by Ching Dee
Being stuck at home for most of the year has turned most of us into our own chefs, probably to make up for all the times we couldn’t go out and dine at our favorite restaurants. There’s also a deluge of awesome food videos available online, which are pretty easy to follow and replicate at home.
If you find yourself spending more time in the kitchen, here are some cooking hacks from our favorite food influencers that will surely make your cooking and dining experience even better.
Chef and restaurateur Edward Bugia has turned to YouTube (and sometimes Facebook Live) to share his culinary genius. And now that “buy-anihan” efforts are sprouting here and there to help our local farmers sell their produce, we’re sure you’ve had more than enough vegetables in your kitchen. If you have a ton of veggies and can no longer fit them in the fridge, Chef Ed has a quick and easy solution: Pickle everything!
In his video, he teaches us how to remove the bitterness from ampalaya and how to make local atchara and a western version as well. All it takes is a few pantry staples and you can be on your way to preserving your favorite veggies instead of throwing them away.
Follow Chef Ed for more cooking hacks at @ChefEdward on Instagram.
DON’T THROW THE SAUCE
Admit it, Pinoys looove sauces. Sarsa on this, sarsa on that. So food writer Joey de Larrazabal shared an important hack that’s so relatable. She writes, “Here’s an idea for leftover barbacoa cooking liquid (or any flavorful leftover cooking liquid or sauce): Pour over some chicken pieces and bake!” It’s a great way to lessen waste and maximize flavor, since some sauces tend to intensify the longer it’s kept.
Follow Joey for more cooking hacks at @chichajo on Instagram.
JUST ADD BACON
Dad, teacher, and all-around foodie Mark Tan of Eatsplorations shared a fool-proof hack to make this breakfast classic even better: Add bacon to French toast to make it Korean!
In his Instagram video, he shares this quick recipe that only requires stuff you probably already have in your kitchen. This is a great hack if you have a lot of bread that’s about to go stale or if you want to give your kids (or yourself) more reasons to get up early every morning.
Follow the Tan Family for more cooking hacks at @Eatsplorations on Instagram.
Baker-influencer Cy Yñares (also known as The Bald Baker) makes hundreds of cookies from his condo kitchen and he shared that being organized helps him a lot. “Apart from keeping a clean and organized pantry, it also helps if it’s easy on the eyes. That’s why for me, I make it a point to ensure that all the containers are uniformed and of course labeled,” he shared with Simpol.
So for an easier time at the kitchen, you can invest in uniform containers with good airtight lids to make sure your ingredients stay fresher longer.
Follow Cy for more cooking hacks at @TheBaldBakerPH on Instagram.
Effortlessly Chic Appetizer
Writer, host, and restaurateur Joel Binamira’s Instagram account is a treasure trove of culinary knowledge (peppered with a few posts about home improvement and floral arrangement). The man behind the beloved Zubuchon often gives his followers a glimpse into his home life and this brilliant idea for a quick and chic appetizer (or snack) is one of the gems he’s shared.
He writes, “[This is] the easiest appetizer ever (maybe except opening bags of chips or nuts)… Pre-heat a toaster oven to 350F, take a wedge of Brie and heat for 8-10 minutes until warmed and soft but not melted, then drizzle some bittersweet dalandan marmalade (or good thick honey, fig jam, etc.) over top and serve with toasted bread or crackers.
This was delicious. The dalandan marmalade was bitter and sweet and a perfect match with the mild cheese.”
This hack would be perfect for the coming holidays for an almost effortless appetizer before the feast.
Follow Joel for more cooking hacks at @TheRealMarketMan on Instagram.
KEEP IT SIMPOL
Of course we won’t forget about our very own Chef Tatung’s countless cooking hacks, which you can watch anytime on Youtube. From quick and easy recipes to restaurant-style fare, Chef Tatung brings us back to the basics of good food: honest, fresh, and always simpol.