12 easy kitchen hacks

Smart storage solutions, preparation methods, plus cooking and baking advice from chefs, experts and other experienced cooks.


1. Easy Kitchen Hack: Handy garlic mix

Combine minced garlic with oil and store in a jar. This saves you the hassle of peeling and chopping garlic every time you need it. The oil slows down the oxidation of garlic. The mixture can keep for up to a month in the fridge.

- Ee Ming Hwa, chef de cuisine of DOMVS, The Italian Restaurant, Sheraton Towers Singapore Hotel

2. Easy Kitchen Hack: Keep herbs fresh for longer

Wrap them in a wet paper towel and store in the fridge crisper (fruits and vegetables compartment).

- Stephane Cocu, chef de cuisine, The Waterfall, Shangri-la Hotel, Singapore

3. Easy Kitchen Hack: Make fresh prawns last longer

Sprinkle with sugar, wrap in newspaper and freeze. The prawns will stay fresh for up to one month.

- Lee Huihui, homemaker

4. Easy Kitchen Hack: Keep tea leaves fresh

Buy loose leaves one canister at a time as fresh leaves are best kept for only six months. Once opened, store in an airtight container at room temperature. If you won't be using the leaves for some time, store the container in the crisper.

- Vincent Low, tea master at Yixing Xuan Teahouse


5. Easy Kitchen Hack: No more tears from onions

Chill onions in the fridge before peeling and slicing to slow down the release of propanethiol S-oxide, the gas that irritates the eyes. And use a sharp knife to avoid crushing the onions.

- Davide Bizzarri, chef of Palio, Resorts World Sentosa

6. Easy Kitchen Hack: Prevent onion odour

Wet hands with vinegar or lemon juice before slicing them.

- Simone Cerea, executive chef, Regent Singapore


7. Easy Kitchen Hack: Add a potato in the soup

If you've accidentally sprinkled too much salt into your soup, don't add water or sugar to balance out the flavour. Simply drop a peeled potato into the pot to absorb the excess salt.

- Kevin Thomson, executive chef, The Ritz-Carlton Beijing & JW Marriott Beijing

8. Easy Kitchen Hack: Reheat food right

75 deg C is the correct temperature to reheat food thoroughly.

- Bibi Chia, consultant dietitian, Raffles Internal Medicine Centre

9. Easy Kitchen Hack: Use ripe bananas for bakes

Brown or nearly black bananas are great for baking in bread, muffins and cakes. The very overripe can be cut into chunks and frozen to be baked or used in dessert recipes later.

- Kate Low, former marketing manager, Supernature

10. Easy Kitchen Hack: New way to eat tomatoes

Steam or bake with honey and pistachios to make a delicious, dairy-free and low-calorie dessert.

- Chef Emmanuel Stroobant, Emmanuel Stroobant Group

11. Easy Kitchen Hack: Temperature matters when baking

When baking a cake, don't use cold ingredients fresh from the fridge or your batter won't hold. Butter and eggs at room temperature will incorporate better with flour and sugar. If you don't want lumpy batter, leave eggs and butter on the counter for 30 to 45 minutes before using.

- Pang Kok Keong, chef and owner, Sugar Daddy Group

12. Easy Kitchen Hack: Never over mix your batter

The proteins from eggs coagulate to bind dough ingredients together. Over-stirring allows more air to enter the mixture, causing the protein chains to break. This affects the batter's consistency and, ultimately, the finished product.

- Jason Fraser, executive pastry chef, Marriott Hotel Singapore

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