Livening up some leftovers

Posted in Food, Recipes by Elizabeth on September 1, 2010

The other night I came home to a fridge full of leftovers.  Thanks to a party we had, there was an abundance of food for the week.  On this particular night I wanted to finish the skirt steak that was leftover.  This originally was a part of our mini taco station.  The rest of the taco ingredients, however, had been devoured (we do love tacos!).  With a surplus of meat, there was only one thing to do – Fried Rice! You don’t have to have skirt steak to make this, use leftover (or fresh) chicken, turkey, pork, shrimp, or other steaks.  They all work well in this dish.  Plus it couldn’t be easier to make.  To start, I put on a cup of rice to cook (this is also an excellent dish to use leftover rice in – some people prefer the leftover rice rather than fresh).  To help flavor the rice, I cooked it in beef stock instead of water.  Again, you can use chicken, fish, or vegetable stock with rice rather than water.  It helps to quickly and easily add some much needed flavor.

Next I prepped my ingredients while heating a saute pan over medium heat.  These are all ingredients that I had on hand, which, of course, made this dinner extra productive in cleaning out the fridge.


  • 1/2 an onion
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • about 2 1/2 cups of spinach
  • 3 eggs
  • rice
  • leftover steak
  • soy sauce
  • sriachi sauce
  • 1 lemon
  • a few basil leaves

The best thing about fried rice is that it is truly a leftover dish.  The carrots and spinach were just the ingredients I had on hand and decided would enjoy in the dish.  If you have peppers, asparagus, peas, mushrooms – anything really – you could add them instead.

I diced my onion, minced the garlic, and chopped the carrots.  By this time, my pan was nice and heated.

I added some olive oil and sautéed my onions and carrots.  I added a healthy dash of salt to this mix so the onions and carrots start to release their juices. I added the carrots pretty early because they would need awhile to cook.  Judge your veggies and other ingredients accordingly.  After these got nice and golden and fragrant, I added my garlic (don’t add this first, it will burn and the dish will be ruined, there is no recovery from burnt garlic).  I let the garlic cook in there for about 2 minutes.

Next up was the spinach and the meat (The whole reason we’re making this dish)! I added them and let everything sauté for a bit, the spinach shrinks up quickly. Once that started cooking down I added the rice and mixed everything.  Then I made a well in the center of the pan and plopped in my eggs (you’ll want to scramble these in a bowl before adding them).  Get your eggs cooking and then mix it in with the rest of the rice.

Now that the egg is in there, turn the heat off. This means, it’s sauce time!  Add your soy sauce and sriacha sauce! Salt and pepper to taste.  I also squeezed some fresh lemon juice and stirred it in.  After plating I tore fresh basil over the dish. And there we have it – a tasty fried rice dish.  A perfect way to spice up some leftovers.


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