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Q: worst left-overs - stuff you never eat

So what left-overs do you never eat, home cooked or brought back from a restaurant?

My top never eat left-over is: FRESH FISH

Lobster and crab however are very edible the next day cold or in a salad. Generally not a left-over person except stuff that was already cooked well-done to begin or stuff that gets better from setting, i.e., barbeque, stews, some pastas.

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  1. i made very crispy fried fish tonight which I will warm gently tomorrow for fish sandwiches. I've done it before with no ill effect, still good the next day.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Candy

      Okay, I guess I should have said, non-fried. Fried will hold up.

      1. re: Candy

        For a fish sandwich, I don't even bother to warm it up. Slather that bread with tarter sauce, cold piece of fried fish, maybe some lettuce and yum, yum.

      2. I think leftover salmon makes great leftovers--as a salad or sandwich (with avocado, greens, bacon ... mmm).

        I don't do leftover sushi.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Chocolatechipkt

          Sushi with cooked fish or no fish is safe enough, but usually gets too dry and stale to be any good. Raw-fish sushi, though, is a complete, total, absolute no. If it's been out on a table in front of you and then spent another hour or three sitting out before it made it back into a refrigerator, yikes. I once knew a guy at work who ate two-day-old leftover refrigerated sushi and got so infested with parasites that he was in the hospital for weeks. It almost killed him.

          Leftover raw fish does not leave the restaurant with me, period.

        2. Mexican and Chinese food never hold well in the fridge--especially if there's anything fried in it. Ditto sushi.

          2 Replies
          1. re: erikka

            totally agree with Sushi - you can not eat the day after unless you like stale rice. I disagree with chinese and mexican - I generally take the wok out and fry up the leftovers and they are still tasty.

            1. re: erikka

              Mexican kinda dries in the shape of the container, and so it's really hard to re-heat!


            2. most white potatoes. only mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes are good reheated.

              1 Reply
              1. re: vanillagrrl

                Salt potatoes (a specialty of central NY state; think Syracuse) are the exception: they are often marvelous reheated if they were good potatoes to begin with.

              2. Salads with lettuce or any sort of fragile greens turn into a soggy mess! Don't know why I even bother saving them, but I do. I think it's a guilt thing.



                6 Replies
                1. re: slynnkiino

                  I was typing practically the same thing until I looked up (duh) and read yours. =P

                  1. re: slynnkiino

                    I totally agree with this, however there was one time I got some wild arugula salad and my husband somehow convinced me to bring the leftovers home because there was a huge amount of it. Well, the next day it still looked pretty good. I decided to use it in a frittata. It was fantastic! Had a bit of the balasamic undertone to it - really just a great addition.

                    1. re: slynnkiino

                      Unless the salad is loaded with toppings, I have to disagree - salad stored in an airtight container with a fresh papertowel keeps the salad crisp for days.

                      1. re: sml779

                        I think the original poster was referring to dressed green salad. Fresh greens do keep well, but once they are dressed, IMHO, they are not worth saving beyond the meal they were prepared for.

                        1. re: pikawicca

                          I was just about to say, soup. My mother never wasted any left-over, and we frequently had leftover salad in a big pot of vegetable soup.

                      2. Fish of any sort is something I can't face the next day. I know that there are a myriad of uses for leftover fish but it just turns me off the next day.

                        Egg salad is another thing that I must consume as soon as I make it -- despite knowing that it will keep just fine in the fridge, I cannot go near it the next day either!

                        1. I love leftover fish - how else do you end up with fishcakes, which I often prefer to the first fish dish anyway.

                          Dressed salad is terrible. I toss it.

                          I never eat the leftover white rice that comes with Chinese food.

                          I hate leftover tomato-sauce pasta. Other sauces I can handle, but red sauce just turns my stomach once it's sat. Don't know why.

                          Other than that, I am a leftover eater. I can't bear to waste food. I usually cook a lot on the weekends, and then plan my leftovers accordingly for weekday lunch, some in the fridge and some in the freezer.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: curiousbaker

                            Leftover white rice from Chinese restaurants makes the best fried rice.
                            A chopped-up scallion, a sliced lap cheong, a beaten egg, a drop of soy -
                            you're totally rockin' in less than five minutes.

                            1. re: condiment

                              I like that too, except i throw in bacon instead of the sausage. Oh lots of hot sauce too.

                              1. re: condiment

                                Except your "left over" rice, was probably "left over" from the restaurant's point of view, when you got it!


                              2. re: curiousbaker

                                I was just about to post how I made awesome congee from leftover Chinese food rice.

                              3. I agree with the white rice from Chinese places being terrible leftover.

                                For me it's anything leftover with shrimp in it. Everything seems to get shrimpy <g> and the texture of the shrimp is just gross.

                                1. I eat leftover fish, if it's been prepared well. Great for lunch.

                                  I can't do leftover french fries. Ugh.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: MuppetGrrl

                                    You got it with leftover french fries. That is truly the one thing I can't salvage. If anyone has ideas, I'd love to hear them.

                                    Anything else, as long as you make something else out of it, it works. Fish for fishcakes as suggested ... and it depends on the fish ... after all, most supermarket delis sell cold cooked salmon. Don't like that 'fowl' taste to chicken that sits overnight, but it works in a cassarole.

                                    A local take-out place clued me to the fact that too much vinegar over greens is what makes them wilt. His salads last overnight because they are primarily oil-based while at another local take-out joint with a heavier vinegar base in the dressing, they rarely make it home. It's not often I'll bring a salad home as a leftover.

                                    1. re: rworange

                                      Ever tried putting them in the oven? I remember my dad doing this with thick cut fries from a bbq place, and it seemed to work all right. I'm guessing it might not work as well with the thin cut fries that are more popular now, but I haven't tried.

                                      1. re: cheesenut

                                        I use the toaster oven, with good results.

                                      2. re: rworange

                                        French fries are not even good half an hour after you get them, once they are cold (maybe it is only 15 minutes). Gotta eat them hot, or throw them out!

                                        1. re: rworange

                                          You can make great home fries with leftover french fries. As long as they weren't overcooked to begin with, you just chop them roughly, fry some onions, add the fries, salt, pepper and wham! Done - good, too!

                                          1. re: kim shook

                                            Cheese fries! It always SEEMS like a good idea to take 'em home (cuz that's the alcohol talking), but there's something about fries, melted cheese, bacon, and scallion, that's impossible to re-heat!


                                      3. I hate left over Kraft Dinner. I don't know what happens to it once it has been sitting in the fridge but I refuse to eat left over Kraft Dinner.
                                        Besides that I don't think that there is anything else that I won't eat as a leftover.

                                        1. In my world, there is nothing nastier than leftover burgers - no matter what powers you have in the kitchen, it is dry and flavor less.

                                          1. i have issues with left-over chicken, turkey or duck if they are reheated. i've always found something strange about the taste that i can't stand. if the meat is in a dish with lots of sauce i can usually eat it.

                                            agree about the sushi, can't eat that the next day.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: auberginegal

                                              with you 100% on that. reheated poultry tastes really off to me. i can handle it a little better if it's small pieces in a sauce, like chinese or thai food. and i have no problem eating it cold the next day in a salad or sandwich.

                                              1. re: cookie monster

                                                I have exactly the same experience, if someone has an explanation or remedy for this, I'd love to hear it. It's fine cold, inedible reheated -- altho my MIL makes turkey hash with leftovers, and that is the one exception I've found; but of course almost anything is better fried ;-)

                                              1. I don't eat leftover stir fry. Or french fries. My favorite leftover is pizza. I eat it when it's hot, then later at room temperature, then cold for breakfast the next morning.

                                                1. Hi... Pho. My wife will bring even as little as 1/2 cup of leftover Pho home from our local vietnamese cafe. Even before we arrive home, the noodles and beef will have imparted way too much gauzy murk to the broth, which, an hour before, was crystal clear. What was jewel-like in its transparency becomes too bathwater-like to enjoy aesthetically...

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: silence9

                                                    Yeah, you would think pho would work. I tried freezing some once which was a horror story. I can still sort of deal with it over-night in the fridge, but it is not something that should sit around.

                                                  2. I can't stand left over lamb. It becomes too strong smelling and tasting like old mutton.

                                                    Left over chuck roast is wonderul. Warm it up, make hash, make stew, make soup, eat it cold out of the tupper ware.

                                                      1. Chinese crullers (or "yiao-tiou").

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                          I actually like the stale ones soaked in fresh congee

                                                          1. re: SomeRandomIdiot

                                                            Actually, if I have to have them, I prefer them in the salty version of Chinese soybean soup (or "dio-jiang").

                                                        2. I agree about dressed salads, just never works.

                                                          Leftover white rice is great for fried rice, especially if you have something else leftover to toss with it.

                                                          But I have never had leftover lobster so I have no idea...I can't imagine not eating all of it the first time around.

                                                          1. Anything deep fried (fish n' chips, french fries, tempura vegetables). Fried chicken is something of an exception in this category.

                                                            Dressed salad.

                                                            I think those two top the list of inedibility after a night in the fridge.

                                                            1. Anything eggy -- scrambled eggs, omelettes, etc. -- ages poorly. Have to make only enough to eat at one sitting.

                                                              I agree with all of the above as well. But fortunately, I have chickens, and they don't have the same hang-ups. Any of the icky leftovers are happily eaten by the hens. (Especially the eggs.)

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: mudster

                                                                Frittata is great as a leftover - makes fantabulous sandwiches.

                                                                1. re: mudster

                                                                  Are you really feeding your chickens eggs? Yuck.

                                                                2. With everything said and mentioned...I'll add:
                                                                  -Nachos with the works (guacamole,beans,salsa,sour cream)
                                                                  -Chinese noodle soups. I always request it in separate containers when ordering takeout.

                                                                  1. I'll add risotto to the list. The texture never lasts more than an hour after preparation.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. I'll second the "dressed salad." When I worked in a restaurant for a year, older ladies would take home dressed salads, and more ridiculously, three bites of dressed salad... You're gonna make me box up three bites of soggy weeds?

                                                                      Never sushi. It makes my stomach turn.

                                                                      Anything with meringue or any alfredo sauce that has separated into its requisite fats... just makes me queasy.

                                                                      1. Hot sandwiches, like a chicken and bacon with cheese, or any type of burger. Even if you cut it in half and wrap it to go, it never holds up well.


                                                                        1. I agree with the dressed salad. Mind you, if your salad has lots of toppings, you can ditch the lettuce/greens and dice the toppings and add lemon or lime juice. Ghetto-salsa! Actually, I find citrus is a great way to bring back a lot of left-over things.

                                                                          Of course, sushi is not just gross the day after, but potentially dangerous. No no no.

                                                                          Otherwise, I'm actually happy to eat almost anything the day after.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: LMGM

                                                                            Have you ever microwaved sushi, you know, just to take the bite off it?


                                                                            1. re: LMGM

                                                                              I don't think a futomaki or a salmon skin roll would be dangerous, but it would be pretty gross.

                                                                            2. The most marvelous thing happened at dinner at Landmarc a few weeks ago. I had the salad with skirt steak, blue cheese, and vinaigrette. It arrived at the table completely dressed, and there was a ton of leftover steak and blue cheese, enough to warrant taking with me. Landmark salvaged the steak and blue cheese, and gave me another takeout container with fresh greens and dressing on the side so that I could make another salad. GENIUS!