leftover rice

Making a pot of rice is always done with leftovers that will be the serving size for a future meal. Fried rice is one of the hall-of-fame no-recipe recipes, with over a thousand diverse offshoots and modifications. Thinking outside the fried rice canon, on the other hand, is where things get even more interesting.

Crispy rice salad transforms rice grains into a toasted textural salad garnish to contrast with whatever else is in the salad bowl, such as a jammy soft-boiled egg or crisp radish slivers. There is no single way to generate golden clusters of crispy grains, so you can either dry them before frying them in oil to enhance their texture or simply cook everything together like a pancake.

Garlic rice, which is essentially fried rice, is an easy way to revitalize day-old grains and a Filipino breakfast staple. However, you can take it a step further by spooning and pressing some warm allium flavor into your mould to give your Spam musubi an extra punch of flavor.

Aside from the golden promise of shimmering oil and a skillet, reheating leftover rice in a soup is a low-effort, high-reward undertaking. Ochazuke is a simple way to make a quick-simmered soup topped with a variety of salty, crunchy, and herbaceous toppings that can imitate the warmth of chicken soup or congee.

While most rice pudding recipes call for uncooked rice, leftover grains can absorb enough cream for a delicate, custardy bite—and can even cut the cooking time in half. And, because there’s no danger of eating undercooked rice here, you can taste as you go until everything is just right.

Even if they aren’t listed as an ingredient, a handful of day-old grains can provide a more firm structure to almost any fritter made using eggs, bread crumbs, or starchy flours. Similarly, when inserted into a frittata, you’ll get silken baked eggs as well as a bronzed and crispy rice layer.


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