Have you heard about the custom for Jewish people to eat Chinese food on Christmas? It all started back in the day when there weren’t so many kosher restaurants to eat at, and the only places open on Xmas were Chinese joints. And the only people frequenting their restaurants were the Jews, since they do not celebrate the gentile holiday. To clarify things: it is not, in fact, a Jewish custom to eat Chinese food on Christmas, but some people enjoy doing so just for kicks. This year, my family decided to follow suit, and we ordered takeout from our favorite Chinese spot, EstiHana.
Have you seen this picture that’s been circulating around the web? Cute, isn’t it?
You know what the best part about ordering Chinese food? All that fresh hot rice they send you, which turns into day-old rice the next day. Leftover rice is the perfect starter for dishes like pineapple fried rice. And contrary to popular belief, most fried rice dishes are not fried at all (we are dispelling lots of myths here today!). So the next time you have leftover rice, think twice before throwing it away.
Other ways to use up leftover rice:
Rice pudding or breakfast cereal (use in place of oatmeal)
Tomato rice soup like this one
Rice stuffing for chicken
Cheesy Mexican rice
Chicken and rice soup
Do you have any good ideas for using up leftover rice? Share them in the comments below!
Easy Pineapple Fried Rice
1 tsp sesame oil
1 cup pineapple, finely diced
12 oz cooked rice (or 1 Chinese takeout container)
2 tbsp eel sauce*
2 tsp soy sauce
3 scallions, chopped
Heat up a skillet and add sesame oil. Toss in pineapple and saute until it begins to caramelize and brown. Add cooked rice, breaking it up with a spatula. If the rice begins to stick, add a little bit of water. Add eel and soy sauce and stir to combine. When rice is heated through, add chopped scallions and serve.
VARIATION: You can add additional chopped vegetables like peppers (red peppers would be great in this), onions, or carrots. Saute them first and when beginning to soften, add the pineapple. Continue as above.
NOTE: Imitation kosher eel sauce is now widely available in supermarkets (I use the Sweet City brand). If you cannot find it, ask for some “sweet sauce” from your local sushi counter.