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The best way to store and use spices you should know

Saturday, May 14, 2022 16:00 PM (GMT+7)

Using expired seasoning may not make you sick, but it will greatly reduce the flavor of the dish. So, how to store and use spices properly?

Shelf life of spices

Spices are usually made from the roots, bark or dried stems of plants while herbs are fresh or dried leaves of plants.

Dried herbs such as basil, oregano, thyme, dill, parsley, mint, etc. usually keep for 1 to 3 years.

Ground dried spices include garlic powder, ground cinnamon, turmeric powder, ginger powder, paprika, etc. have a shelf life of 2 to 3 years.

Spices with whole seeds, dried whole fruits for the longest time.

Salt is the exception where there is no shelf life.

Signs of broken seasoning

When a spice is said to be spoiled, most of its flavor and color has been lost.

If you’re not sure how long you’ve left the seasoning, you can test the taste by crushing or rubbing a small amount in the palm of your hand. If the scent is weak and the fragrance is faint, it should be replaced immediately.

The best way to store

Minimize exposure to air, high temperature, light and moisture.

Spice jars should be kept in a cool, dry, and dark place, such as a drawer or cabinet, away from the stove or oven. Ensure that the spice storage place is clean, the spices are classified and arranged neatly and scientifically.

The best container should be made of glass or ceramic that is easy to clean, low in air and moisture. Prioritize the use of sealed bottles, jars and containers for spices, ensuring that the aroma, watery or lumpy, moldy, damp…

Colored spices like paprika will retain their pigment longer if kept in the refrigerator. Similarly, store spices that contain oil, such as sesame, in the refrigerator to prevent rancidity.

If you notice mold in any of the spice containers, remove them immediately.

Use some reasonable seasoning


Garlic is a strong-smelling tuber that is considered the most “friendly” seasoning of meat and green vegetables. With sautéed vegetables, garlic will be added when the cooking oil is just hot to deodorize and create aroma for the dish. Usually, garlic is pounded or minced and then added to beef, pork, and chicken during preliminary processing. However, do not use too much garlic because the smell of garlic will overwhelm the aroma of the meat. Garlic is suitable for stir-fried dishes, stews or fried meat.


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Ginger is often used to marinate meat and fish and remove fishy odors. Ginger contains Zingibain yeast, which makes meat tender. When using, you should wash and use the peel because it has a healing effect and enhances flavor. Ginger root should not be used for a long time because it contains sulfur toxins that are harmful to the liver.


If you want to use spices to make a dish a little more colorful, paprika is a suitable choice. The taste of paprika is not too pungent like fresh chili, so it will not affect the quality of the dish.


Ground pepper is made from ground dried peppercorns. They are still used as a seasoning for most dishes, especially soups and stews. Not only helps to create aroma for dishes, ground pepper also brings natural flavor, making the dish more delicious. If freshly ground, the pepper will be very fragrant. The longer you leave it on, the more the scent will fade over time. Therefore, you should only buy little by little to use. Unlike ground pepper, ground pepper is often used when green and suitable for stews.


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Honey contains many healthy components such as carbohydrates, antioxidants, fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. These substances are easily decomposed when heated, distilling honey at high temperature. Only mix honey in warm water, tea or milk at about 40 degrees Celsius or less.

When storing honey, it should be kept in a glass jar, away from sunlight. Should not be kept in metal jars because they are easily degraded and can cause poisoning when used. When you see a lot of air bubbles in the honey jar, it means it’s metamorphosed, so throw it away.


Salt is considered one of the indispensable spices when cooking, salt brings saltiness to dishes. However, if you take too much, it will be difficult to eat. Salty eating habits are also not good for health because they increase sodium content in the body, leading to quite dangerous diseases. Among salts, sea salt is always the first choice of housewives because they are low in sodium and contain iodine. Salt goes well with foods such as eggs, poultry, fish, seafood and soups.

Sugar, MSG (monosodium glutamate)

When making fried and baked dishes, you should only use less sugar to marinate foods. If used a lot, the dish is very easy to burn, darken causing unsightly and bitter taste. Nutritionists recommend that you should not add MSG when the food is boiling at a high temperature, only add it when the food is about 70-80 degrees Celsius.

At the same time, housewives should use a small amount of MSG just enough to stimulate the taste buds. Do not put too much of this spice in food because some people who are allergic to MSG may experience headaches, dizziness, and even food poisoning.


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This is a spice that helps to deodorize and enhance the flavor of dishes. Some people who make sweet and sour ribs often add vinegar early. Thus, the smell of vinegar will overwhelm the characteristic sweetness and aroma of meat and sugar when fried golden. Just mix vinegar with tomato sauce and pour over the cooked ribs, boil for a few minutes, lift off. When preparing dishes, mixing with meat, you should use lemon instead of vinegar.

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