Leftover Lunch: Classically Asian Edition

Basic Asian Leftover Lunch

All you Asians and Half-Asians know what this is. This is lunch, probably leftover from the previous night’s dinner, perhaps assembled for you by your mom, seasoned perfectly with just a tiny bit of guilt-trip. Okay, maybe the guilt isn’t ubiquitous, but this basic lunch idea is.

Millions of people all over the world eat this same sort of rice bowl nearly every day. From Vietnam to China to Korea to the Philippines to Japan to Hawaii and all points in between a simple, workingman’s lunch is not a sandwich but about two cups of steamed white rice topped off with some sliced leftover protein, maybe some veggies, and most definitely some kind of soy-based sauce.

Naturally there are literally an infinite number of iterations, but you’ll find pork, chicken, fish, shrimp, and beef all common toppings. Often bok choy or gailan or bamboo shoots. Often a boiled egg or fried egg is added. Frequently some small pickles or salted vegetables add a piquant touch. Maybe some toasted garlic or fried shallots or fresh slivered ginger is thrown on top. Hot sauces like Chinese garlic-chili sauce, chili oil, sambal oeleck, or sriracha are commonly drizzled over the top. And the while deal is usually topped with some sliced scallion greens. And maybe fresh cilantro.

I made this rice bowl for Regina the other day from some steamed rice and some leftover roasted chicken I had cooked the night before. Drizzled over the top is some adobo sauce, from some chicken adobo I had made three days prior. I saved the rich, fantastic sauce for just this very purpose.

This is a great way to eat — cheap, healthy, filling.

Check out my chicken adobo recipe and make your own! Maybe cook it just to have amazing leftovers!




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