What to do with leftover vegetable stir fry?

When the fridge leaves you with a bowl of overnight vegetable stir fry (in this case it was homemade), you make a good and hearty meal out of it. To do so, you have the following options:-

(a) Heat up in the microwave and then eat it right away. Since it’s only a small bowl of veggies, your next thought would be..’what else I can eat to fill the void of my quarterly-filled appetite?”….normally I would go down the path of junk food or a grilled cheese sandwich. Tsk tsk tsk….bad Emily!

(b) Pop it in a microwave and cook some extra rice on the side.

(c) Bulk it up with fresh hokkien noodles (the long life version which is available from the shelf instead of the refrigerated ones).

 1 plate of chow mein for dinner

The whole point behind this food recycling thing is to save time, work (cooking) and money. Maybe food recycling doesn’t sound too appetising… what about “leftover makeover” sound to you?

Whenever I have a leftover stir fry, may it be homemade or from the Chinese takeaway, I try to be “creative” and make a big meal out of it. Sometimes when I try out new Asian food places where I’m served with bland stir fries… rather than tip the unfinished dishes aside and forget about them, I would bring them home and  give them some more love….i.e. dousing with some good quality soy sauce, maybe some sesame oil, garlic or ginger oil, add homemade fried shallot, white pepper…. (If you haven’t noticed, I love salvaging leftovers as much as I can…)

Since the leftover is already cooked (obviously), it takes minimal time to get my “makeover” meal from start to finish. The only rule for this “makeover” is to add ingredients that will compliment the leftover.

With a leftover stir fry, generally you can do no wrong in adding fresh garlic, chilli, sesame oil, white pepper, concentrated stock and soy sauce in sprucing up the leftover.

Who says we only need face makeovers, our leftover needs a little makeover too!

The ingredients you need for the makeover are….

(for one plate of chow mein)

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp concentrated stock (optional)
  • 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 serving of leftover stir fry
  • 220g / 8 oz fresh thin hokkein noodles from the shelf
  • A dash of white pepper

Methods:

  • Rinse noodles in boiling hot water.

  • Then rinse them under cold running water immediately. Drain and set aside.

  •  Finely chop garlic.

  • Heat up a tablespoon of oil in a pan over medium flame. Add garlic and chilli flakes when the oil is hot and saute until the garlic becomes aromatic.

  •  Add the leftover vegetable stir fry and saute until well heated through.

  • Add a teaspoon of concentrated chicken stock (if using) and toss gently with the veggies.

  • Add in the noodles and toss with the ingredients until well combined. Taste the noodles to gauge how much soy sauce you need. You need to adjust the quantity specified in the recipe depending the saltiness of the leftover plus there’s already some seasonings in the real stock paste.
  • Add soy sauce to the noodles and toss until well combined.

(Emily’s note:  While tossing the noodles with the soy sauce, make sure you turn the flame to the minimum to avoid the noodles from sticking to the pan especially if you’re not using non-stick pan. When the noodles are well mixed with soy sauce, increase the flame back to medium and quickly toss the noodles until some light charring and you’re ready to serve.)

  • Serve immediately. You can garnish with finely sliced spring onion or chopped fresh chilli.

5 Responses to What to do with leftover vegetable stir fry?
  1. Nisha
    November 9, 2011 | 9:11 pm

    I like the option (c) :D

  2. Christin
    November 10, 2011 | 11:24 pm

    I wish I could just reach right into the picture and grab those snow peas! They look so good!

  3. Anna
    November 11, 2011 | 1:54 am

    This is great! By salvaging the vegetables, you doing a big help to your household budget and environment (less waste!)
    I am sure adding left over chicken/pork/beef (shredded) will be good too.
    Thanks! This is fantastic.

  4. kristin
    November 11, 2011 | 9:11 pm

    I’ve also put my leftover stir fry stuffs straight into chicken stock for a soup. It was probably one of the best soups I’ve made yet!

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