How to Turn Your Takeout Chinese or Thai Leftovers into Breakfast (or Lunch!)
One of the best parts of ordering in Chinese or Thai takeout is the leftovers. Stir fried dishes, rice dishes, noodles: They all are great to have for next-day snacking or a second meal. But one of my favorite ways to give them a second life is to turn them into a hearty breakfast. Asian takeout might not be the first thing you think of at breakfast time, but it is a wonderful way to start your day! And if you think about dishes like egg foo young and Thai omelets, you can see how the addition of eggs to those flavor profiles are a match made in heaven!
The secret is frittatas
The best thing to do with leftovers is to turn them into frittatas. By just adding eggs, you can convert your leftovers into a wonderful breakfast or brunch entrée. Turning these savory dishes into a sliceable morning treat makes the most of them and can stretch them the furthest if you are feeding a family. Two cups of leftover fried rice or pad Thai is a light lunch for one person, but by turning it into a frittata, you can easily feed 4-6!
How to make "takeout" frittatas with Chinese and Thai leftovers
First, prep your leftovers. If your leftovers have any large chunks, like sesame chicken or beef and broccoli, chop a bit smaller to prep. If your leftovers are a bit soupy, like curries, you might want to drain off extra sauce, and set it aside...you can reheat it and serve on top of the frittata.
Here's your easy-to-use ratio for amounts: For a takeout frittata of any size, use 1-2 large eggs for every ½ cup of leftover rice or noodle dishes.
You can make a small frittata for one in a mini skillet with 1 cup of leftovers and 2-3 eggs, or a large one for a crowd with 3 cups of leftovers and 6-12 eggs. I prefer my frittatas to have a good proportion of eggs, especially if there is not a lot of protein in my leftovers, so I go for the higher number of eggs. But if you prefer to have a frittata that is just using the eggs as a binder, you can use the smaller number.
Now, here's all you do!
1. Beat the eggs, season with a dash or two of soy sauce, then mix with your leftovers while they are still cold. If you think the mix looks too dry add more eggs, one at a time, until you have a blend that looks good to you.
2. Heat a nonstick skillet of appropriate size for your frittata over medium high heat and heat your oven to 400°.
3. Add some neutral high-smoke-point oil like peanut or avocado, and when it shimmers, add the egg and leftover mix, patting it down into an even layer. Put a lid on the pan, and let cook for 4-5 minutes, until the bottom is set and beginning to brown, and the top has started to solidify.
4. Remove the lid and transfer to the oven. Cook an additional 10-15 minutes until it is puffed and golden, and the center is cooked through. A knife stuck in the center should come out with no runny egg visible.
5. Let rest for 5 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a plate and slicing into wedges. Serve hot or room temp. If you have any chili crisp lying around, it makes a great condiment, as does sriracha or other Asian chili sauce.