How to Put Food on The Table Fast, According to These Top Female Chefs
Delicious doesn't have to take forever to cook!
Ever panicked over hungry kids and the stove won't seem to get hot enough fast? Well, those days are over. We asked Asia's Best Female Chefs their top tricks to putting food on the table fast:
1 "Go for Pasta or Roast Chicken." - Margarita Forés
Grace Park, Philippines, Asia's Best Female Chef 2016
“Pasta is always a good fix—it’s one of the fastest dishes to prepare. The trick is to cook the noodles properly, then pair them with a simple sauce. Try Cacio e Pepe with good grated cheese and pepper, and use the pasta water to blend it; or Al Basilico made with just warmed olive oil and chopped basil leaves.”
“A simple roast chicken is foolproof, too. I love Marcella Hazan’s recipe, which is what we do at Cibo. You just salt the chicken, put pepper inside and out, soften a lemon by poking 14 holes in it with a fork then stuff it inside, sew it up, and roast in the oven or turbo broiler.”
2 "Prep on the weekends." - Bo Songvisava
Bo.Lan, Thailand, Asia's Best Female Chef 2013
“I always tell working moms that Saturday and Sunday are your prep days. Prepping takes longer than the actual cooking, so set aside time on weekends to buy your ingredients, wash and clean them, then store in small containers, ready for use for the rest of the week.”
“For proteins, pre-cut and freeze them in portions, so you don’t have to deal with a big mess every day.”
Here are recipes you can prep well in advance to make all your meals easier:
3 "Make ice cube chicken stock once a month." - Vicky Lau
Tate Dining Room and Bar, Hong Kong, Asia's Best Female Chef 2015
“At least once a month, make a really good chicken stock; or in Chinese cooking, supreme stock; or in Japanese cooking, dashi. You can put the stock in ice cube trays and keep it in the freezer. Use it to cook vegetables and sauces to give them so much more flavor. It’ll get your kids to eat more vegetables, too.”
4 "Have an organized kitchen." - Lanshu Chen
Le Moût Restaurant, Taiwan, Asia's Best Female Chef 2014
“Keep your kitchen organized. You will find it helpful when everything is labeled and has its own place. For example, keep all condiments in one bin; all small herbs, cleaned and leaves picked, in clear containers.”
Not all delicious meals take forever to cook. With these handy tricks, you can save time and be more efficient in the kitchen.
5 "One-Pot meals means less dishwashing." - Bong Songsiva
“My kids love congee—simple boiled rice with steamed fish or minced pork. It’s easy for them to eat, and just as easy for me to cook. I like making one-pot meals—saves me time when washing the dishes!”
Here is a one-pot recipe you can try for yourself:
Tips were part of a feature published in the April 2017 issue of Yummy magazine. Minor edits were made Yummy.ph editors.