Cooking Hacks

Homemade food is great, but cooking can be difficult, especially with big families or a hectic work schedule. Here are 10 cooking hacks to make life easier for you!

  • Need to cook meatloaf in a hurry? Divide up the meat and bake it in a muffin pan at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
  • Has your bread gotten a bit stale and hard? Use it in French toast instead of throwing it away. It doesn’t matter if the bread is hard since the milk and eggs rehydrate it when cooking. This is why the French call it “pain perdu” (lost bread).

  • Fresh squeezed juice tastes amazing in home cooking, but it can be annoying to do because of the slippery seeds. To prevent seeds from getting into the juice, squeeze the fruit through a cheesecloth.
  • If you don’t have plastic wrap, you can use a clean shower cap to cover your food and keep unwanted particles out.

  • Is your fruit ripening too slowly? Put it in a paper bag and roll the top down to close it. This traps the ethylene gas released by the fruit, which causes it to ripen faster.
  • When measuring out powdered ingredients like flour and sugar, place wax paper under your measuring cup. Any excess mess can be easily put back into the bag instead of needing to be wiped off the counter.

  • Having a hard time making pancakes? Instead of using a ladle to drop batter onto the pan, put the batter in a zip lock bag and use it like a pastry bag. It’s less messy and you’ll have more control over the pancake shapes and portions.
  • Sometimes meals are best served with a cold beer or soda. If your beverage isn’t cold enough, make sure it’s in a glass bottle and wrap it with a wet paper towel before putting it in the fridge. It will be nice and cold in no time.

  • Struggling to cut cleanly through soft foods like cheese or dough? Wrap a string of dental floss fully around your food and pull on both ends for a clean cut.
  • Got leftover baked goods? You can reheat them in the microwave without drying them out. Just put a microwave-safe cup of water in with the food to add in a bit of moisture.

What are your favorite cooking hacks? Which one would you like to try first? Let us know!

Here at WN Foods, we co-pack high quality sauces, cooked with the finest ingredients. If you would like us to manufacture your sauce recipe, or if you would like our food science team to help you develop your own sauce, please contact us at (510) 487-8877 or wingnienfoods@gmail.com.

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Chinese Cooking Methods

Here at WN Foods, Chinese food is one of our all time favorite cuisines. While we love takeout like so many others in the USA, we also love homemade Chinese food. However, we’ve noticed that many people are hesitant to cook it at home. We promise that it isn’t as complicated as it seems! Today, let’s take a look at common Chinese cooking techniques and how to use them in your home kitchen.

Stir Frying

Stir frying is one of the most common techniques in Chinese cooking. It may have even originated in ancient China! This cooking method is known for being fast; it involves heating a pan and stirring ingredients in hot oil until cooked. Almost any ingredient you can imagine can be stir fried, but most recipes include some type of meat or seafood, chopped vegetables, and either rice or noodles. Many Chinese cooks stir fry food in a wok over a fire, but you can use this technique at home with a stove and a pan.

Red Cooking

Chinese red cooking takes longer than stir frying, but trust us when we say that the wait is worth it! Red cooking is a particular type of braising where ingredients are first sauteed at a high temperature, then slowly cooked in a mixture of soy sauce, star anise, and rice wine until the food is coated in a sweet, luxurious glaze. Duck and pork belly are most commonly prepared using this technique, but we recommend also trying it at home with tofu or your fish of choice. This Chinese cooking method doesn’t require any special equipment, so it can be done easily at home.

Steaming

Steaming is a versatile cooking technique used in Chinese dishes of all kinds. The most traditional form of steaming uses bamboo steamer baskets, which allow cooks to utilize steam from hot water to cook ingredients and also to quickly and easily serve the finished meal. Steaming creates tender, juicy dishes like soup dumplings, aromatic whole fish, and sweet buns. If you live near an Asian grocery store or can order from online shops, you can purchase bamboo baskets and use them on your stove. If you don’t have access to bamboo baskets, you can still steam food in a metal pot or even a microwave.

Roasting

Roast meats are a staple of Chinese cooking. This method uses dry heat, as in a fire or oven heat with no water, oil, or other cooking liquid. Roasted foods often end up having an irresistible golden brown finish without losing any of the tasty juices on the inside. Roast duck is the most famous roasted Chinese dish (which is why you might see them hanging from restaurant windows in Chinatown), but you can also roast flavorful pork belly or chicken. You can easily roast meals at home as long as you have an oven and some spice!

Boiling

Chinese food doesn’t have to be complicated to be good. Boiling is a perfect demonstration of how you can have an amazing feast without having many technical skills. The most difficult part of Chinese hot pot is creating the broth, which really only requires stewing a few aromatics for enough time. Once the broth is ready, any number of meats and vegetables can be chopped and cooked quickly by boiling them. Though you can do this with a stovetop pot, many families make this a shared experience by using a portable stove and placing the hot pot directly on the table.

What are your favorite cooking techniques? Which dishes would you like to cook with these methods? Let us know!

Here at WN Foods, we co-pack high quality sauces, cooked with the finest ingredients. If you would like us to manufacture your sauce recipe, or if you would like our food science team to help you develop your own sauce, please contact us at (510) 487-8877 or wingnienfoods@gmail.com.