Want to know what chefs have in their pantries? Here are a few items most of them simply can’t do without!

1. Fish Sauce

Fish sauce is made by fermenting anchovies and salt. Some novice bakers might be put off by the idea of using fish sauce, but it works much in the same way that anchovies do. It lends a savory saltiness to dishes, and could be just what you need to add an extra punch of flavor to your dish. Use it as a marinade, boost the flavor of your rice, or add it to vegetables.

2. Rice Vinegar

Together with other popular vinegars (like balsamic and red wine vinegar), rice vinegar is a good staple to keep in the pantry. Use it in salad dressings, homemade mayonnaise, or even to make pickles.

3. Coconut Milk

Keep a can of coconut milk in your pantry, and you’ll always have something delicious to make.  You can use it for breakfast (smoothies or to make creamy oatmeal), lunch (make a quick Thai soup), or even a coconut milk roast dinner.

4. Dijon Mustard

If you always feel like your salad dressings are missing something, it could be that you aren’t using Dijon mustard. Unopened jars can be stored in the cupboard, but once opened, they need to be stored in the fridge.  Use a teaspoon or two to make a delicious vinaigrette, dress roast vegetables, or add it to stews and mashed potatoes. These jars can be expensive, but they will keep for a long time since you don’t need to use much at a time.

5. Lentils

Lentils actually count toward your ’10-a-day’ (together with fruits and vegetables). But more than that, they’re a cheap way to add protein and stretch a meal. Because they’re canned, they’re easy to keep it in the pantry so you always have them on hand.

6. Canned tomatoes

No pantry is complete without canned tomatoes. To get the absolute best quality, keep an eye out for Italian versions. Add them to pasta sauces, make a homemade pizza sauce, or make shakshuka!