What Dishes Or Drinks Do You Think Everyone Should Be Able To Make?

What Dishes Or Drinks Do You Think Everyone Should Be Able To Make?

Last week, we asked some professional chefs (and the Lifehacker team) what dishes and drinks everyone should be able to cook for themselves. We heard some basic sauces, delicious dishes and drinks that are easy to make, and some other foods that require bedrock cooking skills. Now we’re curious what you think everyone should be able to make for themselves or their families.

One of the things that we heard after last week’s feature was that many of the suggested dishes weren’t as basic as some thought they would be. There were no noodles or porridge or scrambled eggs on the list. Our chefs said that it’s more important to get a good dish under your belt that you can make anytime and requires skills that will take you farther than instant oatmeal or a cup of noodles, but we want to know what you think.

What are some of the things you’re glad you learned how to make, and that you think everyone should be able to prepare well, regardless of skill level? How do you make them? Share your recipes in the comments below.


  • I reckon you should know the ‘basics’ from the various countries:

    Italian: Bolognese, Pizza, Rissotto, Lasagne, Saltimbocca, Scallopini
    American: Hamburger (premium) and Hot Dog (premium)
    English: (premium) Bangers and (good) Mash, Fish and Chips
    Asian: Stir fry, Thai Green curry, Fried rice, Massaman curry, Satay sticks
    Indian: various curries
    German: sausages (premium) and kraute
    Spanish: Paella
    French: some of their dishes can be a bit complicated – won’t suggest any

    I can cook most of these and they aren’t that hard.

    Apologies to Africa and South America.

    Cooking is very similar to computer programming 🙂

  • I think the KISS rule applies to cooking. One of my go to recipes when I’m trying to impress is lamb cutlets with goats cheese and smoked paprika on a bed of spinach and roast beetroot salad – looks impressive when served but is dead simple to cook.

  • Trying out making cocktails is also fun!
    Lots of recipes online, and the more you make them the better you get at it, so you can impress your friends at parties and get them drunk at the same time

  • My code tends to just stop and not go anywhere, my cooking on the other hand I tend to just bash things together and have some fun. (to be fair you may very well do that when you code)

    If I had to teach someone basics recipes I’d give them simple protein meals such as a black bean and beef stuf fry, a butter chicken curry, a roasted rack of lamb (maybe some shanks also) and maybe something pork based, but to be honest I rarely cook with pork.

    More importantly I’d give them an array if side dishes that can be cooked parallel such as smashed potatoes with duck fat and rosemary. Simple boiled veggies with some herbs and stock. Spinach with garlic, beans in a simple sauce how to prepare Asian greens(usually blanched served with oyster sauce and sesame oil.

    Really, if I could give people one thing to do with cooking it would be confidence. Anyone can cook and make good wholesome food. You just gotta make the effort.

  • Salad Dressing. Store bought stuff is just horrible and so full of sugar.
    My fav is Lime juice and Zest, rice wine vinegar, coriander, chilli if you’re game, salt and pepper and a tiny pinch of sugar if it’s too tart, followed up with a nice quality extra virgin olive oil. Can add a little garlic too if you want.

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