Fried Rice from a combination of leftover chicken dishes

I came from a family where no food goes to waste. My grandmother especially is very good with the phrase ‘mm th’ang phar sing’ (in hokkien) – it means don’t waste anything, eat up everything, and don’t let the food go to waste!

What I mean by ‘leftover food’ does not mean bones or scraps from people’s plates… I mean proper dishes that we may not be able to finish at mealtime or where there is too little to serve as a proper dish.

Most times we have leftovers from our dinner, so the person who is responsible for cooking the next meal will have to come up with very creative ways to re-use those leftovers.

For example, we have leftover chicken/meat dishes, steamed fish etc. These leftovers are especially handy and can be used to re-create next day’s lunch, such as fried rice, fried noddles, noodle soups, omelette, or porridge etc.

Here are some examples:

Kiam Chye Boay

Fried Noodles

Fish Porridge

Kiam Chye Boy – a melting pot of awesome goodness! This is a delicious pot of leftovers brewed with pickled mustard. The soup had all the goodness and mostly leftovers from Chinese New Year’s eve steamboat dinner. Most times my mother even added Jew Hoo Char and roast pork to the dish.

Fried noodle / rice – if you have a leftover meat dish and or greens, you already have a readymade noodle / rice dish on hand for breakfast or lunch!

Whenever I steam fish, I will often cook a bit extra, so we will have fish porridge for breakfast or lunch the next few days. This dish is especially welcomed during the cold winter mornings, where a hot bowl of porridge is very soul soothing and yet nutritious.

What are the advantages of using leftovers?

Saves Time

As they are already pre-cooked, there is minimal cooking time required. Just cut up leftover meat pieces and add to the dish.


On top of that, the leftovers are already infused with flavours; they are delicious and taste-ready. So we do not need additional spices or sauces for the delicious new dish.

Budget Friendly

By using leftovers, not only will you be helping not to add to the unnecessary landfill, but you will also be saving your hard earn money at the same time. Your bank account will thank you for this.

However, with the hot weather upon us, do be very careful when storing your leftovers. Make sure to:

  • Refrigerate the food properly.
  • Use the leftovers within a short time frame.
  • When cooking leftovers, make sure you heat / cook them thoroughly.

Further, to ensure a fast and efficient cooking process, have your garlic oil on hand. It just helps to enhance your dishes. It will be very helpful on top of all your sauces and frozen vegetables that you can add.