July 29th is National Lasagna Day. I love to cook. It is relaxing and I get story ideas while I chop and slice. Of course, I have pen and paper on the counter while I cook.

One of the earliest creative ideas I got when cooking was to make one meal from all my leftovers. At the end of the week, I have all these Tupperware boxes in the refrigerator. Most of them are from homemade meals, some are leftovers from take-out dishes. Then there is a single deli slice here and there and not enough eggs in the carton to make anything that serves the whole family.

The most frustrating parts:

  • there’s not enough from any one leftover to serve every family member
  • reheating takes multiple pots and pans
  • you do not want to toss these leftovers
My family pot by AdS

My family pot by AdS

So next time you have multiple leftovers, make my family pot. It looks like a fried rice or nasi goreng and indeed, it is. However, what many do not realize is that it can be made with so many different ingredients.

Since we are using your leftovers, there are no measurements indicated below and I cannot tell how many can be served once we are done. The key is to be creative with all these leftovers and to dare to turn them all into one delicious meal.

The basics:

  1. cooked rice that has had time to cool down. Make sure you have enough rice to serve everyone
  2. finely chopped garlic and onions
  3. fish/meat leftovers chopped in small pieces
  4. soy sauce or ketjap
  5. spices such as pepper, salt, paprika, parsley, and maybe some hot spices such as chili paste
  6. other leftovers you can add: eggs (scramble them and let it cool down), leftover deli meat slices (cut small), leftover green vegetables esp cabbages, cooked carrots, green beans, even corn, scrimp, ham, bacon, chicken, etc.

In a big pot, brown the garlic and onions in vegetable oil. Add all the fish/meat leftovers and season them. Add the vegetables and mix it all up. Add the soy sauce to taste.

Now take the cooled rice and scoop it in bit by bit. After a few spoons, mix it well and see whether your mix covers all the rice. The mix should turn light brownish. If your rice remains white you need to add some more soy sauce. Continue until you have used all your rice. Keep mixing until you have an equally brown-colored rice mix. Take a bite to see if you want to add some more spices.

Keep this mix on a low heat for a few minutes. Mix again making sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. Serve. Enjoy.

Challenge for our readers: what do you do with your leftovers? Do you turn them into a homemade calzone or a stuffed omelet dish? Let me know!

Alice de Sturler
BQB Blog Manager