A well-stocked kitchen means you never have to worry about pulling together a fast and delicious meal, or making last-minute trips to the supermarket. Consider this a handy masterlist of pantry staples that should be in every Singapore home, enabling you to make yummy home-cooked meals whenever you like – especially when you have a hungry household to feed!
These ingredients tend to have a longer shelf life so they can last for awhile. We’re talking high-quality canned food, reliable rice and pastas, aromatic oils and ready-to-use condiments and seasonings for tasty home-cooked meals with half the effort.
What’s more, they’re all winners in our reader-voted Domestic Diva Awards this year, making them the cream of the crop! Check them out below, plus recipe ideas to inspire you.
Double Pagoda 100% Pure Sesame Oil
Transform your Asian dishes with a dash of this popular fragrant sesame oil. It’s made from high-quality roasted sesame seeds, and imparts a heavenly nutty aroma to your dishes.
Chee Seng 100% Pure White Sesame Oil
Aromatic and tasty, this versatile oil is produced with top grade sesame seeds to add oomph to your home-cooked meals. Sprinkle over salads or add to stir-fries, soups and stews!
Knife 100% Pure Rice Bran Oil
With its light and delicate flavour, this trans fat-free cooking oil is suitable for all types of cooking, and contains high levels of natural antioxidant Gamma Oryzanol that can reduce risk of cancer and heart disease.
Naturel Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Swap overly-processed salad dressings with a drizzle of this sweet and smooth EVOO that’s packed with anti-inflammatory health benefits. Also ideal for sauteing veggies and meats, or massaged into bread dough.
Borges Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Make appetising vinaigrettes, marinades and oil-based pastas with this high-quality EVOO that has a mild fruity taste and comes in a dark tinted bottle so you don’t have to keep it stashed away.
Golden Bridge Chicken Luncheon Meat
Made from juicy cuts of chicken thigh and lean breast meat from Brazil, this pre-cooked luncheon meat is delicious on its own when pan-fried, but even better when added to your dishes, such as fried rice and beehoon.
MaLing Pork Luncheon Meat
One of the most recognisable brands in the market, this luncheon meat made with premium European pork offers delicious taste and texture. Enjoy its savoury goodness with fried rice, instant noodles or sandwiches for a fast and tasty meal.
Lotte Rose Farm Ham
Made with fresh Korean pork, this canned luncheon meat boasts lower sodium content for more guilt-free indulgence. Pan-fry it to enjoy with rice or slice it up and toss into some homemade army stew!
Ayam Brand Sardines in Tomato Sauce
These ready-to-eat sardines are a rich and natural source of omega-3 fatty acids and calcium. Prepared in a tasty tomato sauce that contains plenty of lycopene, a heart-healthy antioxidant, it pairs well with rice or noodles.
Del Monte Fruit Cocktail
This refreshing and yummy concoction of peaches, pears, grapes, pineapple and cherries are a convenient way to incorporate more fruit into your diet. Enjoy straight from the can or, better yet, turn them into delectable jelly desserts!
Hosen Fiesta Fruit Cocktail in Syrup
This fruit cocktail comprises a juicy mix of fresh pineapple, papaya and cherries, as well as nata de coco that adds chewiness to this refreshing tropical treat.
Lee Kum Kee XO Sauce
Elevate your home cooking with this luxurious seafood sauce that’s laden with umami flavour. Made with quality ingredients including dried scallops, dried shrimp, chilli peppers and spices, it goes well with everything from noodle and rice dishes to meat and veggie stir-fries. Read more about this fantastic condiment here!
Nando’s Peri-Peri Sauce Medium
Fire up your marinades, dips or just splash it on some tantalising BBQ chicken for a dash of heat! This secret recipe from the popular restaurant chain is made from hand-picked African bird’s eye chilli and other natural ingredients and has a sweet, zesty flavour that’s not too overpowering.
Tabasco Pepper Sauce
Made with just three basic ingredients – vinegar, red peppers and salt – just a few drops of this piquant sauce instantly adds some zing to your foods.
Lee Kum Kee Chilli Bean Sauce (Toban Djan)
This Sichuan-style sambal brings the heat with a unique blend of chillies and fermented beans. Perfect for making a variety of spicy dishes like mapo tofu!
Singlong Sambal Belacan
Fiery and ultra fragrant, this mouth-watering sambal belacan is a must-have for cooking spicy vegetable dishes, especially sambal kang kong.
Maggi Chilli Sauce
Add a spicy kick to your favourite dishes, while managing your sodium intake with this beloved chilli sauce that contains 40 percent less salt.
Sinsin Garlic Chilli Sauce
This aromatic sauce made with fresh chilli and garlic is a wonderful accompaniment to spice up fried beehoon, or party snacks like fish balls, dumplings and crackers.
Del Monte Ketchup All Natural
This classic condiment is great as a dip on the side – but you can also leverage on its sweet and tangy goodness by adding it to sauces, glazes and more.
Heinz Tomato Ketchup
Boasting a thick texture and rich tomato taste, America’s favourite ketchup comes in a handy squeeze bottle for quicker and easier access.
Kikkoman Usukuchi Light Soy Sauce
This light-coloured, naturally brewed soy sauce is a great salt substitute that adds depth of flavour to your home cooking. It can also be used as a dipping sauce!
Tai Hua Superior Dark Soy Sauce
Enhance your marinades and basting sauces with this top-grade dark soy sauce that’s naturally brewed and made in Singapore with top-quality ingredients, including non-GMO soybeans and wheat flour.
Lee Kum Kee Premium Brand Oyster Sauce
Spruce up your stir-fries, steamed dishes or marinades with this all-purpose sauce made with premium oyster extracts to give your food a richer, more umami flavour (and that characteristic glossy appearance).
Woh Hup Shiitake Mushroom Vegetarian Oyster Flavoured Sauce
Made with 100 percent vegetarian ingredients, this mushroom-based seasoning sauce instantly amplifies the taste of your savoury dishes, with no added preservatives to boot.
Lee Kum Kee Seasoned Soy Sauce for Seafood
This stellar seasoned soy sauce will turn your home-cooked steamed fish into a scrumptious restaurant-worthy dish. Simply add your desired amount to taste!
Royal Umbrella Thai Hom Mali Rice
You can count on this long-standing favourite when it comes to giving you delightfully fluffy and fragrant white rice to soak up all the flavour of Asian dishes, from curries to stir-fried dishes.
SongHe Mixed Fragrant Rice + Noble Red Rice
Want to boost your family’s fibre intake without switching entirely to brown rice? This pre-mixed blend is a great go-between, comprising 80 percent Thai white rice and 20 percent red cargo rice for enhanced nutritional value.
Naturel Organic 100% Hom Mali Brown Rice
Rich in dietary fibre and gluten-free, this organically-grown brown rice is harvested solely from Sisaket, a province in north-eastern Thailand known for growing hom mali rice of the highest quality.
FairPrice Thai Brown Unpolished Rice
Featuring 100 percent wholegrains, this brown rice from Thailand is packed with heart-healthy nutrients, plenty of fibre and a mild, nutty flavour that everyone can enjoy.
San Remo Spaghetti No. 5
Made with Australian durum wheat semolina, this versatile pasta goes especially well with olive oil- and tomato-based sauces, from aglio olio to bolognese.
Barilla Penne Rigate
This Italian pasta pairs deliciously with heavier meat or tomato-based sauces like ragu, as its tubular shape and ridges capture even more sauce with every forkful.
San Remo Gluten Free Spaghetti
Allergic to gluten, egg and/or dairy? This coeliac- and vegan-friendly pasta contains none of those things and you wouldn’t even tell the difference.
Sainsbury’s Deliciously Free From Spaghetti
Made of rice, quinoa and maize flours, this Italian spaghetti is free of milk, egg, soya, wheat and gluten, but still makes an appetising carb base for your pasta sauces.
Prego Traditional Tomato Pasta Sauce
Making your own classic bolognese pasta at home is so easy with this ready-made jar of thick, delicious tomato sauce, made with sweet vine-ripened tomatoes and savoury Italian seasonings.
Leggo’s Carbonara Pasta Sauce
This rich and creamy sauce is made with fresh cream, pecorino cheese, onion and herbs. Just stir in some cooked mushrooms or bacon, top with more cheese and toss with your favourite pasta.
Nissin Instant Cup Noodles Kyushu White Flavour
Featuring Nissin’s distinctive thin noodles in a comforting chicken broth, these convenient instant cup noodles always hits the spot when you need a quick and easy meal.
Myojo Dry Bowl Mala Xiang Guo Flavour
Spicy food lovers, you can now have mala xiang guo whenever you want. The springy noodles soak up all the flavour of the seasoning paste, which contains Sichuan pepper, chilli and coriander for an intensely mouth-numbing (yet addictive) experience.
Nongshim Chapagetti Black Instant Ramen Noodles
Savour the best of East and West with these spaghetti-style instant noodles mixed with an authentic black soy bean sauce made famous by K-dramas.
Knorr Chicken Stock Cubes (No Added MSG)
Enhance the taste of your homemade dishes without overloading on MSG, with these flavourful cubes made from real chicken and a special spice mix.
Maggi Chicken Stock Cubes
With no added MSG, these reliable stock cubes minimise the sodium levels in your cooking without compromising on flavour. Just pop into boiling water and stir to dissolve – easy peasy!
Campbell’s Real Stock Beef
Made from scratch with 100 percent Australian beef with no preservatives, this soup stock is great for making braised meats a boost of flavour. Tip: Pour into an ice cube tray and freeze, then just pop one (or more) out as needed!
Swanson Clear Chicken Broth
Ideal for adding to all sorts of soups and stews, using just enough of this well-seasoned chicken broth easily gives your dishes a deeper, richer flavour.
Hai Di Lao Tomato Flavour Hot Pot Sauce
Love hot pot? Simply mix this crowd-favourite soup base into boiling water and voila – you can enjoy a restaurant-quality steamboat from the comforts of home. Best part is, you can add any ingredients you fancy.
Prima Taste Ready-to-Cook Meal Sauce Kit for Laksa
Recreate this local favourite noodle dish with Prima Taste’s convenient premix packs – each one comes with fragrant laksa paste, premix sauce and spicy sambal chilli. Complete with your own rice noodles, prawns, fish cake and egg!
Dancing Chef Pineapple Rice Paste
Fried rice is one of our favourite go-to dishes for busy evenings. Jazz it up with Thai pineapple fried rice with the help of this handy premix, comprising real pineapples and no artificial flavourings.
All products featured in this article are independently selected by The Singapore Women’s Weekly’s editorial team. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Text: Elizabeth Liew
Gif: Chelza Pok