At the beginning of this academic year, I decided to start cooking by myself instead of eating in the school dinning hall, and now my junior year is going to be end. I feel that there is a need to reflect back a little bit, and when I did, I do come up with a few tips that I learned from my one-year cooking experience. I would like to share those tips with you, and especially, with those who are also on the way to figure out how to cook for themselves.
When you suddenly feel like eating something, go ahead and try to make it for yourself, if the ingredients are available.
Based on my experience only, a craving for a certain dish is the perfect motivation to learn something new. I found myself searching online for recipes and watching Youtube videos just to learn about the dish I suddenly desired for.
Every time you read a new recipe, adapt it to your own.
We all have our own ways of doing something. In a recipe, sometimes the order of adding ingredients matters, but sometimes it does not. So, stick to the way that you feel most comfortable with, and by doing so, you actually learned a recipe, instead of memorizing one.
Start with something simple.
The very first way of cooking I learned is stir-fry. There are usually three steps involved -- pouring oil in, adding ingredients, and adding spices. Only when we are familiar with the basic steps, we can pay more attention to the extra staff that's written in some recipes.
If a recipe requires so many steps and ingredients, first try a simplified version of it. And only after you master the gist, go ahead and feel confident enough to learn what the extra steps and ingredients are about.
Do not be afraid about mistakes, and go with your instincts.
I learned something every time I made a mistake. Who knows how much salt is perfect without experiencing putting it too much or too less? Do not fear and go with your instincts. When you feel that one ingredients could go well with another, or you feel that this ingredients could match with a sour-sweet flavor, go ahead and try! New recipes are born each time when cooks experiment with their instincts. And isn't it the fun of cooking? Every time, you create and learn something new.
By the way, if you are only cooking for yourself, nobody will taste it but you, so what to be afraid of...
Start off by learning to cook some same ingredients in different ways.
In that case, you learned how to create several different dishes out of the same recipes. It is economical for beginners, because you would not waste a lot of money on the ingredients you do not know how to use, or, only know one single way to use it.