The Asian Pantry Staples Andrew Zimmern Always Keeps On Hand - Exclusive

Andrew Zimmern smiling in glasses
Andrew Zimmern smiling in glasses - Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images
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Stocking your pantry with staple ingredients is one of the secrets to cooking success. Doing so helps cut down on grocery runs and ensures that you can prepare satisfying and delicious meals at home without a lot of notice. Tasting Table sat down with celebrated television personality, chef, and cookbook author Andrew Zimmern at this year's New York City Wine & Food Festival (NYCWFF) for an exclusive interview, where Zimmern shared some of his cooking expertise and gave us an inside look into the ingredients he always keeps in his home kitchen.

"Oh my god. I cook a lot of Chinese food at home. I mean, we have two shelves that are just all of my chilies and my soy -- all the stuff that I get from import companies, special black beans, and things like that. I'm obsessed," he revealed. During Zimmern's cooking demonstration at NYCWFF, he taught festival-goers how to prepare broiled yellowtail collar in an Asian-inspired glaze featuring some of his favorite staple ingredients, including soy sauce, crushed hot red chile flakes, rice wine vinegar, mirin, and dashi.

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Asian Pantry Staples

pouring soy sauce
pouring soy sauce - Liudmila Chernetska/Getty Images

When cooking regional specialties, it's useful to keep track of the ingredients that frequently recur in recipes. For preparing Asian food, some of the core ingredients you can depend on using regularly are soy sauce, vinegar, rice wine, garlic, ginger, chili oils, and sesame products. Zimmern often procures his ingredients from specialty shops or has them imported directly from Asia, but many of the aforementioned base ingredients can be easily found online or in your local grocery store.

For Zimmern, the most beloved Asian pantry staples start with his soy sauces and then extend into more hard-to-locate specialty items. "So, it's my soy sauces, my Chinese and Japanese mustards. I [also] have 25-year-old Chinese black vinegar for dipping dumplings into that's extraordinary. I love it," he shared. Japanese mustards are much stronger in flavor and spice than European mustards and are made from a combination of mustard seed and horseradish. Chinese mustards are similarly bold in flavor and spice content and are often powdered. We recommend visiting your local market and stocking up on some to liven up your next weeknight meal.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.