The order which you cook things is very important, especially when you are combining a bunch of ingredients into one pot or pan. I like to add seasonings midway through the cooking process so the food has time to absorb them without only seasoning the first few bits.

You want to start with the longest cooking ingredients and move backwards. The thickness of the meats/veggies influences this too, so do not forget to take that in to account. It may take a while to get the hang of speed of cooking vs size of the pieces you are adding. Usually when cooking a stew or curry or stir fry kind of thing, you want to cook the meat first. I don’t really follow this when the ingredients I use take longer than the meat because any fat or contamination by raw meat is cooked out and taken care of anyway.

Thick veggies like potatoes take a long time so should be cooking the longest. This will include, to a lesser extent, broccoli and cauliflower. Onion and garlic go after that, followed closely by meat. Near the end you can add the really thin veggies like leafy greens. Depending on preference, cabbage can be added with onion or later for just a quick cooking instead of softening it. If you want less caramelized onions, you have to hold them back a while.

Rice cooks slowly while noodles cook fast. Sauces and soups need longer times to thicken, removing the watering down there was sure to be in them.

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