Three tips to make daily cooking faster and easier Vietnamese pork and chayote stir fry

Much as I love cooking, my level of enthusiasm to putter in the kitchen varies from day to day. There are days when I am so obsessed that I will spend hours preparing a meal. But there are also days when I’d rather slap something between two slices of bread and consider the result a full meal. Call it biorhythm, call it hormones, call it whatever you like. The thing is, whatever my level of enthusiasm, however low my level of enthusiasm, I want to eat delicious food. So, I’ve developed a system.

There are three things that I keep a supply of and they really shorten the time for preparing every meal. And I’m not talking about store bought items full of additives and unpronounceable chemicals. I’m talking about meat, broth, and a variety of sauces and dressings that I prepare myself.

Cooking meat in bulk

When we buy meat — pork and beef, in particular — I prefer that the meat is uncut. Meaning, a whole slab that weighs anywhere from a kilo and a half to three kilos. I pressure-cook the meat whole with all the herbs and spices that I feel like adding then I cool the meat and chill it. After chilling, the fat turns firm and cutting the meat is easier. I divide the meat into portions, then cut each portion into the size and shape appropriate for the dish I intend to cook the meat with.

I place the cut meat into freezer containers and off into the freezer they go. I just take out a container to thaw the meat an hour or two before cooking and I save on the time it needs for the meat to cook because it is already cooked.

The pork and chayote dish in the photo above was cooked in ten minutes flat. I’ll post the recipe separately.

On page two, the second tip.


  1. Tess Mercado says

    Ang galing mo talaga ms. connie, I will definitely follow this para mapadali pagluluto ko lalo na by next week wala na ko maid.

  2. crisma says

    Thanks again, Connie. That one on keeping a supply of homemade broths and a variety of sauces and dressings are tips that I picked up from you too much earlier (being one of your long time readers)… and really being a good planner is a good tip that we should have in mind, as we aspire to give good, healthy meals for our families. After all, those who do not give much thought to what goes into the meals of their families are the ones who resort to the instant meals.

    • says

      “After all, those who do not give much thought to what goes into the meals of their families are the ones who resort to the instant meals.”

      I agree. For some people, food is just a tummy filler rather than a source of nutrition.

      Even worse — some people put more priority in how their food LOOKS rather than what they really get out of it.