Home tips: The essential kitchen ware, herbs and condiments for every home cook

Cooking at home is healthier and cheaper, compared to dining out, so it makes sense to invest in and stock up on at least these essentials for your kitchen!



Image: Pixabay


  • Spice: Black peppercorn

It complements a wide variety of food, such as fish, meat, vegetables, fruits and even chocolate. Those from Madagascar taste sweeter but still have a strong kick.
– Stephane Cocu, chef de cuisine at The Waterfall, Shangri-la Hotel, Singapore 

  • Herb: Bay leaf

The fresh sprig can be used in almost all types of dishes, from stews and soups to meat, seafood and vegetable dishes. It adds a distinctive flavour and aroma, and even aids digestion.
- Antonio Facchinetti, executive chef at Prego, Fairmont Singapore

  • Condiment: Sea salt

It doesn’t dissolve in food as easily as table salt and adds flavour without covering up the natural taste of other ingredients.
– Stephane Cocu, chef de cuisine, The Waterfall, Shangri-la Hotel, Singapore

  • Glass-bottled cooking oil

Go for glass bottles when buying cooking oil. Plastic may contain a common chemical called Bisphenol A (BPA) which can leach into food. It is said to disrupt normal hormone levels and development in children among other things.
- Pooja Vig, nutritionist at The Nutrition Clinic 





Image: Pixabay

The most useful cooking utensils:

  • Good quality non-stick cookware

The ideal amount of cooking oil to use per person at each meal is one teaspoon. But, if you invest in good quality non-stick cookware, you won’t need to use much cooking oil!
– Vanessa Mcnamara, dietitian at The Travelling Dietitian 

  • Cast-iron skillets and pans

For cooking food over an open flame though, bring out cast-iron skillets and pans. Unlike non-stick pans, their surfaces are not chemically coated. They cook food more evenly and, if properly maintained, such durable cookware can last for generations.
– Kevin Thomson, executive chef at The Ritz-Carlton Beijing & JW Marriott Beijing 

  • A good stainless steel chef’s knife

A thick blade that’s 15cm to 20cm long gives you better control and makes chopping and slicing much easier.
- Marisa Bertocchi, chef and owner of Original Sin 

  • The kitchen timer

Timing is crucial when creating the perfect dish. It affects the taste and texture of the final outcome.
- Moon Kyung Soo, executive chef at Mikuni, Fairmont Singapore 

  • One big pot

This kitchen ally helps you with numerous cooking possibilities, such cooking an entire chicken in stock with other ingredients.
– Ee Ming Hwa, chef de cuisine of DOMVS, The Italian Restaurant, Sheraton Towers Singapore Hotel 


This article was first published on Shape.