Leftovers. A brilliant way of ensuring you get the most out of everything you have, reducing waste. And I love how many cuisines have developed recipes specifically to use up leftover carbohydrates. For Western cuisines it’s day-old bread – think English bread and butter pudding, Italian panzanella, French toast.
With rice being the staple carbohydrate in Asia, the main dish for using leftover rice is simply frying it with whatever else you have on hand. The basics are you need to add some protein and some vegetables. You can keep it super simple or jazz it up – it’s completely flexible. My recipe below is just an example of what I made last night with some leftover belly pork from a roast I made over the weekend.
A few notes:
You almost can’t make fried rice with freshly cooked rice. There’s something about the way the grains separate to take in all the flavours in the pan rather than going stodgy. I actually spread my rice out on a plate and leave it uncovered in the fridge overnight to really dry out the rice. I’ve also tried the healthier option with brown rice, and it’s an individual taste thing, but I think fried rice just works better with white rice because the rice absorbs the flavours better.
You can also just use soya sauce rather than the mix I used below, although the combination of the three sauces, I think, adds a bit more of a complex flavour to the dish, and I think the fish sauce adds an additional hint of umami to the dish.
- 2 cups cooked leftover rice – see note above about drying it out
- 1/2 cup leftover roasted pork belly – you can substitute this with any leftover meat or even sausage
- 2 eggs – I like my fried rice eggy
- 1/3 cup frozen peas
- 1 tbl oyster sauce
- 1 tbl fish sauce
- 1-2 tbl soya sauce
- Drizzle a small amount of oil over the cold rice and use your fingers to really separate the grains
- Heat your frying pan to high, and fry the meat so that the fat renders
- Push the meat to one side of the pan, crack your eggs on the other, and kind of scramble them
- When the eggs are about half done, add the rice to the pan over the eggs and mix everything together so the eggs almost coat the rice
- Add the peas and mix again
- Add the sauce (you can add more or less to taste) and fry till everything is mixed and fragrant
- Enjoy !