There is a new recipe website created by a Chinese college student in Shanghai that has gone viral on the internet. Users can choose what ingredients and utensils they have and then see what recipe options there are. When you click on a recipe, you will be taken to a Bilibili cooking video for it.
Suffice it to say that this was very helpful for Shanghai residents, but of course it’s not overly accessible to non-Chinese speakers as it caters to Chinese speaking guests. Thankfully, there is a free English recipe generator website called SuperCook – Zero Waste Recipe Generator, but unlike the Chinese site, it links to written recipes rather than videos.
We also thought it would be helpful to share a few basic recipes with all of you to give you an idea of what you could make and also to show how easy it is to actually make some things.
The idea of baking any type of bread might seem like a complicated, impossible task. Believe it or not, making a simple flatbread can be super easy and you don’t even need yeast or an oven! I actually do this all the time and really enjoy experimenting with different spices on top.
200 g flour or wholemeal flour
1/4 tsp salt
100ml/3 1/2 fl oz Warm water
2 tablespoons oil (olive, sunflower, or vegetable), plus extra for cooking
- Place the flour and salt in a large bowl and gradually add the water.
- Mix the water and flour mixture with your hands until a dough forms.
- Add the oil and knead the dough – you aim for a soft dough. If it’s too sticky add a little more flour or if it’s too dry add a splash of water.
- Knead the dough either in the bowl or on a flat surface for five minutes.
- You can cook the batter immediately or leave it in the bowl for 30 minutes, covering the bowl with a kitchen towel.
- Divide the dough into four even balls (or six if you have a smaller pan).
- On a clean, floured surface, roll out each ball individually with a rolling pin. If you don’t have a rolling pin, a cylindrical object like a wine bottle can be used instead. Move the flatbread frequently to ensure it doesn’t stick.
- Heat a large frying pan. Take a piece of kitchen paper and rub a little oil on the surface of the pan. Bake each flatbread for about 2 minutes on each side – it should rise a little. The flatbread should have lightened in color and may have a few brown spots.
Tomato Pasta Sauce
If you’ve decided to stock up on canned tomatoes and pasta, this basic recipe is a great choice.
Servings: Two to three
1 tbsp oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped (optional)
1 can of canned tomatoes
1 tsp oregano
1 teaspoon basil
2 tsp brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a saucepan or deep pan over medium-high heat
- Add the onion and sauté until soft, about five minutes
- Add the garlic and fry for another minute
- Add tomatoes, oregano, basil and brown sugar, if you want to add some spice you can also add chili flakes or cayenne pepper
- Turn the heat down and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly
- Season with salt and pepper
A traditional Spanish omelette usually has just three main ingredients: eggs, potatoes and onions, making it a perfect dish when you have limited food options. However, if desired and available, you can also add ingredients like spinach, mushrooms and peppers or even top with cheese.
500 grams of potatoes
1/2 an onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp oil
salt and pepper to taste
- Wash the potatoes, peel and cut into thick slices (about 1.2 cm) and place in a pot of boiling water.
- Cook the potatoes until just cooked through, about eight minutes, they should be tender enough to pierce with a knife, then drain.
- While the potatoes are cooking, crack the eggs in a mixing bowl, add a pinch of salt and pepper and whisk with a fork.
- Heat the oil in a deep frying pan and add the chopped onion, sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and add to the eggs along with the potatoes.
- Return the mixture to the skillet and cook over low heat until almost set (almost no runny egg on top), then invert onto a plate and slide back into the pan.
- Cook for another five minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
Do you have basic recipes you want to share? Let us know!
READ: Stocked up on fresh veggies? Here’s a guide to freezing
Images: Katie Coy, Unsplash Tijana Drndarski