One of the challenges that confront most of us during the Holiday season is having some leftover foods piling up in our fridge. Though some families mastered the art of estimation in preparing for their Noche Buena,most of us can’t just estimate the amount of food to prepare. So this piece, let me share some recipes in handling leftover food from the holidays.

Fried Rice 

  • Leftover rice is very common in big family gathering during holidays. This is because most of us follow the rule “maayo na ang sobra kaysa mabitin.” The ingredients are:
  • Leftover meat (Roasted pork/chicken, crispy pata, grilled fish, amongothers)
  • Garlic
  • Spring pnion
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Cooking oil
  • Chinese chorizo (optional)

Separate meat from bones and finely chop the meat into bits. Discard the bones. Finely chop garlic and spring onions. Beat eggs. Sautee garlic in a pan until golden brown. Add salt and meat bits. Add leftover rice and Chorizo China then mix. Add Egg and mix. Add spring onion and turn off the stove. Mix then serve on a platter.

Pancit Ulam

  • Leftover meat
  • Garlic
  • Spring onion
  • Salt
  • Cooking oil
  • Chinese chorizo(optional)
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery (optional)
  • Pancit noodles (Canton or fresh miki)
  • Oyster sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Cornstarch diluted in tap water
  • Sesame oil (optional)

Finely chop garlic and spring onions. Separate meat from bones and finely chop the meat into bits. Discard the bones. Separate celery leaves from the stalk. Slice cabbage and carrots. Sautee garlic until golden brown, add salt and pepper. Stir fry the leftover meat and chorizo china with oyster sauce. Add carrots and celery stalks. Add sufficient amount of boiled water (less water if you use fresh miki than canton). Wait to boil and taste. Add the noodles. Simmer. You may add soy sauce. Add cabbage and celery leaves. Stir well the cornstarch solution then add, mix until the sauce became glossy (a sign that the cornstarch is cooked). Drip a bit of sesame oil, then mix. Serve on a plate and add spring onions as garnish.

Lechon Paksiw

  • Garlic
  • Leftover lechon
  • Onion and lemongrass (optional)
  • Onion
  • Bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • Vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Livers spread
  • Liver sauce
  • Biscocho/Bread Crumbs (optional for texture)
  • Water

Mix all ingredients in a pot. Boil and simmer for fifteen to twenty minutes. Taste for preferred saltiness, sweetness and sourness. You may add sugar to establish sweetness since most Filipinos have sweet tongues, after centuries of Spanish colonization and thousand hectares of Haciendas and Azucarera’s.

Upcycling in the context of food is important. We need to remind ourselves that each and every grain of rice is important, it is the sweat and blood of million Filipino farmers. In semi-feudal and neo-colonies countries like ours, many Filipinos cannot afford a complete meal each day, we do not have the right to waste food even on holidays.

Happy new year!

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