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Mar 18, 2008 10:20 AM

what to do with leftover rice?

my parents brought take out thai to us for dinner the other night, and we're now left with 3 or 4 large take out boxes of plain white rice staring us in the face from the fridge shelves. what should we do with this stuff? i'm not a fan of rice pudding, so that's out.

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  1. Fried rice, stuffed peppers, rice stuffing for cornish hens or roast chicken?

    1. Leftover rice is just made for fried rice! You could also add it to chicken soup. Or freeze some of it for later. The frozen rice will be a little dry, but you can microwave it with some water to bring it back and then just eat it with something saucy.

      1. fried rice, definitely! Usually when I make rice at home, I always make extra for fried rice the next day!
        Rice pudding.
        Mexican (spanish rice) to go along with a dinner
        rice salad (vinaigrette and dill)

        1. I was thinking this morning of what to do with the 4 cups of left over rice this morning. Correction. Which fried rice should I make? Shrimp? Pork?Chicken?
          I retrieved a couple of pork chops from the freezer and will make a "sort of" char siu and make Indonesian BBQ pork fried rice, and save the shrimp for fresh wrapped imperial rolls.
          You have perfect rice for fried rice, get out your wok and veggies!

          1. Fried rice, clearly. Select a fat, either real lard or a favorite oil. Perhaps you wish a meat product or two, like diced ham or a few shrimp or leftover pork/chicken. Choose several veggies. I am partial to celery as one of the veggies myself, because I like some texture, and always have celery around. Pick veggies with nice color. I usually dice the veggies if I have used diced ham, so that it is harmonious. Select the seasoning. You can go with fish sauce (nam pla) or soy sauce, or it is possible to combine them happily. Or, you can just use salt. Myself, I love ground pepper in my fried rice. But then, I use fish sauce, and that goes amazingly well with pepper. Often fried rice does not include hot things like chiles, but you can put some in, either fresh or a paste like thing. Garlic also can go in there nicely, if you like. Consider something green to garnish, like a few small slices of green onion tops, or Thai basil leaves. Fried rice is best with a fair amount of oil per cup of cooked rice, perhaps 1T per. Also, pineapple goes nicely in fried rice.

            If you like, fry and/or partly scramble an egg or two in your dish, but the egg can be omitted easily enough. Anyway, always use rice that has sat overnight in your fridge for fried rice. Then it reheats properly in the wok/frypan. I love fried rice, btw.

            If you want your fried rice to look like it is from a Chinese takeout joint, you will need to color the recipe more caramel/molasses and add a sweetish flavor. The fried rice I have described is more common in home cooking (and more yummy, IMO), and is not dark brownish. Also, takeout fried rice will often have diced tofu in it, which is a fine idea.

            8 Replies
            1. re: saltwater

              i like to add some chili garlic paste. nice technique, saltwater!

              1. re: alkapal

                Oh yes, my Indonesian fried rice includes sambal.

                1. re: alkapal

                  Thanks, alkapal! I agree with you and chef chicklet about sambal oelek or chili garlic paste as a good addition. I'm wondering if those Hunanese salted chiles from the cookbook of the month threads will work also. My batch is almost ready/fermented.

                  1. re: saltwater

                    try a sri lankan sambal made with fresh chillys, onions and fresh grated coconut sometime (usu. with lime juice). soooooo good. addictive with sri lankan lamb curry.

                    here is a similar one, made with maldive fish (same flavor profile as those little salted dried shrimp, but with some slight smoky flavor, iirc):

           (maldive fish explained, plus a recipe for "seeni sambal"


                    or here (scroll to third recipe):

                    1. re: alkapal

                      That sounds delicious. I love lime. I've eaten lots of Indian food, but nothing much from Sri Lanka. I've put a reminder to try it in my files.

                      1. re: saltwater

                        the sambals (and curries) are awesome. mr. alka is from sri lanka, so that was my intro. to sri lankan food, also having known, loved, and prepared indian food.

                      2. re: alkapal

                        Alkapal: I would love to try one of your own Sri Lankan recipes. I haven't had much Sri Lankan food myself, but definately interested in trying something. Can you post something that you cook at home?

                        1. re: luckyfatima

                          will do, luckyfatima, just give me a couple days, please.