(Interior design by JQ Ong/ The Association)
One of the most important appliances in your home, the fridge is your kitchen workhorse. So how do we ensure we make full use of our fridges?
Generally, there are three different sections to a fridge: chiller, freezer and vegetable drawer. Other than keeping your fridge organised, it is important that you know which type of foods should be in each compartment so food is kept fresh longer. We break it down for you:
1) HONEY AND JAM Storing honey in the fridge might harden the sweet spread, but it keeps it fresh. Don’t place honey outside because the live culture that gives it its nutritional properties and flavour won’t last as long.
2) BOTTLED PASTA SAUCE Always refrigerate after opening. Pasta sauce cannot be kept any longer than a week, as it will start to grow mould in the bottle.
3) LEFTOVERS Leftover canned food and meals should always be stored in an airtight container. Use stick-on labels to keep track of how long they have been left inside and be sure to clear them after three to four days.
4) EGGS Keep them where the temperature is most consistent – on the middle shelf. Keeping eggs out of the fridge causes them to become runny faster.
5) DAIRY PRODUCTS Milk, butter and cheese should be kept at the back of the fridge. Once opened from their packaging, they should be kept in an airtight container. Softer cheeses grow mould faster than hard cheeses. Always pay attention to the expiry date and never keep food, especially milk, for longer.
6) BREAD If you’ve got too much bread on hand, especially bread on the last day of its expiry date, keep it in the freezer. The ice crystals that form within the bread will keep the bread moist, even when it is put in a toaster.
7) MEAT Spread out raw meat instead of stacking packages on top of each other in the freezer, so as to reduce the formation of ice crystals. Fresh meat can only last about a day or two out of the freezer, so start to thaw only when you need to use them!
8) HERBS Freeze-dried herbs retain the aroma of fresh herbs better, compared to dried ones. You could also freeze fresh herbs and olive oil into “ice” cubes and simply toss them into the pan to cook.
Vegetable drawers shield your fruit and vegetables from direct contact with the source of cold air. If fruit or vegetables get too cold, they might develop a freeze-burn and bruise easily. Store them in neat containers to keep your drawer organised and smelling fresh.
9) FRUIT Store fruit with thinner skin, such as grapes and apples, in the fridge to help them last longer.
10) CHILLIES Plucking off chilli stalks help keep the chillies lasting longer by slowing down the ripening process.
11) TOMATOES Place your cut tomatoes in an airtight container lined with paper towels. This will help absorb the excess moisture to keep the tomatoes looking fresher.
12) LEAFY VEGETABLES Wrap leafy greens lightly with a paper towel. They are more fragile, and paper towels prevent them from drying out, too.
All tips in this section are from Chef Randy Chow, chef in-charge of the Singapore Chefs Association’s education portfolio.
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