Parking in North Richmond & South Abbotsford?
Parking in North Richmond & South Abbotsford?

North Richmond & Abbotsford Victoria is a vibrant inner-suburb of Melbourne, just 3km outside the Melbourne CBD. There’s plenty to do in North Richmond & Abbotsford, but it’s most famous for its shopping, eating and drinking, watching spots from Melbourne Cricket Ground, the largest sports stadium in the southern hemisphere. North Richmond & Abbotsford is well served by public transport. Having a plan for parking in North Richmond & Abbotsford will make your life a lot easier. There are lots of options for cheap parking in Richmond, but as the closest suburb to the MCG it’s crowded when there’s a big game on with over 100,000 people.

The best way to get to here is via train or tram, with lots of route choices. You can get to Richmond’s train station from Flinders Street Station in the CBD, with a travel time of about 10 minutes. Tram numbers 70, 109, 48 and 75 will also get you from the city into various parts of North Richmond/Abbotsford.

There’s limited street parking in North Richmond & Abbotsford, if you want to try your luck. Most street parking is timed, and some spaces are reserved for local permit holders. Your best bet is to look on side streets away from the busier areas such as Bridge Road, Victoria Street, Swan Street or Church Street – but always pay attention to the signage. Remember parking will be harder to find in peak times or where there are events on so leave lots of time to look for a spot.

If you’re looking for a park near Bridge Road, you can’t beat Richmond Traders. This car park is accessed from 261 Bridge Road and offers easy access to shopping on the main strip. It operates from 6.00am to midnight each day and you can pay for parking with cash or credit card. This is being upgraded till 2021. 

Victoria Gardens is a shopping centre on the corner of Victoria and Burnley Streets or connecting with Bridge Road East End Victoria Gardens Shopping Centre car park gives you access to one of the major shopping hubs in Richmond – with supermarkets, cinemas, and food retailers close at hand. This is some of the cheapest parking in Richmond if you’re parking for just a few hours, but stay over 6 hours and parking gets expensive.

If you’re heading to Church Street for a short-stay, you could consider Church Street Car Park. This car park is open 24 hours a day but has a maximum parking time of 2 hours most of the time. The only times with no maximum parking time are before 6am and after 8pm on Saturday and Sunday.

If you're heading to Victoria street you could consider the Hive shopping car park. This carpark is open to serve aldi and woolworth supermarkets and other shops. The first hour is free then you will pay $4 per hour after. The Victoria street parking is about $2 per hour.

If you need to visit Epworth Hospital on Bridge Road, there’s limited undercover parking available. Hospital parking is filling up quickly and never cheap, but it’s an easy option when you really need to be there. The car park entrance is on Bridge Road. 

Located off Bridge Road and close to Epworth Hospital, Allowah Terrace Car Park is operated by Ace Parking and is both convenient and cheap. This car park is open 24/7 and has no height restrictions. It’s also just a short stroll away from the MCG, so it’s a great spot for game day parking or night time events at the stadium. Just get there early!

This one isn’t a car parking location, but an app to help you find one. PayStay is a convenient way to search for available on and off-street parking spaces, and to use cashless payments too. 

When using the app, you’ll be able to check it for parking availability in an area. It will show parking availability as low, medium, or high, so you’ll know just where you need to go. Once you have a spot you can use the app to pay for parking and to set reminders to let you know when your parking session is about to expire. It’s super useful!

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What Should You Eat For A Healthy Gut? Find Out Here!
What Should You Eat For A Healthy Gut? Find Out Here!

The human gut is a lot more intricate than many people believe it to be. It can influence your entire body’s health. A healthy gut can promote a robust immune system, a better mood, a healthy heart, better sleep, and of course, effective digestion. Maintaining good gut health can also prevent the development of autoimmune diseases and certain kinds of cancers. Gut health is the balance of microorganisms that inhabit the digestive tract. Maintaining the health of your gut and keeping the right balance of these microorganisms is necessary to ensure good mental and physical health. 

The gut flora or microbiome is made up of trillions of these viruses, yeasts, and bacteria. Various microbes are beneficial for our health. Some of them are even vital. However, others, especially when found in abundance, can be incredibly harmful. Fortunately, there are several lifestyle changes, including dietary changes, that you can adopt to guarantee better gut health, and in turn, improve your general health. Read this article to find out what you should eat for a healthy gut.


Yogurt is a great source of probiotics, which are considered to be a type of friendly and beneficial bacteria. Your best bet is to search for brands with full-fat and sugar-free yogurt versions. For a delicious breakfast or snack, you can combine it with a fruit of your choice. If you prefer yogurt drinks, these are great too, as they include an abundance of bacteria that is beneficial for the gut. Yogurt drinks actually have higher numbers of good bacteria than you would find in a regular cup of yogurt. Beware, however, since some of these drinks, especially the flavored versions, are high in sugar content.


Kefir is another type of probiotic drink. This beverage is made of fermented milk, which is then enriched with good bacteria. Kefir originally comes from Russia, Central Asia, and the mountainous area that lies between Europe and Asia. Kefir makes a great base ingredient for salad dressings. It tastes great when combined with seasoning and lemon juice. Many people also add it to soups and smoothies.


Sauerkraut is among the best food items that you can eat to ensure a healthy gut. This is because it is very rich in probiotics, vitamins, and fiber. Sauerkraut is finely chopped fermented cabbage. It is widely known to be a German dish. However, Central and Eastern Europe and Australia also have their own versions of this recipe. When you set out to Buy Sauerkraut, make sure that you select one that hasn’t been pickled in vinegar. This is because it loses many of its benefits. It is very appetizing when served alongside sausages. This meal is very affordable and is easy to prepare at home.


Fermented soybeans are added to rice or barley to make miso. Miso is abundant in numerous beneficial components, such as enzymes and good bacteria. This recipe is a great savory paste that is typically incorporated into soup, dressings, and dips. Many people also use it as a marinade while making tofu or salmon. If you’re into Japanese food, then chances are that you know this cuisine staple. Miso also makes for a great flavor booster in dairy-free cheeses and sauces. However, there isn’t sufficient research for sure to tell whether the bacteria found in miso can effectively reach the human gut. It is certain though that people who live in regions where Miso is the predominant food item have lower rates of bowel disease and overall better gut health.


Kimchi is a Korean food item that is made with fermented vegetables. This popular dish comes with the endless benefits of probiotic bacteria along with a high content of fiber and vitamins. Kimchi makes a great side dish when it’s served with eggs, meat, or salad. Did you know that Kimchi is so popular in Korea that they say “kimchi” instead of “cheese” when they’re being photographed?


Almonds make a great snack whenever you could use something to eat. Besides being very good for gut health due to their great probiotic properties, almonds are awesome sources of nutrition. They are rich in healthy fats, fiber, polyphenols, vitamin E, magnesium, and protein. Almonds can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar levels.


You may have noticed the rising, yet very confusing obsession with sourdough. We are here to tell you that it’s all for good reason! To make sourdough, you must first ferment the dough. The fermentation process makes it much easier to digest than other, unfermented types of bread. Not to mention that the energy in sourdough releases slowly, which means that it’s likely to keep you full and energized for longer. You can replace your regular toast with sourdough to make very delicious sandwiches and an all-around healthier meal.



Kombucha is also very popular at the moment. This beverage, which is believed to have originated in Manchuria, is basically fermented tea. This makes it an excellent source of probiotics and good bacteria. This tea has a tangy, sharp taste that is rather vinegary. You can either drink it on its own to enjoy its refreshing essence or season it with spices and fruit. If you like cocktails, you can use kombucha as a base for a refined taste.


Garlic is enriched with antifungal and antibacterial properties. While this won’t bring good bacteria in, it surely will regulate bad and harmful bacteria, as well as aid in balancing the yeast in the gut. While you won’t eat garlic on its own, you can incorporate it into savory dishes for a great flavor. Additionally, garlic and its beneficial properties can prompt the bacteria to perform their job efficiently and improve the function of the gut.


Fresh ginger aids in the generation of stomach acid. It also helps the digestive system maintain the movement of food throughout the gut. You can incorporate grated fresh ginger into various recipes, including stews, sauces, and smoothies. You can also make ginger tea for a refresher. 

Maintaining good gut health is essential if you want to stay healthy. When left out of balance, the microorganisms that inhabit the body can cause severe harm. Fortunately, there are various things that you can eat to promote good bacteria functions, increase the number of helpful bacteria in the gut, and keep harmful bacteria under control.

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10 Best Sugar Substitutes
10 Best Sugar Substitutes

Sugar is one of the most common ingredients in our diet, but it also might be the most harmful. Our bodies were not designed to process large amounts of sugar, and all that excess sugar can lead to many health problems such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes. So here are 10 substitutes for sugar that will help you (or your loved ones) cut out excess sugar from their diet:


1. Honey 

Honey is one of the most popular substitutes for sugar. There are many different types and flavours of honey with varying levels of sweetness so you might be wondering how much honey do you need? As a rule, for every 1 cup of sugar, substitute 1/2 to 2/3 cup honey. We recommend buying raw local honey to ensure you get a natural product with no additives.


2. Stevia

Stevia is a herb made from a plant called Stevia rebaudiana. It is native to South America but is also grown in Taiwan and China. This herb has been used for hundreds of years by certain tribes in Paraguay to sweeten their food. The sweetness comes from an extract made from the leaves of the plant. This extract is about 200 times sweeter than sugar! So it only takes a small amount to give you that sweetness that you want without all those empty calories and negative side effects of sugar.


3. Maple Syrup

Maple syrup comes from the sap of maple trees and has the same amount of calories as regular sugar. Using it in place of sugar will add a little bit of additional sweetness and will add some minerals and nutrients that are not found in regular sugar. Maple syrup can be used in many recipes but should be limited to avoid unwanted calories.


4. Agave Syrup

Agave syrup comes from the agave plant, which is a plant native to Mexico. It is very similar in taste and texture to honey, but it has a little fewer calories. However, I don't recommend it for most people as it's not something that you should consume very often because of its fructose content.


5. Coconut Sugar

Coconut sugar is made from the flowers of the coconut palm tree. It is not refined and contains some nutrients such as iron, zinc and potassium. It also doesn't contain any fructose and has a low glycemic index. Coconut sugar is much sweeter than white sugar and a little bit goes a long way.


6. Unsweetened Applesauce

By replacing regular sugar with unsweetened applesauce you can save yourself some calories, but don't expect it to taste like applesauce unless you add other ingredients like cinnamon and nutmeg.


7. Molasses

Molasses is the byproduct of refining cane juice into table sugar. Its rich flavour adds a depth that sugar can never equal. Many people use molasses in baked goods, but it's great in any savoury recipe.


8. Blackstrap Molasses

Blackstrap molasses is the byproduct of sugar refining. It has a more complex taste than regular molasses and contains higher levels of vitamins and minerals. It is slightly less sweet than regular molasses.


9. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil can be used in place of butter or oil for certain dishes. You can cook with it and use it in baking. However, coconut oil is only naturally sweet in its raw state and doesn't taste very good on its own.


10. Unsweetened Chocolate

Unsweetened chocolate has a strong cocoa flavour that cannot be replicated by any amount of sugar. The cocoa powder can be substituted one for one with unsweetened chocolate. The melted chocolate can replace chocolate chips or milk chocolate in a recipe to give some variety to your diet.



And that's it - you have the above 10 alternatives to sugar. Give them a try and we are sure you will be able to reduce your sugar intake in no time.

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Team Bonding Process is Simple and Transparent
Team Bonding Process is Simple and Transparent

Tired of struggling with too many details that go into any team building activity such as learning, togetherness or having fun? Otao kitchen's team bonding is built to handle all those details and more. Whether your next event is virtual, in-person or a combination of both, we’ll make sure it runs smoothly from start to finish. 

Our chefs and event managers love what they do. These are people who understand both the art of team building cooking. Their genuine enthusiasm is infectious. They have the ability to inspire and engage, while fostering positive, authentic connections that will last long after your event is over.

  • Selection. We have a dozen of cooking themes for you to cook, entertain, share and celebrate. Contact us helps you select a program to fit your goals, budget and calendar perfectly.
  • Customising. There’s real power in strategically customising a team and work party event to fit with the business culture, staff inspiration and goal of your team event.
  • Booking and planning. Your chef and host  organises event details for you so you can enjoy the event as well.
  • Event Day! Your chef and host deliver the cooking event, engage your team, achieve your goals, and wrap things up with a strategic debrief.

Where We Do Team Bonding

We have a brand new 200m2 cooking studio in Abbotsford, Melbourne - just 3km from Melbourne CBD or virtually online. Otao kitchen’s greatest strength is that you join us in our kitchen so you can experience the real cooking. Many of our programs can be done at your office. Other times a nearby venue makes more sense. We’ve staged successful events at countless hotels, restaurants, convention centers, and theme parks across the globe.

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A Guide to Team Building Activities in Melbourne
A Guide to Team Building Activities in Melbourne

For a Melbourne team to work effectively, it needs team players that communicate, support and collaborate with each other. While you can foster these qualities with time, it’s rare to find a team that work well together at the start. Collaboration has to be developed through group activities. 

If you’re looking up activities for team building, Melbourne team activities are packed with events and classes that will transform your team into a cohesive unit. Fun group activities in Melbourne offers include cooking classes, painting classes, and escape rooms. Your employees will develop friendships, create memories, and build trust, translating to productive, effective work units. 

This page covers why you should invest in team-building and lists some of the best team building activities in Melbourne has available to help you get started.

Importance of Team Building Cooking Activities

Team building cooking aims to create a fun and exciting environment where employees can interact while learning new skills. Throughout the cooking activity, they will learn about their strengths and weaknesses and develop the skills to work in harmony with each other. However, it would be best if your company didn’t rely on one-off corporate cooking events. Otao Kitchen hosts many cooking activities that allow your team to challenge themselves and build skills that will transfer to the workplace. 

Group Cooking Classes in Melbourne

A group cooking class is the perfect team outing. Melbourne is filled with foodies, so connecting your teammates with local chefs makes for a fun and exciting social kitchen escapade. 

You can stand beside your co-workers as you learn how to slice and dice and then celebrate the achievement with a delicious meal. Whether you’re looking for corporate summer outings or a more intimate setting, you can find new kitchen studio at Otao Kitchen for your employees to build trust and cooperation. Through group cooking classes, your team will:

  • Bonding
  • Creativity
  • Cooking 

Virtual Classes for Team Building

As the world continually adapts to the “new normal,” remote work has become commonplace. While some may love being able to roll out of bed and have their office a few feet away, remote workers lose out on the relationships typically built through in-person communication. 

One way to alleviate this burden is through online group activities. If you’re setting up team building activities, Sydney or Melbourne doesn’t have to be the stage. You can perform these games from the comfort of your own home while still benefiting from the much-needed social interaction.

Corporate Group Outings in Melbourne

Corporate team-building exercises don’t have to be a nuisance. With a little planning and the right atmosphere, you can organise an activity that boosts morale while building camaraderie. 

If you’re trying to find the most memorable team building activities, Melbourne cooking school Otao Kitchen can deliver, nothing beats a group cooking course—and you can host online group activities. Otao Kitchen has a variety of classes that can appeal to any palate. Contact us today to book group cooking classes for your company.

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Cooking Along With An Ingredient Kit
Cooking Along With An Ingredient Kit

When the Covid19 pandemic closed hospitality, tourism and entertainment businesses in early 2020, our chefs, tour guides, hosts and others were stranded. Otao Kitchen’s cooking classes, demonstrations and food events were cancelled.

Otao Kitchen turned to social media, where Zoom, Instagram and Facebook Live took the place of kitchen demonstration bench in front of an audience. It was trial and error, as we learned which camera buttons to push, how to control the sound and new ways to present our menu. Almost two years now we are getting the hang of it, prompting Otao Kitchen special ways in cooking and teaching over the internet.

In the past 6 months, we found one trend that’s emerging is cooking along with a kit. We are selling boxes of ingredients that go along with the online recipe that’s being demonstrated on Zoom cook-along classes. We found that we can make up the revenue loss by in-person cooking classes, and offer something more than you can find on Facebook or YouTube.

Chef and owner Ha Nguyen says there are 3 types of classes. The first one is the old school approach, where the instructor simply show how the dish is made, and the video is posted online. This method is crowded as every media outlet.

The second option is live Zoom classes that require registration. These allow us to earn some money by charging a fee with a limit on the number of people on each Zoom call. These classes often allow attendees to ask questions as the cooking is going on, or to follow up once the dish is finished. We did well in this class over the pandemic.

The third option that is rapidly growing for us are classes where participants purchase a kit of ingredients and make the dish at the same time with the chef. This way guests can enjoy closer to real life experience without the need of going out! Otao Kitchen is making the kits from dumplings to ramen and more to come.

We also learn a new way to deal with online cooking classes’ challenges. At a cooking school, we have everything, but not all people have the right pieces of equipment. We have to deal with people cooking while their family is at home. People also want to cook while socialising. We worked to modify the recipe, so we can send the kit with flexible to make the dishes. Even our chefs learned how different these classes can be.

Additionally, chefs can’t cook as much as they might be in a live demonstration, because every step needs to be broken down for the camera. Everything is slower because it’s all online.

Our guests' expectations are rising, so we have to be better with the experience delivery. If someone is a chef, the guests expect their set to look like a proper kitchen studio. At the beginning of the pandemic, guests were more patient with clumsily produced content. Now our guests want to feel like they are getting their money’s worth, and we want to feel like we are giving them more value.

Safe to say, as a small business, your feedback has helped us improve dramatically. At last, we feel like we’re delivering customers’ expectations.

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How to Buy, Store and Prepare Chicken?
How to Buy, Store and Prepare Chicken?

How to Buy, Store and Prepare Chicken?

Australians eat more chicken every year than any other meat or protein. It can be a nutritious and tasty choice, but raw chicken often contains nasty salmonella. If not handled properly, the bacteria could make someone really sick! Poultry is a product that deteriorates quickly, so it’s important to know when it is fresh or not. Here are some hints to find the freshest chicken and the best way to store it.

Buying Chicken

  • When purchasing chicken, make sure there’s no ‘off’ smell. Fresh poultry should have very little, or no aroma.
  • If buying a whole bird, ensure the skin, flesh and bones appear undamaged.
  • Chicken breasts should be plump with a very pale pink flesh.
  • Chicken thighs have a darker meat. They should have a dark pink flesh and a little white fat.
  • Make sure to purchase from a reputable supplier who has been approved by local authorities.
  • Check that the chicken is delivered at 5C or below.
  • Confirm that frozen chicken products are completely frozen and inspect the packaging for any signs of thawing.
  • Don’t accept any chicken that is soft, discoloured or sticky. Pay particular attention to the wings and joints.


To store chicken, leave it in its original packaging or place in a container and cover completely. Store on the bottom shelf (or the coldest part) of your the fridge for up to 2 days. This helps prevent contaminating any foods below. Cook any raw chicken within two days of purchase and freeze whatever you don’t use. Ensure to wrap your chicken in airtight packages. Label, date and keep refrigerated at 5C or below, or frozen at -15C or below.

If freezing fresh portions, do so immediately after purchasing (in its original packaging) for up to 2 months. Alternatively, separate the chicken into serving portions, thoroughly wrap in plastic bags or cling film and freeze for up to 2 months. It is very important to thaw chicken completely before cooking. To defrost, place the chicken in the fridge on a large plate (in its original packaging). This will take between 12-24 hours. Never refreeze chicken that has already been thawed. Cooked chicken can then be frozen for later use.

Commonly Used Cuts

Whole Bird

A whole chook can be used for roasting, poaching, making stock or dishes like Vietnamese pho or Hainanese chicken rice. Alternatively, you can flatten or “butterfly” a chicken. This is a great way to roast or barbecue a whole bird, that promotes quick and even cooking. The secret to a delicious chicken is buying the best quality you can find, such as free-range, locally sourced or organic.

Breast & Tenderloin

Chicken breast is such a versatile cut of poultry. It’s a white meat with very little fat, perfect for throwing into stir-fries, grilling, steaming, pan-frying and oven roasting. They are also great for poaching to be used in salads, soups or sandwiches. Another method brilliant for cooking a chicken breast is crumbing. Not only do the breadcrumbs keep the chicken moist, but they also give a wonderful, crunchy texture (as seen in a chicken parma or katsu).

Chicken breasts found in the supermarket tend to be quite large with the tenderloin attached. This can make them difficult to cook through perfectly, without drying out. To ensure your chicken cooks evenly and remains juicy, you can slice the breast into even cuts or use a rolling pin to slightly flatten it out. There’s nothing worse than eating a dried-out piece of chicken, so the key is to keep it moist without overcooking. Chicken is cooked through when a temperature probe reads 73C.

Tenderloins, found underneath the breast, are a delicious and speedy cooking option. They are slightly more tender than the whole breast and are great crumbed, fried, baked, or quickly marinated and chargrilled.


Thighs can be bought as fillets (with or without skin) or cutlets with the bone attached. Chicken thigh meat is generally darker and has a little more fat than the breast. It’s a working muscle and therefore has more flavour comparatively. Diced chicken thighs are great for BBQ skewers, slow cooking, stir-frying or thrown into soups and curries. Use the whole thigh or cutlet for roasting, bakes, barbecues and stews.

Chicken Maryland is a cut where the thigh and drumstick are attached. Marylands are good for roasting, poaching, braising and baking. They are ideal for cooking slowly over a barbecue or char-grill.

Drumsticks & Wings

Chicken wings and drumsticks are typically cheaper per kilo but are often seen as the most flavourful. They are great baked, fried or simmered in a sticky glaze or marinade and eaten with your hands. The skin to meat ratio is greater in these cuts, so the outside gets nice and crispy, while the inside stays juicy. No matter what you do with this part of the chicken, it’s bound to taste good! It’s also really difficult to overcook wings and drumsticks, making for less stressful cooking.

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How To Find The Best Ingredients For Asian Cuisine
How To Find The Best Ingredients For Asian Cuisine

If you’ve ever been to a Chinese, Indian, or Thai restaurant, you likely already know how intentional Asians are when it comes to preparing food. Their dishes can’t be easily replicated using the typical options you find around you, so you’ll need to look for a good source of Asian ingredients. 

It’s popular knowledge that to make the best Asian cuisine, you should have the best ingredients. You probably want to try cooking some Asian meals at home, but you don’t even know where you can get everything you need to do so. Fortunately for you, the answer is right here. Just read on to know how you can search for and get your hands on quality ingredients for Asian cuisine.

  1. Browse Catalogues

You’re probably wondering why you haven’t thought about this. Or maybe you have. Either way, checking catalogues is a great way to locate specific shops where you can get good ingredients for the Asian food you want to serve.

Not only will a catalogue provide you with store names, but it’ll also help you know the prices of the ingredients you’re after. Browsing a Coles catalogue and others similar to it will even allow you to discover special offers you can take advantage of.

  1. Visit An Asian Supermarket

You may have already gone to different supermarkets in your area numerous times to purchase ingredients for your everyday meals. However, those places might not have the specific ingredients that’ll allow you to prepare Asian dishes the right way. You have to go to Asian grocery stores to buy those, so keep an eye out for one whenever you’re walking around or traveling from one place to another.

  1. Do An Internet Search

In a world where nearly every business is online, you’ll surely be able to find an Asian online store offering high-quality ingredients. Some of them may even offer discounts on certain items. You only have to take your time and ensure that you choose the right one for you. 

Although many of them have physical shops, it may be more convenient for you to order from them online and have your items delivered. In doing so, you’ll save time and effort and get your Asian ingredients at excellent prices.

  1. Ask An Asian Friend Or Neighbour

Of course, your Asian friends and acquaintances would know exactly where you can buy fresh ingredients for Asian cuisine, and they’ll be delighted to share that sort of information with you. Don’t be surprised if they even offer to accompany you to the particular stores they mention. And when they do go with you, they might just be able to teach you how you can determine the freshness and quality of certain food items.

Common Ingredients In Asian Cuisine

If you’re wondering what ingredients you’ll need for Asian dishes, check the list below. Unlike Western cuisine, Asian cuisine has plenty of plant-based options that aren’t merely salads or sides. So if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you’ll definitely want to try your hand at cooking with some of these ingredients:

  • Tofu

Tofu is highly favoured among Asians since it’s low in fat and rich in protein. It’s made from soybeans and can be easily incorporated into all sorts of dishes since it absorbs the flavours of the other ingredients you cook it with.

  • Bamboo

Bamboo is a unique vegetable often used in Asian cuisine. There are many edible species of bamboo, and they can either be tough or tender. What’s more, they’re rich in protein, fibre, and vitamin B.

To make the most of bamboo shoots, they’re often boiled before use. This helps get rid of their naturally bitter taste. Then, they’re thinly sliced and added to soups or stir fries to give them a pleasant yet subtle flavour.

  • Chili Pepper

The chili pepper is an all-time favourite of Asians to make a wide variety of dishes more exciting and add a nice kick to them. It can even be processed into powder form. Powdered chili pepper is convenient for storage and can be found not only in Asian stores but in most regular stores.

  • Fish Sauce 

Unlike tofu, bamboo, and chili pepper that are plant-based ingredients, fish sauce is animal-based. It’s prevalent in Southeast Asian countries. This liquid condiment is processed from small fish just before fermentation. It has a strong, salty flavour that may not be appealing to some people. The key to using this in your dishes is to avoid adding too much of it at a time.


Asians can be rather particular about their meals. Although many of them enjoy plant-based dishes, meat is just as abundant in their cuisine. To prepare a delicious Asian meal, you have to get the freshest ingredients you can find, and you’ll be able to do just that by following the tips discussed above.

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Top 6 Kitchen Essentials For Budding Chefs
Top 6 Kitchen Essentials For Budding Chefs

There's no better time than now to take a full check of your kitchen essentials as a budding chef. If you still keep old and destroyed pots, stubborn knives, and worn-out chopping boards, it’s time to change those. These essentials have reached their end of life when it doesn’t serve its purpose anymore. Chefs know that while cooking skill and technique matter, it doesn’t hurt to invest in top-quality materials to make cooking easier, more efficient, and speedier, too.

You have that drive within you now to take your cooking to the next level. So, as you hone your skills, your kitchen tools should contribute to that purpose as well. Yes, there are gadgets and gizmos for just about everything in the kitchen. But you don’t need to have them all at once as a budding chef. You can start with the bare essentials.

With that said, here’s a list of the top kitchen essentials you must have as a budding chef:

1. Store Catalogue

Grocery store catalogues are still present nowadays, and that’s for a good reason. Budding chef or not, it’s advantageous to have copies of grocery store catalogues like the ALDI catalogue and others. This keeps you on the loop as to what supplies are in store, what’s on sale or special, and what’s new on the shelves.

In keeping with digital times, many store catalogues are also available online or through digital form. So, there’s no reason for you not to subscribe to those on your mobile phone. Within the pages of catalogues, you may also find discounts, coupons, and promo codes that are exclusive only to the catalogue subscribers. As a budding chef, those discounts are great! That means you can source out ingredients for lower prices.


2. Sub-Zero Refrigerator

Of course, every kitchen needs to have a refrigerator. But as a budding chef, you can take it further by having a sub-zero refrigerator. This type of fridge has a stronger ability to preserve the flavour of ingredients. Prolonging the freshness is key to having the best-tasting dishes, unless you have the luxury of time to buy fresh produce every single day.

Sub-zero refrigerators also come with a lot of added features to ensure overall safety. These include an air purification system and an antimicrobial system to keep food fresh, safe, and clean.


3. Three Knives

You want to have a whole block of knives for various uses. There’s such a thing called three knives. These are your paring knife, chef’s knife, and serrated bread knife. If you can invest in those three, then you’re good to go.

Those three knives, no matter how top-quality they may be, will eventually get dull. So, as you invest in those three, it makes sense also that you invest in a good quality knife sharpener.


4. Heavy, Wooden Chopping Board

If what you have are still the old, plastic, flimsy chopping boards from many years back, it’s time to let go of those. A budding chef needs heavy, wooden chopping boards to match. Wooden chopping boards can withstand even the heavy chopping of meat. 

To practice best sanitary practices, be sure to get at least two—one for raw meat, fish, and poultry, and another for vegetables and fruits.


5. Stock Pots

Stock pots are great as they can form the foundation of complex recipes. On the stock pot, you can start sautéing the vegetables and spices without the need of transferring to another pot. There, you can also make pasta, soup, and other dishes.

When shopping for a stock pot, be sure to check its efficiency, material quality, and its compatibility not just with your stove at home but with a wide range of other stoves as well.


6. Cast-Iron Pan

Cast iron is one of the most inexpensive ways to have a good pan that conducts heat quite well. This is great for frying and grilling, especially if you’re cooking steak and chicken. While using a cast-iron pan takes a lot more work than using a non-stick pan, the food taste coming out of the cast-iron pan is worth all that effort. Not to mention how cast-iron pans can last for a long time.



The list above enlightens you on the top essentials you need to have in your kitchen as an aspiring chef. While not exhaustive, it’s up to you to tweak and add based on the dishes you usually make and the tools you personally swear by. Little by little, as you hone your skills, you can add more to your list as well. There's a tool for every chef, with that perfect balance of the tried and tested must-haves, as well as new ones on the rise.

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