A well-stocked pantry is a good cook's artillery. Here we feature our top 10 ideas using popular pantry ingredients.
By
Leanne Kitchen

16 Apr 2015 - 12:39 PM  UPDATED 17 Oct 2016 - 3:00 PM

10 ways with sticky rice

Long, short, black and white - sticky (glutinous) rice is no ordinary rice. It's chewy texture lends itself to sweet snacks and desserts; not to mention, immediately transporting you to South-East Asia.

Sticky rice is a staple of South-East Asian and Chinese regional cuisines.

 

10 ways with maple syrup

True maple syrup is made from the sap of the maple tree, using an exact and exhaustive process, with a somewhat expensive end result. But don't be tempted by the cheaper ‘maple-flavoured syrup’, which is a hugely inferior imitation. The unique flavour of the real deal works well in both savoury and sweet dishes. Take your pick…


10 ways with sweetened condensed milk

Keep a can of sweetened condensed milk in the pantry and you’ve got the base of numerous delectable desserts from around the world at your fingertips. This week we share recipes for sweet Brazilian rolls, a nutty caramel slice, zesty lemon cake and Middle Eastern Mafroukeh.


10 ways with pandan

From curries to cakes, pandan adds that flavour and sometimes colour to Asian cooking. It pairs well with coconut milk, glutinous rice, lemongrass, palm sugar and turmeric. This week, we've got a rich and spicy chicken curry, sugar-stuffed glutinous rice balls and a twist on an Australian favourite, the lamington, pandan-style.

 


10 ways with anchovies

Small and mighty flavourful, anchovies form the base of many dishes in Mediterranean cuisine. This week, we're getting creative with the canned pantry staple to bring you inspired antipasti, quick pasta and a calzone to remember.


10 ways with canned chickpeas

Overnight soaking... draining... cooking... Sometimes it’s just all too much of a palaver, or you just don’t have time, to prep determinedly dried things like chickpeas. In such times, it’s ever so handy to use them canned. Luckily, chickpeas lose little in the canning process and what they do gain (a bit of extra salt) can be quickly rinsed off.


10 ways with peanut butter

Smooth has its devoted fans and so does crunchy – and peanut butter is one of the world's most popular spreads. Here, Leanne Kitchen shows how versatile it can be as an ingredient too.

A tablespoon of peanut butter has about the same calories as four squares of chocolate.

10 ways with Turkish pepper paste

Pepper or capsicum paste, known as biber salçası, is a common element in Turkish cuisine. Here, Leanne Kitchen shows us to make the sauce from scratch and shares a mix of easy and impressive recipes in which to use it.

Buy a bottle or make your own pepper paste (biber salçası).

10 ways with almond meal

Almond meal (also called almond flour or ground almonds) is the gluten-avoider and low-carb lovers’ BFF. But long before it became a replacement for flour in all sorts of gluten-free baked goods, it has been a bakers’ mainstay.


10 ways with sago

You may be surprised to learn there are many delicious shapes sago can take, and not all of them sweet, either. So keep stocking that pantry staple and try it out on some of these great recipes.


10 ways with miso

A tub of this fermented soy bean paste will go a long way, empowering you to throw a miso glaze over vegetables and fish, whip-up a dressing or spread, or churn out a very modern ice-cream. Beginners, note that the mildest misos are also the lightest, made with a smaller amount of soybeans. Here, Leanne Kitchen's 10 easy, inventive recipes leave miso soup for dead (lovely as it is).


 

10 ways with tahini

A firm fixture in Middle Eastern, Turkish, North African and Greek pantries, this sesame paste is used in both sweet and savoury dishes.



  

10 ways with garam masala

Garam means “heat” and masala means “spice blend”, but this versatile, aromatic mix beloved of Indian and South Asian cooks contains no chilli: the warmth comes from the pungent nature of the spices.


 

10 ways with yoghurt

Yoghurt can be under-utilised in the kitchen, simply for the fact that it's perfect on its own or with a puddle of floral honey. Here, Leanne Kitchen gives us 10 fresh ideas for cooking with this miracle of fermentation.


 

10 ways with smoked trout

Word to the wise? Always have smoked trout on hand. It'll quickly jazz up dishes for expected guests, and add its distinct, smoky, tongue-smacking flavour to otherwise plain salads and omelettes.