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  • Food To Last For A Month: 5 Meals You Can Prep and Freeze Now, And Cook Later

    These chicken and pork recipes will keep for at least a month!
    by Yummy.ph Team .
Food To Last For A Month: 5 Meals You Can Prep and Freeze Now, And Cook Later
PHOTO BY RIELL SANTOS (left) and MAJOY SIASON (right)
  • The refrigerator is the most important invention in the history of food. Without it, we wouldn't have the luxury of keeping a carton of milk or fresh produce for longer than a few days. We wouldn't have meat that we can freeze and store to cook much later.

    When planning your meals, make them days, weeks, or even months ahead and just put it in your freezer. Meat, when frozen completely and properly, can last for months in the freezer! All you have to do is make sure that you freeze it so that it's ready-to-cook when you bring it out.

    The first thing you need to remember is you need to salt your meats before prepping them if you intend to fry them later on. Once frozen, the meat will absorb the salt but will preserve it. Also, when thawing, it will help draw out more moisture from the meat as it does that you can blot dry. This will result in not only a crispier skin once it's fried but wonderfully seasoned meat, too.

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    How to make freezer meals that you can prepare now and fry later

    These ready-to-cook freezer meats are the perfect meal ideas for days when you can't think of doing more than just frying. Sure, we're not suggesting to eat fried food all the time, but it's good to have these in your freezer for when you have little time to cook, or need to prolong your meats freezer life.

    1. Homemade chicken nuggets and other breaded meat recipes

    PHOTO BY Dairy Darilag
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    There are only a few kids, if not none at all, who doesn't like chicken nuggets. It's delicious, crispy when cooked, each is bite-sized, and best of all, you can cook these straight from the freezer. These squares of breaded chicken are freezer-friendly for a good reason. The breading is what prevents the chunks of chicken from sticking together, and you don't need to do anything more after frying than provide a dipping sauce.

    You need to use the breading method for chicken and other meats, even fish. Try other kinds of breading, too, such as grated coconut, chopped nuts like cashews, or even use crushed crackers to either add to the breadcrumbs or to replace it.

    Try Homemade chicken nuggets, Cheesy chicken nuggets, or Cashew-coated chicken nuggets recipes

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    2. Pork chops and other meat recipes

    PHOTO BY ZOE DEL ROSARIO
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    If you don't have breadcrumbs, you can use instead is just plain flour. A dredge in some all-purpose flour will make sure that your meat will not stick to each other in the freezer. This makes your meal easier to portion out if all you need is just one or two chops. Just remember to season your pork chops or cutlets as well as your flour before dredging and then freezing.

    If, after freezing, you want to coat your pork in some breadcrumbs, just break an egg and prepare the breadcrumbs in shallow plates. Use the breading station method, and you're ready to enjoy your simple crispy pork or use it to make that tonkatsu or katsudon you've been craving.

    Try Breaded pork chop, Parmersan breaded pork chop, and Breaded pork cutlets recipes.

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    3. Siomai and other dumpling recipes

    PHOTO BY RIELL SANTOS
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    While steaming is the traditional way of cooking siomai and other dumplings, you can also "fry" these bite-sized stuffed meals. Think of the Japanese gyoza and how these are cooked. That's how it's done if you don't have a steamer.

    This method of cooking applies to all dumplings so you can basically steam and then fry your favorite siomai, dumplings, and of course, gyoza on the stovetop.

    Want a recipe that skips over the steaming? Fried wontons or the pinsec frito is the perfect recipe for you!

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    4. Lumpia recipes

    PHOTO BY MAJOY SIASON
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    What makes lumpia or spring rolls one of the best freezer meals to make ahead? You can make and prep them in big batches and are instant meal winners. Fry lumpia for merienda or serve it with steamed rice. Lumpia is an extremely versatile recipe, too! You stuff lumpia rolls with different kinds of fillings, such as meat, different kinds of gulay, or a delicious combination of both.

    You also don't need to freeze lumpia rolls separately. The lumpia wrappers will help keep these separate, so when you're ready to fry, pry one off another to separate and fry straight from the freezer.

    Try Lumpiang shanghai and lumpiang gulay recipes.

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    5. Skinless longganisa, tocino, and tapa recipes

    PHOTO BY MAJOY SIASON
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    Making longganisa from scratch is a great way to have these local sausages readily available when you want it. Skinless versions are especially great for freezing since these are already rolled in wax paper, so there is no need to worry that these will stick to each other.

    You can make longganisa out of any meat, so you can control what goes into it. Since these rolls freeze really well, you can grab the few you need any time of the day you want a breakfast meal.

    You can marinate and freeze tocino, tapa, and even daing na bangus recipes, too!

    You don't have to be a slave to the kitchen to put a meal on your table. The idea behind meal planning is thinking ahead about the kinds of meals that you can make now using the food and ingredients you have. The best reason to plan your meals is you don't have to think too hard about what you prepare because you already have meals that are ready to cook in the freezer.

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    This story originally appeared on Yummy.ph.

    *Minor edits have been made by the SmartParenting.com.ph editors.

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