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To ask what food thing have you given up on

(81 Posts)
wetcardboard Wed 08-Mar-17 20:18:08

For me it's cooking East Asian food at home.

Food columnists are always suggesting stir-fries and noodle soups as easy midweek options but I can never get them to turn out right. That's even when using proper authentic ingredients like imported bonito flakes, mirin, shrimp paste, sesame oil etc. It always turns out too sweet or too salty, too insipid or too intense. Often a combination of dissatisfactions.

I suspect it's not so much about the ingredients but more about the cooking process. To get a really good stir-fry you need a heat higher than a household cooker provides, and for noodle soup you need to be boiling bones for a day or two to get an excellent broth.

After yet another noodle soup tonight which didn't quite hit the mark, I've decided to give up on East Asian cooking and save it for eating out. It feels liberating to throw in the towel. Though I have a bunch of East Asian ingredients and condiments in my cupboards which will probably languish at the back until we move from this flat.

toffeeboffin Wed 08-Mar-17 20:19:48


Total waste of time for me.

I can't get everything cooked at the same time. There's too many factors!

Also creates lots of mess, it's not worth the hassle.

Wando1986 Wed 08-Mar-17 20:22:26

You don't cook it all at the same time, maybe that's where you're going wrong? Cook the meat the night before and the spuds and gravy in the morning, roast the spuds for 20 mins before dinner, turn them and then you put the veg in to steam and cook both for 15 more mins hmm

Wando1986 Wed 08-Mar-17 20:23:53

I gave up on rice totally until I got a digital pressure cooker! Now it's rice city.

topcat2014 Wed 08-Mar-17 20:24:59

I had given up on pancakes - but this year I watched a couple of youtube videos and cracked it.

Roasts - easy as pie.

Stir fry - nice looking, but a gloopy mess to eat, with no proper taste.

DontTouchTheMoustache Wed 08-Mar-17 20:27:06

Brown rice. Life is too short.

Doje Wed 08-Mar-17 20:28:01

Moussaka. Having to fry all the aubergine first takes tooooo long with two kids running around your legs.

SaucyJack Wed 08-Mar-17 20:29:17

Indian food.

I likes curry- but I likes it from the takeaway made with 4 tablespoons of ghee and a tablespoon of salt per serving.

I rarely bother making it myself. It doesn't taste the same (obviously).

GeillisTheWitch Wed 08-Mar-17 20:31:22

Mashed potatoes. I just can't get them right, it's always lumpy. I buy microwaveable ready made now. Life is too short for peeling spuds anyway.

brotherhoodofspam Wed 08-Mar-17 20:31:43

Have you tried Bill Grainger's Everyday Asian? If not, might be with a go before you ditch the fish sauce. Every recipe's a winner and genuinely quite quick to make. I hadn't made East Asian food at all before getting it so no expertise needed. Personally I've given up on flapjacks. Love them and should be dead easy to make but always either burnt or undercooked, stick to the pan and fall to pieces.

GrumpyInsomniac Wed 08-Mar-17 20:32:47

@Doje I'm an Ocado customer. They sell (I shit you not, how the hell is this 'essential'?) Essential Waitrose Chargrilled Aubergine slices.

Not quite the same effect as far less oily, but has made moussaka and melanzane parmigiana an option again for us. Also less fattening, which is a bonus.

acquiescence Wed 08-Mar-17 20:34:17

Thai style is easy - just chuck in loads of lime, chilli, garlic and coriander into whatever you're cooking and you can't go wrong!

I don't do rice- I get tilda pouches which go in the microwave. V lazy I know.

Bantanddec Wed 08-Mar-17 20:36:09

Yorkshire puddings- curse of the soggy bottom!!

highinthesky Wed 08-Mar-17 20:38:31

Anything that requires cooking. I just cannot stand smells.

Magicpaintbrush Wed 08-Mar-17 20:40:00

Another one here who cannot make moussaka. Always seem to get the potatoes wrong and it turns out sloppy.

buckeejit Wed 08-Mar-17 21:19:10

Brotherhood - you need to try flapjacks with condensed milk-it's a famous MN recipe & awesome & easy (no sugar as condensed milk is sweet enough)

Love Asian food-want a Wagamama chef to teach me but will look up that book.

redexpat Wed 08-Mar-17 22:00:18

Olives. I like the ones at other peoples houses but the ones I buy are always horrid.

Have given up on making thai curries as they are never as good as the restaurants or even the sauces in jars but I kick ass at indian.

shaggedthruahedgebackwards Wed 08-Mar-17 22:02:43


It is a waste of quite expensive ingredients if it doesn't work out (which seems to be more often than not!)

Despite investing in a special thermometer I have had to resign myself to the fact that I don't have the magic touch where fudge is concerned and my skills lay elsewhere!

thegoodnameshadgone Wed 08-Mar-17 22:05:23

Poached eggs. They just never look like they are supposed to

DanGleballs Wed 08-Mar-17 22:07:18

I love the idea of sliced chargrilled aubergines being anyone's idea of essential!

MeNeedSleep Wed 08-Mar-17 22:08:32

Riced pudding from scratch, it's a waste of milk. You have to use so much!
Pies from scratch, no thanks!

I used to do bolognaise & lasagne from scratch but the kids prefer lloyd grossmans!

DanGleballs Wed 08-Mar-17 22:10:02

Toad in the hole for me. I have tried every conceivable egg/flour/milk/water combination, still soggy or burnt.

MackerelOfFact Wed 08-Mar-17 22:10:35

White sauce. I simply cannot. I have tried every 'foolproof' method there is, but I ruin it every time.

Upsettingly this rules out a lot of my favourite foods - fish pie, lasagne, macaroni cheese, cauliflower cheese, moussaka, etc. It's just not worth the disappointment.

Dontlaugh Wed 08-Mar-17 22:11:05

I can't answer the original question as I've tried so much at this stage. Some's worked, some hasn't. Meh.
Just want to add I LOVE a combination of dissatisfactions
I'm stealing that.

Dontlaugh Wed 08-Mar-17 22:12:15

@MackerelOfFact the one thing I can do reliably is white sauce! I did work at it though and it does require a degree of patience and quite a lot of gin.

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