Massaman Curry Fried Rice Recipe for Fried Rice with Crispy Onions, Fried Potatoes and Peanuts. Leftover rice recipes. Copyright © 2022 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Best Leftover Rice Recipes – 15 Rice Dishes to Make with Leftover Rice

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Our best leftover rice recipes will make you everything from deliciously filling fried rice dishes to comforting rice porridges and rice soups. If you’re like us and towards the end of the week you always have leftover rice in the fridge, then try our recipes for leftover rice, from our restaurant-style Chinese fried rice to our turmeric rice porridge with fried eggs in chilli oil.

When it comes to cooking, there are few things I love more than getting creative with leftover rice, as evidenced by my cabbage roll fried rice and Thai Massaman curry fried rice, and I have a few new rice dishes I’ll be adding to this collection of recipes for using up leftover rice, as soon as we buy a new rice cooker. Yes, we’ve used it that much.

I’ve been developing a lot of new rice recipes recently, which I’ll add to this round-up soon, because as regular readers know, when we’re not sharing recipes on Grantourismo, we’re developing cookbooks, from our Cambodian cookbook and my Russian-Ukrainian family recipes book to Terence’s Weekend Eggs book and my rice cookbook, which emerged from these posts on Make Rice Not War, A Celebration of Rice Diversity to Inspire Curiosity and Connection and How to Cook Rice Around the World: 66 Rice Dishes by 65 Rice Lovers.

Now before I tell you more about our best leftover rice recipes, which are essentially 15 ways to use leftover rice, I have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader-funded. If you’ve cooked and enjoyed our recipes, please consider supporting Grantourismo by supporting our original, epic, first-of-its-kind Cambodian culinary history and cookbook on Patreon.

You can also support our work by using links on the site to book accommodation, rent a car, purchase travel insurance, or book a tour on Get Your Guide; or shop our Grantourismo online store for fun gifts for foodies designed with Terence’s images; or buy something on Amazon, such as these award-winning cookbooks, cookbooks by Australian chefs, classic cookbooks for serious cooks, cookbooks for culinary travellers, and gifts for Asian food lovers. Now let me tell you about our best leftover rice recipes.

Leftover Rice Recipes – 15 Dishes to Make with Leftover Rice

Now before I share our best leftover rice recipes, I’ve got a few rice cooking tips to share. Firstly, if you cook rice frequently, do invest in a rice cooker for steaming rice and a carbon steel wok for stir-frying fried rice.

You should also stock your kitchen with Asian pantry essentials, such as soy sauces, fish sauces, sesame oils, crispy fried shallots, chilli flakes, and sesame seeds. I also suggest making batches of our homemade Sriracha, chilli oil, and furikake seasoning.

The product we use most in our rice recipes is fish sauce. If you don’t live in Southeast Asia and don’t have access to a variety of fish sauces, we love Thailand’s Megachef for consistency of quality, while our American readers often recommend Red Boat Fish Sauce, although we haven’t tried it yet as it’s not available here in Southeast Asia. Now let me share about our best leftover rice recipes.

Massaman Curry Fried Rice Recipe for Fried Rice with Crispy Onions, Crunchy Potatoes and Pan-Roasted Peanuts

There are few things I hate more than food wastage and throwing out perfectly good leftover food when there are so many hungry people in the world. Fried rice is not only a fantastic solution for leftover rice, but also for leftover curries and stir-fry leftovers. Fried rice was invented to use up leftover rice, after all.

As you all know, I’m obsessed with rice, and Terence and I love to invent new fried rice dishes, so I created this Massaman curry fried rice recipe to use up leftover steamed rice and some Thai Massaman curry leftovers we had in the fridge from the previous night.

This Massaman curry fried rice recipe makes a fantastic, filling, fragrant fried rice with crispy onions, crunchy fried potatoes, pan-roasted peanuts, and the perfume of dried spices, such as cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and it’s another of our best leftover rice recipes. Garnish with fresh coriander to lighten things up.

Massaman Curry Fried Rice Recipe for Fried Rice with Crispy Onions, Crunchy Potatoes and Pan-Roasted Peanuts

Chinese Special Fried Rice Recipe, a Fantastic Filling One Pot Meal

Our Chinese special fried rice recipe makes use of that leftover steamed rice you have in the fridge and that wonderful char siu pork you cooked. Fantastic and filling, it’s our go-to recipe when we’re looking for an easy one-pot dish to make and it’s one of our best leftover rice recipes.

Long-known to us as a classic Chinese special fried rice of the kind we’d eat in Chinese restaurants growing up in Australia, this fried rice dish is sometimes called Yangzhou fried rice, because its provenance is the city of Yangzhou in Jiangsu province in China, one of the culinary hotbeds of Huaiyang cuisine.

The traditional version of this Chinese special fried rice dish includes cooked rice, char siu pork, shrimps, scallions, scrambled eggs, peas, and carrots. Sea cucumber and crab meat were other additions.

Growing up in Australia, fried rice was always served in the Cantonese restaurants that were in every city and town’s Chinatown, at suburban Chinese restaurants, and at food court all-you-can-eat buffets. While this dish probably tastes just fine after sitting in a bain-marie for a few hours, it really shines when made fresh and steaming hot.

Chinese Special Fried Rice Recipe, a Fantastic Filling One Pot Meal

Tonkatsu Fried Rice with Onsen Eggs Recipe for a Rice Leftovers Dish You’ll Want to Plan

This tonkatsu fried rice with onsen eggs recipe combines a few of the things we love – fried rice, eggs and tonkatsu, the succulent Japanese pork cutlet breaded in panko crumbs and deep-fried.

Like the original Chinese fried rice that was invented to use leftover rice, this tonkatsu fried rice with onsen eggs recipe is the result of combining leftovers – we had a couple of pieces of tonkatsu, the deep-fried Japanese breaded pork cutlets, and some steamed rice in the fridge – as well as a little experimentation, as Terence had been making onsen eggs.

It’s easily one of our best leftover rice recipes. If you enjoy this, you’ll also love these tonkatsu burgers, so make extra. You’ll need this tonkatsu recipe to make your tonkatsu and tonkatsu sauce first.

Tonkatsu Fried Rice with Onsen Eggs Recipe for a Rice Leftovers Dish You’ll Want to Plan

Cabbage Roll Fried Rice Recipe for a Fragrant Fried Rice Inspired by my Grandmother’s Cabbage Rolls

My cabbage roll fried rice recipe makes an incredibly tasty, fragrant fried rice inspired by my Ukrainian-Russian grandmother’s cabbage rolls. If you love cabbage rolls but you think they’re too complicated or time-consuming to make (they’re not), and you love fried rice, you must make this.

To the fried onion, garlic, carrot, ground pork, and rice mixture normally ensconced within cabbage leaves, I add shredded cabbage, spices, a little tomato paste, and fresh aromatic dill to make a deliciously addictive fried rice that is my new favourite dish and one of our best leftover rice recipes.

Every time I’ve made the savoury minced meat and rice mixture for stuffed cabbage rolls in recent years I’ve found myself contemplating the idea of creating a cabbage roll fried rice recipe. Well, I finally did it and I’m so pleased I did. It’s absolutely delicious and incredibly addictive, so take that as a warning.

Cabbage Roll Fried Rice Recipe for a Fragrant Fried Rice Inspired by my Grandmother’s Cabbage Rolls

Best Chicken Fried Rice Recipe Is Made With Spicy Southern Fried Chicken Leftovers

This chicken fried rice recipe combines our favourite Nashville-style Southern fried chicken by chef Morgan McGlone of Belles Hot Chicken with a classic fried rice. Like the tonkatsu rice above, this chicken fried rice recipe is the result of experimentation, as the best leftover rice recipes are.

Whenever Terence make batches of Southern fried chicken, we always have leftovers. Often, we’ll reheat the chicken the next day and have it for lunch or a snack. However, after making tonkatsu fried rice and it turning out so well, we thought Terence should try making fried rice with spicy fried chicken.

One of his attempts at this chicken fried rice dish really stood out, borrowed from a Japanese curry fried rice recipe. He made it with a little curry powder and it was magic.

Not all curry powders are created equal obviously. In this case, we use the Nguan Soon curry powder brand which comes from Thailand but you could use your favourite curry powder – or even make your own curry powder blend.

Our Best Chicken Fried Rice Recipe Is Made With Spicy Southern Fried Chicken Leftovers

Shrimp Fried Rice With Shrimp Paste Recipe for Cambodia’s Bai Cha Kapi

This shrimp fried rice with shrimp paste recipe makes Cambodia’s bai char kapi – ‘bai’ is rice and ‘cha’ is to fry or stir-fry and kapi is shrimp paste. It’s a classic fried rice distinguished by sweet plump prawns and the pungency of shrimp paste and it’s another of our best leftover rice recipes.

If you love the salty, funky flavours of shrimp paste and fish sauce, you’ll love this. You don’t? Then leave out the shrimp paste and you’ve got a fantastic shrimp fried rice. It is super easy to make if you have leftover steamed rice in the fridge – day-old steamed rice is good, but a couple of days old is even better.

You won’t see this on menus all over Cambodia, as most Cambodians prefer fish sauce and their beloved fermented fish paste called prahok to shrimp paste, however, you’ll come across this shrimp fried rice dish wherever you find shrimp paste made and sold, whether it’s made from river prawns or ocean prawns.

We use a local shrimp paste, but you’ll probably have greater luck finding a Thai shrimp paste than a Cambodian shrimp paste outside the country. You could also add a little fish sauce to this if you really love funky, fishy flavours.

Shrimp Fried Rice With Shrimp Paste Recipe – How to Make Cambodia’s Bai Cha Kapi

Cambodian Fried Rice Recipe for the Best Bai Cha

This Cambodian fried rice recipe makes the best Cambodian bai cha (fried rice), a lighter version of the popular Chinese fried rice, and another of our best leftover rice recipes. Thanks to many centuries of Chinese trade and migration, Chinese fried rice is found across Southeast Asia. In Cambodia, there are many variations of fried rice, bai char being the most ubiquitous.

Bai cha (also written as bai tcha, bai char, bai chaa, bay cha) is simply ‘fried rice’ – ‘bai’ is rice and ‘cha’ is to stir-fry – and it’s distinguished by two quintessential breakfast ingredients, sausage and eggs, Siem Reap sausage in particular, the local take on lap cheong, the Cantonese name for a smoked, sweetened, red Chinese sausage.

Sometimes you’ll see a fried egg plopped on top in addition to the egg combined through the rice. You’ll also see fried rice made with pork and shrimps; fried rice with mixed seafood, mainly found on the Cambodian coast (look for bai char Kampot and bai char Kep, named after the coastal towns where they originate); and the luxuriant bai char kdam (fried rice with crab).

Cambodian Fried Rice Recipe – How to Make the Best Bai Cha

Kimchi Fried Rice Recipe with Fried Egg for Kimchi Bokkeumbap

This easy Korean kimchi fried rice recipe makes kimchi bokkeumbap, rice stir-fried with Korea’s famously fiery fermented cabbage kimchi and spicy chilli paste gochujang that’s topped with soft fried eggs and sprinkled with roasted seaweed, sesame seeds, and, if it’s not spicy enough for you, the Korean chilli flakes called gochugaru.

It’s fantastic, filling and comforting and it’s another of our best leftover rice recipes.If you enjoyed our Korean spicy noodles recipe for stir-fried udon noodles with kimchi, bacon, pork, and fried eggs, and you’re a lover of fried rice then you’re going to love this easy Korean kimchi fried rice recipe with fried eggs. It’s equally delicious and just as easy to prepare.

The recipe makes a simple kimchi bokkeumbap. There’s no pork or bacon in this kimchi fried rice as there is in those spicy noodles, however, you could always add them if you like. It’s a very versatile rice dish. I ran out of kimchi the other day and add braised cabbage to the little kimchi I had left.

Easy Korean Kimchi Fried Rice Recipe with Fried Egg for Kimchi Bokkeumbap

Satay Chicken Fried Rice Recipe

My tasty satay chicken fried rice recipe was created to make use of some leftover Thai satay chicken skewers, Thai peanut satay sauce and steamed rice that we had in the fridge, making it another of our best leftover rice recipes.

You’ll need to make the Thai chicken satay skewers recipe for sate gai first, which will make you Thai satay chicken in the Southern Thailand style that you’ll find at street food stalls all over Thailand.

While you’re doing that, prepare our authentic Thai satay sauce recipe, which will make you a genuine Thai peanut satay sauce from scratch to go with Thai satay skewers. A warning: it’s a slightly tweaked recipe from chef David Thompson’s Thai Street Food cookbook, so it’s a bit of a cooking project.

David’s recipe calls for dried chillies to be soaked, coriander and cumin seeds to be roasted – separately, and a spice paste to be pounded in a mortar and pestle, before you even make the peanut sauce. I provide a few short-cuts in my recipe.

Tasty Satay Chicken Fried Rice Recipe to Use Leftover Satay Chicken and Steamed Rice

 

Turmeric Rice Porridge Recipe with Fried Egg, Fragrant Herbs and Crunchy Shallots

Inspired by our many years living in Southeast Asia and eating countless bowls of rice porridge, my recipe for a gently spiced turmeric rice porridge with fried eggs in chilli oil is another of our best leftover rice recipes.

In China, traditional congee garnishes include pickled vegetables, bamboo shoots, century eggs, etc while in Southeast Asia, they can include crunchy fried garlic, spring onions, slithered ginger, sliced omelette, and ground peanuts.

This rice porridge brims with flavour and texture, thanks to eggs fried in homemade chilli oil which I cook in this adorable mini fry pan and garnishes, such as fresh fragrant herbs, crispy fried shallots, and a sprinkle of chilli flakes, along with a squirt of homemade Sriracha.

It’s not only delicious, it’s healthy due to the turmeric, which contains curcumin, an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve depression and anxiety. More recipes with turmeric here.

Turmeric Rice Porridge Recipe with Fried Eggs and Chilli Oil, Crunchy Shallots and Herbs

Oyakodon Recipe for a Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl

Published as part of our Weekend Eggs recipe series of quintessential eggs dishes from around the world, Terence’s easy oyakodon recipe makes another of our best leftover rice recipes.

This Japanese chicken and egg rice bowl consists of silky-soft scrambled eggs with sweet spring onions and tender chicken simmered in dashi, served atop a bowlful of steamed Japanese rice. And there’s nothing stopping you from using leftover Japanese steamed rice.

You’ll need bonito flakes and kombu to make the dashi stock. Also source some shichimi togarashi – a blend of seven spices with chilli as a base – to sprinkle over the top of this dish. One of the most popular brands of Japanese togarashi is S&B brand.

There are specially-made oyakodon pans to cook this dish in. Terence uses a 15cm pan as we find the bigger size makes a rice bowl that is far too filling for us. Chefs in Japan just slide the eggs into the bowl in one motion, but Terence finds a silicone spatula is essential to help it on its way.

Easy Oyakodon Recipe for a Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl for Weekend Eggs

Katsudon Recipe for a Japanese Pork Cutlet and Egg Rice Bowl

Another popular Japanese donburi or rice bowl meal, katsudon consists of a crunchy tonkatsu, a Japanese pork cutlet, cooked in eggs and spring onions, served atop a bowl of Japanese steamed rice (leftover Japanese steamed rice is perfectly acceptable), sprinkled with slices of scallions.

The name ‘katsudon’ is derived from ‘katsu’, which means ‘cutlet’ – a breaded piece of pounded meat dredged in flour, egg and bread crumbs (in Japanese cooking, it’s panko breadcrumbs) before being fried – in this case, ‘tonkatsu’ (pork cutlet), and ‘don’ from ‘donburi’, Japanese rice bowl.

Some restaurants top katsudon with extras such as finely sliced ginger, an egg yolk, some use Japanese chilli powder, or a big squeeze of Japanese mayonnaise, but we find that there’s a good balance of flavour in this katsudon recipe as it is. This is easily another of our best leftover rice recipes.

Katsudon Recipe for a Japanese Pork Cutlet and Egg Rice Bowl for Weekend Eggs

Chicken Rice Porridge Recipe for the Cambodian Congee Borbor Sach Moan

Our Cambodian chicken rice porridge recipe makes the Cambodian congee, borbor sach moan. It’s long been thought that this chicken rice porridge is a dish of Chinese origin and part of the Cambodian-Chinese culinary heritage rather than a Khmer dish, but no matter its provenance it’s become a comfort food favourite of all Cambodians.

We’ve observed Cambodians tuck into big bowls of this borbor for breakfast, brunch, lunch, an afternoon snack, dinner (particularly if someone is feeling ill), and a late night supper, i.e. hangover cure.

Here in Siem Reap we can find borbor made with chicken, pork, fish, dried fish, seafood, snails, and frog legs, and it’s served with an array of condiments, from dried fish floss and pickled vegetables to fish sauce, chilli flakes, and fresh fragrant herbs.

Cambodian Chicken Rice Porridge Recipe for Borbor Sach Moan, Cambodia’s Congee

Comforting Cambodian Rice Soup Recipe with Pork Meatballs for Borbor Sor

This Cambodian rice soup recipe with pork meatballs is a comfort food favourite that’s typically eaten for breakfast – and breakfast here in Siem Reap is one of our favourite meals as there’s so much to choose from.

Options include nom banh chok, the fresh rice noodles doused in coconut-based curries served with edible flowers, leaves and herbs; kuy teav, a noodle soup with a clear broth and beef, pork, offal, or chicken; smoky, grilled pork and rice; and, of course, borbor, Cambodia’s rice soup or rice porridge, commonly known as congee across Southeast Asia.

Called ‘borbor sor’ or ‘white rice porridge’ in Khmer and made with leftover jasmine rice, it’s one of several ways to make Cambodian congee. ‘White’ used here distinguishes it from rice porridges and rice soups made from the herb and spice paste called kroeung which have a yellow-green colour depending on the type of kroeung used.

Comforting Cambodian Rice Soup Recipe with Pork Meatballs for Borbor Sor Using Leftover Rice

 

Bacon and Eggs Breakfast Congee Recipe for a Comforting East-West Savoury Rice Porridge

Rice porridges are probably the most widely consumed type of porridge, eaten everywhere from Asia to Europe and the Middle East – from Portugal to Turkey, The Levant to Taiwan – yet they might just be the most ubiquitous in Asia.

Originating in India – in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, plain rice porridge is called kanji, which comes from the word for ‘boiling’ – China is perhaps the country we most associate with rice porridge or congee, although I’d wager that most Asian countries have a congee.

Our hearty bacon and eggs breakfast congee recipe makes a comforting East-West savoury rice porridge that’s inspired partly by the classic Australian breakfast of bacon and eggs with sautéed mushrooms, and partly by Chinese and Southeast breakfast porridges with pork and boiled eggs, and we reckon it’s one of our best leftover rice recipes.

You will need a mortar and pestle to lightly pound the lemongrass, ginger and garlic a few times, just enough to release the aromas, not to make a paste.

Bacon and Eggs Breakfast Congee Recipe for a Comforting East-West Savoury Rice Porridge

 

Published 9 December 2022; Updated and Republished 22 February 2024

Please do let us know if you make our best leftover rice recipes in the comments below, as we’d love to know how they turn out for you.

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A travel and food writer who has experienced over 70 countries and written for The Guardian, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Feast, Delicious, National Geographic Traveller, Conde Nast Traveller, Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia, DestinAsian, TIME, CNN, The Independent, The Telegraph, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, AFAR, Wanderlust, International Traveller, Get Lost, Four Seasons Magazine, Fah Thai, Sawasdee, and more, as well as authored more than 40 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, DK, Footprint, Rough Guides, Fodors, Thomas Cook, and AA Guides.

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