How Rachael Ray Upgrades Leftover Chinese Food

Leftover food can be both a blessing and a curse. The taste can be sensational, especially when it comes to recipes that use Thanksgiving leftovers. At least, right up until the point where you never want to see another turkey or mashed potato again. Not all foods are as easy to revive from the refrigerator as the hearty meat, fat, and starch of Thanksgiving. Many require a lot more work to make them again worthy of a brief time on your plate.

When it comes to cooking with chicken leftovers, you often need to boil the meat, cover it with cheese, or shred and mix it until the original chicken is a mere memory. That's fairly easy. However, when it comes to unusual dishes, like leftover Chinese food, there can be a lot of problems that arise when you try to reheat. For example, eating leftover rice can be dangerous, and Chinese food has a heavy rice base, which means extra care must be taken when preparing it. That's why Rachael Ray suggests hacking your Chinese food leftovers (via Rachael Ray Show).

Ball it, fry it, and enjoy it all over again

Rachael Ray isn't generally considered an elite gourmet, and she certainly has some of the worst recipes out there, but when it comes to saving time, money, and food, she can have some pretty stellar and simple suggestions.

In the great case of what to do with leftover Chinese food, Rachael has a recommendation for any fried rice. On her show, Rachael Ray Show, she suggested taking the fried rice and mixing it with egg (if necessary) to help it hold together. She then says on YouTube that "you press it together, basically, into what looks like a meatball." This meatball is then put through a regular breading technique, which involves dipping it into flour, egg, and breadcrumbs. It's then deep fried. Overall, this is an excellent way to upcycle some food and create a sort of hush puppy you can dip in just about anything.

Deep frying helps cook out any bacteria or contaminants, which the USDA says makes it safer to eat so long as the food is prepared in safe-enough heat, which is an internal temperature of about 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, the breading makes the balls into something at the perfect juncture of Chinese and American cuisine. Just know that LiveStrong says that a single cup of fried rice contains 228 calories, and that's before breading it and frying it again, which Healthline says can add significant calories to any food.