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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):

                    http://www.pilotguides.com/destinatio... (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.

                2. i sometimes put it in waffles. it's a nice textural complement.

                  i also like it in tomato soup.

                  also, you can make arancini - you make balls of rice, with a lump of cheese in the middle, then you bread it and fry it.

                  i mean, i love fried rice as much as the next person. just adding some other ideas to the mix.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: pigtails

                    My first thought was arancini. I've made it with Jasmine rice before and although it's a bit different, it's more what you can add to it to make it tasty. I'd make a whole batch of arancini and freeze them. They'd freeze better than fried rice or cooked rice in general.

                  2. i love having lots of rice left to make a big breakfast the next day - fry up the rice with chopped onions, garlic, and tomatoes, then add some black pepper. cook up some eggs, and maybe some sweet longaniza! put on some good, strong coffee (with condensed milk), and invite the neigbours.

                    1. I just saw this recipe for Calas on a link from another post and I was thinking that the next time I had left-over rice, I would like to try this. A Calas is a New Orleans rice fritter. I have never tried this recipe, or any recipe from this site, but it does look interesting.


                      1. I like to make a rice salad with leftover rice. Even though this following recipe calls for Spanish rice, you could easily substitute plain old white rice.
                        MEXICAN RICE SALAD

                        1 recipe Spanish rice, cooled
                        1 can black beans, drained
                        2 small zucchini, finely diced
                        1/2 small jicama, finely diced
                        2 ears white corn
                        1/3 cup toasted pine nuts or pumpkin seeds
                        4 green onion, finely chopped
                        1 can mandarin oranges, drained
                        cilantro leaves to taste, optional
                        Fresh ground black pepper and kosher salt to taste

                        1/4 cup cider vinegar
                        2 Tbsp sugar
                        1 tsp grated orange peel
                        1/2 tsp chile powder
                        1/2 tsp paprika
                        1 tsp dried thyme
                        1 tsp oregano
                        1/4 cup canola oil or other light vegetable oil

                        Mix together all ingredients for dressing. Can be made a day ahead.
                        Mix together all salad ingredients. Toss well with dressing. Refrigerate for about 3 hours.

                        Serves 6-8.

                        1. I just realised I also have a leftover rice dilemma. Kids are not keen on fried rice, so after some searching I found a recipe for Tuna Rice Fritters, which I will attempt tonight.

                          2 corn cobs, kernels removed
                          2 cups cooked basmati rice
                          2 185g cans tuna, drained and flaked
                          6 eggs whisked
                          1 tbs olive oil

                          1. Combine corn, rice, tuna and eggs. Season
                          2. Heat oil over medium heat. Spoon 4 1/4 cup portions of mixture into pan and flatten slightly.
                          3. Cook 2-3 mins each side. Repeat with remaining mixture.

                          The recipe also suggests serving these with a Tomato and dill salsa, which sounds nice but I know the kids wont eat it.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: jaykat

                            i'd let that mixture set up in the fridge for a bit.

                          2. Start with a little sesame oil and Lightly brown some lean pork chunks, add some onion, about a half cup of drained sour kimchi, and some sliced garlic. Stir fry about two or three minutes then add your leftover rice and fry about another three to five minutes. Top it with fried egg. Pure heaven.

                            1. You have probably already done something with your rice from all of the great ideas but, for future reference, I learned recently that plain cooked rice freezes pretty well. I just put it into a ziploc after it has cooled and throw it in my freezer. I love that I can just put one serving in a bowl and microwave it! I seem to remember that once, it kind of broke down a bit (may have been a brown rice) but as a rule I am putting it under a stir fry or curry and I haven't noticed any real big change in texture or flavoring. I am sure others will disagree with me on freezing cooked rice, but it works for me and I hate throwing out food if it can be used later. I think I got this idea when I saw frozen white rice at Trader Joe's, mentioned it to my husband who is a cook and he said they do it all the time at his work as they make huge pans of rice at a time.

                              1. I make this really good rice salad with marinated broiled vegetable kabobs with lamb, rice, feta cheese, red wine vinegar, olives, and olive oil. It's one of my favorites for Spring. Asparagus might be nice in it too.

                                1. I always order extra rice when I order thai food... so I can make egg rice... saute rice in a little butter, get it nice and hot... and let the rice absorb the fatty, buttery goodness. whip eggs & combine with rice in hot pan, cook quickly but not too hot... you don't want to over cook.

                                  then the possibilities are endless... eat w/ salt & pepper... or wrapped in corn tortilla with a little chopped parsley and feta cheese... or w/ salsa & cheese in a tortilla... or with some stir fried veg & oyster sauce dumped on top... oh so many things to do with leftover rice... also good if you have say some leftover carnitas or something like that.. to make rice, egg & whatever hash.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: withalonge

                                    i thought "leftover" carnitas were only mythical! ;-)

                                  2. Arancini, of course. Filled with anything you like.

                                    If you happen to have used a non-sticky variety, you will need to make sure you have enough egg to hold the balls together.

                                    1. I know this isn't as creative as some of these other recipes, but I usually serve leftover rice with those frozen fish fillets, the flavored ones. I use it for nights my hubby is not at home, and i need something healthy for me by myself. First I throw the fish (usually garlic salmon) in the oven according to pkg. When the fish is almost done, I take 1c. leftover rice (single serving so adjust amounts accordingly) add 1Tbls butter, sprinkle with garlic salt & parsley and throw it in the microwave for a min or so. I stir it up and throw the fish on top, volia! great single serving and healthy meal!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: BabyVampJC

                                        I like those little salmon fish fillets (actually all of them). I buy them when I get my fish craving, and want a piece of seafood. My husband doesn't eat fish like I do, and I find them very satisying and reasonably priced. I like your idea for a quick lunch, nice.

                                      2. Mujadarah. My original recipe came from Orangette: http://orangette.blogspot.com/2007/03...

                                        I change things up with the spices. You can add cumin, cinnamon, whatever strikes your fancy. Aside from caramelizing the onions (which is largely unattended), this recipe takes less than 30 minutes to make. You have a hearty, nutritious, incredibly tasty main dish.