I sat down with Chef Clement to talk oils, because in our circles, oil is a pretty hot topic! :) We want to know – which are the best, how to use them, how to properly store them… Chef is all about cooking and eating foods that makes you feel your best – so I thought why not ask him about his approach.
Honestly, I expected to come back to you with a long list of oils everyone should have in their pantry , but his answer was: Keep It Simple! And I have to say, I like that attitude much more!
When it comes to choosing an oil – you have plenty of options, each boasting different health benefits. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m quick to pick up the latest healthy oil and enjoy having variety for my salad dressings and cooking. In my house right now, I have:
Pumpkin Seed, Grapeseed Oil, Almond Oil, Coconut Oil, Safflower Oil, Olive Oil, Sesame Oil and Infused Chili Oil.
And if you’re like me – you’re going mostly cold-pressed, extra virgin oils for the health benefits. But, these oils are highly perishable, and every time you use them, you’re exposing it to light and air causing it to oxidize and go rancid quicker.
If you have have a few different oils on the go – ask yourself – can you really consume them all before they turn rancid? Once a bottle has been opened, it should be consumed – on average – within six months. The more stable oils like coconut and olive oil can go for up to 1 year.
But, unlike wine, there is no benefit to keeping oil for a long time. Within 60 days of opening, the oil will begin to oxidize and change in flavor. So, instead of stocking your kitchen with different oils – Chef Clement recommends that we go minimal and stick with one or two at a time.
- One heat-stable oil for cooking, like refined olive oil or coconut oil (or butter)
- One cold-pressed oil for salads, like extra virgin olive oil
Once you’ve finished a bottle, you can always try another new type of oil. It’s always good to play and experiment, but perhaps not with too many at the same time!
- If you cook daily, don’t use from the oil bottle directly. To avoid constant light and oxygen exposure, decant your oil into a smaller oil dispenser or squeeze condiment bottle and re-fill it as you need. Store the main bottle of oil in a cool, dark cupboard.
- Add variety and flavour to the same oil by using different ingredients:
- Blend some oil with fresh herbs and use it throughout the week in your cooking. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week
- When you roast veggies like capsicum, mix the juice in with the oil. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week
- Use freshly squeezed juices like calamansi lime, orange or pineapple to create new dressings and sauces! Store in the fridge for up to 1 week
- Stock up on vinegars! Try fruit vinegars, apple cider, red wine, balsamic – they are more shelf stable and will produce completely different flavors!
Hope this helps you! Chatting with Chef, really helped me to simplify my kitchen even more – so I wanted to pass along this tip to you too!
PS: If you have a ton of oils in your kitchen, here are some other great ways to use them:
Do you live in Singapore? Check out Chef Clement’s take-out cafe, Simply Eden! Get the red velvet muffin and chia seed baguettes to bring home with you!! YUM!