Mary Anne here. Last weekend I was lucky enough to spend time with close friends at their cozy lakefront cabin in Pennsylvania. Under normal circumstances, as a guest, I would have shown my appreciation by treating my hosts to dinner at a lovely restaurant. But given the state of my own economy, I instead offered to play chef and toast my hosts with a home-cooked meal.
We decided on a Chinese takeout-inspired menu, and off to the grocery store I went. It was then that I realized that Feast on the Cheap had addressed taking stock of one’s ordinary pantry but what about stocking it for Asian fare?
So here’s a list of some of the things I needed for my creations, and some of the ingredients you might want to have on hand for other Asian recipes. Additionally, when recreating takeout fare, your regular pantry comes into play as well. You’ll typically need Cooking Sherry, Chicken stock, assorted rices, including brown rice and Basmati, and I’m certain my list will expand with future recipes. For now, the following should get you started, and the initial investment is far less than an actual take out dinner!
A quick thank you to the Austin Epicurean for adding tamarind and palm sugar to the list. If you think I’ve missed something, just let me know!
Peanut Oil – $4.49
Sesame Oil – $2.99
Soy Sauce – $2.19
Peanuts – $2.49
Rice Vinegar – $1.99
Coconut Milk – $1.89 *Note: You often only need a small amount of coconut milk per recipe. Pour the leftover milk into a traditional ice cube tray and freeze. Defrost a cube at a time (about 2 Tablespoons) as you need them. You can do the same with chicken and beef broth or stock and eliminate waste.
Creamy Peanut Butter – $1.74
Asian Fish Sauce – $3.19
Hoisin Sauce – $2.09
Tamarind Sauce – $5.99
Palm Sugar – $3.79
Hot chili sauce (Sriracha)- $3.69
Mirin or rice wine – $2.99
Grand Total of Stocked Asian Pantry: $37.28