Recipes Using Leftover Rice You Didn’t Think To Make

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Few Filipino households can hold a meal without steamed rice. The backbone of our cuisine, rice is hearty and filling. On its own, ulam can be extra flavorful, salty, and can be umami bombs. Rice tames the flavors and makes the meal more satisfying. 

We don't always finish off the rice that we make. Leftover rice is common and sometimes, done intentionally since one of our favorite meals of the day is made with sinangag, or fried rice. However, one of the problems you may face with leftover rice is that it dries up and hardens when cold.   

How do you reheat leftover rice

The best way to do this is to reheat it with a little water. Moisture is the first thing that rice needs to stay fluffy. Refrigerating rice leaves it less moist since the refrigerator is a dry environment. By returning some of that moisture back into the rice, you get fluffy rice again. 


If you have fluffy rice again, you can use it for any recipe that uses cooked rice in the ingredients list. Why not one (or two!) of these unique leftover rice recipes

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Bangus Fried Rice Recipe 

If you're a fan of bangus, especially the canned or bottled bangus that is super tender, you'll love this recipe. This recipe uses leftover red rice but can easily be swapped with whatever kind of grain you like to eat. Together with the timeless combination of garlic, onion, carrots, and green peas, the bangus is flaked and tossed with rice for a delicious all-in-one bowl. 


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2 Oriental Fried Rice Recipe 

What makes this fried rice "oriental"? It's the combo of Chinese sauces that makes it taste flavorful. The leftover rice is tossed in a seasoning mixture of soy sauce, hoisin sauce, chili-garlic sauce, and sesame oil to make it smell tantalizing. It's also got bits of Chinese sausage thrown in to make it hearty with every bite.   


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3 Pork Barbecue Java Rice Recipe 

Java rice is the popular rice that's served at pork barbecue stalls. The golden yellow hue is usually just a simple mixture made into annatto seed oil, or atsuete oil. Sometimes it's made more flavorful with melted margarine instead of just oil. That's why this rice is super tasty and appetizing! It's not only appetizing visually but also pretty tasty, too, especially when served with barbecue or has chunks of the meat mixed into the rice itself. 



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4 Ham and Tinapa Fried Rice Recipe 

Combining sweet, salty, and umami is a common theme in Asian cuisine. We love mixing and matching more than two tastes into one dish! That might explain why we love flavorful dishes so much! This fried rice recipe is no different. This rice has the smokiness and umami from the tinapa or smoked fish, salty and sweetness from the luncheon meat chunks, plus even more sweetness and a little tang from the pineapples. 


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5 Jambalaya Fried Rice Recipe 

Jambalaya is a southern United States dish from Louisana. A famous rice dish that has roots in French cooking with a touch of Spanish and African influences, this is the local dish that has more in common to paella than a stew. Remove the rice from this dish, and you'll have a stew. Add rice straight into the pot as it's simmering, and it's jambalaya. The meaty and spicy sausages make it hearty but it's the spices and unique way of cooking the flour in oil that makes it truly delicious. This fried rice version cuts through the long process to deliver its flavors faster, easier to your table. 


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6 Tinapa and Tocino Fried Rice Recipe        

It may sound like an odd pairing but tinapa and tocino become super delicious when served together. The tinapa rice is a salty and savory mixture which is a delicious contrast to the savory-sweetness of the pork tocino. Serve your bowl with even more flavorful ingredients such as atsara and itlog na maalat for a complete breakfast meal.   


7 Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole Recipe 

Cheese and broccoli are commonly paired together. That's because the cheese sauce usually helps make broccoli more delicious and appetizing, especially for those who don't like the vegetable. For this recipe, that combo is mixed with rice and the melted cheese becomes even more appetizing with every spoonful you take.   


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8 Coconut-Tuyo Fried Rice Recipe 

You can make a simple tuyo fried rice. Tuyo or dried fish is flaked and tossed with garlic fried rice for an easy salty seasoning to an otherwise normal fried rice recipe. Add in the coconut, and you instantly get a fried rice meal that's more delicious, more flavorful, and infinitely better tasting fried rice meal with notes of coconut and its sweetness tossed in. 


Leftover rice can be the basis of many dishes! However, for those of us who love fried rice with all our meals, these recipes should help you make every meal a more delicious one every time. 


Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on by submitting your recipe here! 

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