapore, as they’re widely available at the grocery stores or major supermarkets. They can also be purchased online for convenience. Some stores even offer bulk purchases for more savings.

10 Quick Power-Up Breakfast Ideas

 

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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it fuels you with the energy you need. A lot of Singaporeans skip breakfast because it takes time to prepare. However, here are some healthy and quick breakfast ideas you can make even when you are on the go.

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  1. Sandwich

Preparing a sandwich can take only a few minutes. You can buy a multigrain bread and have some pre-prepared spreads like egg salad or tuna. A peanut butter spreadis a healthy and yummy option.

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  1. Oatmeal

A quick step oatmeal needs only 2 minutes to be prepared. Most people who take oats in Singapore pair it with fresh bananas, strawberries, raisins or even yogurt to add more color, texture, and vitamins to their breakfast.

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  1. Bean curd (Tau Huay)

 

You can buy bean curd and stock it for a few days in the refrigerator. When you do not have the time, you can get one with a raisin bun and eat on the go.

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  1. Fruit smoothies

 

Preparing fruit smoothies takes less than 5 minutes. You can put the smoothie in your tumbler and drink it as you head to school or work. You also have a variety of choices depending on the fruits available in the market.

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  1. Yogurt

 

Having stock yogurt in your refrigerator is a great way to have a healthy snack on hand. You can eat it for breakfast if you are too lazy to cook something.

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  1. Dim sum

 

You can buy dim sum the night before and have it re-heated for breakfast. It will be easy to prepare and filling as well.

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  1. Porridge

 

If you feel like cooking in the morning, porridge is a good option. It is like cooking rice with the addition of spices and seasoning such as ginger, pepper, soy sauce and fish.

 

  1. Cereals

 

There are some unhealthy cereals so be sure to choose the wholegrain type of cereals which you can pair with low-fat milk or yogurt. You can also add berries, nuts, and trail mix.

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  1. Crackers

Plain crackers partnered with low-fat cheese is also another healthy breakfast option.

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  1. Muffins

You can buy muffins and reheat them in the oven or bake on weekends for your breakfast the following week.

 

With the all these options, there’s no more excuse for you to skip breakfast. However, if you really don’t have time to shop for these ingredients it’s good to know that you can count on reliable online grocery shopping services in Singapore. Just make a list of what you need, order it, and food will be conveniently delivered to you.

 

It is important to make the effort to eat healthy for breakfast so that end of the day, you will have all the energy you need.