There comes a time when we need to leave our parents’ house and be a roaring success at life. “This is it,” you tell yourself. You can afford a downpayment and a monthly mortgage. There’s no stopping you. Life is an amazing race, right? But even the best of us crumble in the face of culinary arts.
You can only consume enough instant pancit canton before you find yourself in the hospital for high blood pressure and be one of those people who suffer from heart disease in their 20s. It’s time for some independent cooking. Isn’t it crazy that all living spaces have kitchens?
The wise emperor from Mulan once said, “A single grain of rice can tip the scale. One man can make the difference between victory and defeat.” He meant you. You need to learn the basic skill that every Asian should be armed with: sinaing.
Rinse your rice with water to get it cleaner. As a rule of thumb, add 1 ½ cups of water for every cup of rice, but ask your parents when it comes to numbers because every family has its own drama. Set the stove on medium heat and switch to low heat as soon as it boils. Cook for about 10 minutes. Or get a rice cooker so you can simply press buttons (life hack/common sense).
Rice Part II
You will probably cook too much rice on your first try because you’ve yet to hone your estimation skills as a junior chef. What do you do with all that leftover rice? You make sinangag. As the precursor to tapsilog, it is of utmost importance that you learn how to give new life into cooked rice by seasoning it with salt and garlic. This is your opportunity to develop some knife abilities. Also, it’s nice to own a wok, as evidenced by Stephen Yan (more on this later). For garlic fried rice, you’ll need considerable forearm strength and high heat tolerance.
Learn Your Eggs
Eggs are some basic stuff, but many of us still get them wrong. Bad eggs float in water. Once you’ve determined the validity of your eggs, it’s time to get cracking.
Health tip: Clean all surfaces that raw eggs (or any raw food, for that matter) have touched, then wash your hands thoroughly. Lousy habits can get you sick.
Learn At Least One Pinoy Dish
See, your adult status is not just a ticket to watch mature content—it’s a personal indicator that you should be launching your proverbial rocket and be completely on your own. It’s a lonely world out there, but it won’t be too bad when you’re armed with a taste of home. Learn your favorite hearty dish from your favorite home cook. Whether it’s adobo, tinolang manok, or Pinoy bistek, it’s nice to have at least one go-to dish mastered.
The Art of Stir Fry
Are you still holding your wok? Good. Stir frying is the cornerstone of clueless, empty millennial kitchens. You can stir fry anything you put your heart into—vegetables, button mushrooms, noodles, meat. It’s a good playground to refine your flavoring skills and learn what ingredients go well with one another.
If you think you’ll nail a recipe because you’ve watched the video on Facebook for 6 consecutive times, joke’s on you! The playback speed will make you think everything is faster and easier than it truly is. Pasta dishes are skilled dishes, and you’ll be earning a lot of cooking badges just by knowing one. But it’s imperative that you get your pasta right first.
When cooking pasta, whether fresh or dried, use the largest pot you can find. You’ll need lots of water and room for it to boil your pasta. Those big spaghetti pots that come with a strainer should be on your housewarming wishlist. Don’t be afraid to generously salt the water and stir the pot to prevent sticking. Before you drain, save some of the water to mix in with your sauce later.