Photo: Africa Studio (Shutterstock)
When you find yourself with leftover rice, your first instinct may be to use it to make fried rice. (And your instincts are correct, as dried-out, day-old rice is preferable to the fresh stuff here.) However, as delicious as this option is, there are plenty of other ways to use up your leftovers, too.
Before we get into some of the ways you can use up leftover rice, it’s important to note that rice should not be allowed to sit at room temperature for more than a couple hours—it could make you very sick, due to a pathogen called Bacillus cereus, which is often found in dry rice. Cooking doesn’t always kill all the spores, and if left at room temperature too long, they can germinate, creating a heat-stable toxin that can cause some pretty nasty stomach issues—so be sure to pop any leftover rice you have into the fridge ASAP.
If you are going to go the fried rice route and don’t want to wait until the next day, you can also dry it out with a fan until it achieves the right consistency. To do that, spread your rice out on a sheet pan, then place it under a fan for about an hour, until it dries out.
Or wait until tomorrow to try one of these also-delightful ways to use up that leftover rice.