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Jan 28, 2007 11:45 AM

help - leftover rice!

After a LARGE gathering (>80), we ended up with a massive amount of cooked white rice that was left and I am wondering what is best to do with it. Ideally something that can be frozen. Not a huge fan of dessert (rice pudding quickly came to mind as a possibility), so freezing some good fried rice in lunchsize containers seemed like a reasonable project for tonight. But maybe I just haven't met a really good rice pudding recipe yet? Any ideas, but especially for savory things would be great. Rice is my main startch, but I am worried that I wouldn't be able to eat this much before it goes bad! Perhaps, I could even make something alcoholic with it....?

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  1. I have the same issue, but with brown rice. Any recs for brown rice as well.

    1. One note of warning if you're thinking about making lots of fried rice - my sister, a doctor, constantly warns me that leftover fried rice can cause bacillus cereus food poisoning (something about the fact that the rice is cooked, then allowed to come to room temperature, thus allowing the spores to multiple and they can survive the heat used to pan-fry the rice to make fried rice). I've never gotten sick so far from leftover fried rice, but just something to think about, especially if you have *that* much rice leftover.

      2 Replies
      1. re: kcchan

        Yes my FIL and husband are docs and they remind me of this. But then again, my husband says it relatively rare. But you shouldn't keep rice for more than 24-48 hours in the fridge if you are worried about it. We don't keep it around long, but I have to say that med school makes you a germ phobe. Before med school my husband didn't believe in food poisoning!

        Note that rice is not the only culprit, but other grains/legumes that are dry then cooked, then stored then recooked.

        1. re: kcchan

          interesting . . . I have gotten sick off fried-rice so consistently this year that I am sworn off it. My dh swears it is my one favourite chinese restaurant. But I have managed to make myself sick on fried rice from many places and my own left-over rice. I must be super sensitive to that bacillus stuff

        2. Rice not only freezes well, but is one of the few things that is pretty good coming out of a microwave. So freeze away, I say.

          Our leftover rice most often becomes chahan (fried rice) and onigiri (rice balls).

          For chahan, I use frozen veg (peas, carrots, corn, green beens, etc…), some re-generated shitake (keep the liquid to add with shoyu as you're frying), scallions, egg – and both oo and butter. Start with oo, and finish with butter.

          For onigiri, I use the plastic 2-per/triangle form. Spray with a touch of oil to make the release quicker. Inside, I put seeded umeboshi, or some katsuobushi mixed with a little shoyu, or whatever else I may have leftover. Sprinkle some shio-goma (large chunks of salt with sesame seed) or furikake on top. Toast some nori and cut into long slices. But don’t put the nori on the onigiri until ready to eat – so if I’m takig for lunch or a picnic, I carry the nori separately in it’s own sandwich bag.

          My wife and kids like to make rice patties for breakfast – just mix egg and rice and pour onto a pan or griddle and form a “pancake”. They like it with a little soy and Tabasco. I have no idea where this comes from – I prefer just plain rice with an egg for breakfast.

          Interesting bit on the bacillus cereus – my family has had leftover rice forever (I’m over 50 and grew up in Japan) and we’ve never been sick. There was always rice sitting in the pan or cooker. It never lasted more than a day without being remade – but cold rice in the cooker was always available unless it was hot or being made. I freeze mine these days, since I can’t eat it as much as I would like (diabetic), but once again, I’ve never been sick from leftover rice.

          1. rice patties is the way to go. for dinner, i make them as recommended by applehome, with some sea salt (and soy or tabasco on the side). in the morning, i toss some cinnamon and nutmeg in the batter, and my condiment of choice is raspberry or rhubarb jam.

            1. You can make the Vietnamese version of rice patties aka "com chay." They are typically topped w/ a little scallion oil. They make a great little snack on their own but can be served w/ rich or saucy dishes.

              Here's a recipe from the vietworldkitchen website:

              She says leftover rice can be used but that it should be warmed first.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Carb Lover

                As a follow up, I tried making the "com chay" from the above website, and it worked out well overall. I used a non-stick pan and refreshed my day-old rice w/ some water first. I was afraid that it might burn quickly, but it browned pretty slowly and was very manageable. I will let it get a little darker next time. I was a little concerned about flipping too, but it worked fine since I made sure that the bottom was crisp and the rice kernels were fused together.

                The scallion oil that is brushed on after pan-frying is really nice and is similar to what we use for banh cuon. The com chay was nutty and crunchy, although I might use a little more oil for frying next time.

                At a restaurant in San Jose called Nha Toi, we've ordered com chay w/ a rich, minced pork belly dish w/ shrimp paste. It's great spooned on the com chay like crostini. I had some ground pork to use up so made my own version and it was all very tasty! My com chay isn't as good as the one at Nha Toi, but I'll work on it!