Looking in the fridge for dinner inspiration, I found a lone bulb of fennel and a ton of carrots and celery. In the freezer, we had about a third pound of shrimp and tiny amounts of peas and green beans. Additionally, there was a whole pack of Chinese sausages, which gave me the idea to make fried rice. There were also a couple of packets of soy sauce and duck sauce from the last time we ordered Chinese food. I combined them with the dregs of a jar of XO sauce and a lot of garlic to make a sauce for the rice. The only thing I needed was the rice itself, so I whipped up a batch in the rice cooker and set it in the fridge to cool for several hours.
Leftovers Fried Rice
About 2 tablespoons soy sauce
About 1 tablespoon duck sauce
1 tablespoon XO sauce or Chinese hot bean paste, or to taste
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 lap cheong (Chinese sausage), one chopped into small pieces, two halved lengthwise and then cut into 3/4" chunks
1 small onion, diced
2 ribs of celery, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced on the bias
The celery-like parts from a bulb of fennel, peeled, sliced in half, and chopped
3 whole scallions, thinly sliced, both white and green
Approx 1 cup leftover vegetables (cooked or frozen peas, green beans, corn, broccoli, etc.)
Leftover meat (shrimp, cooked chicken, roast beef, etc.)
4 cups cold cooked rice, grains separated
salt and pepper
Mix the sauce ingredients together and set aside.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. When hot, add the sausage and onions and a nice pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to brown and the smaller pieces of sausage start to crisp up. (The sausage should provide enough fat to cook the onions. If it seems dry, add a teaspoon or so of vegetable oil to the pan.) Add most of the scallions, the carrots, celery, and fennel, and stir-fry until the carrots start to lose some of their crispness.
Add the leftover vegetables and meats and stir to combine. Turn the heat up to high and add the rice to the pan, making sure to break up any clumps. Pour the sauce over and mix well until most of the rice is coated. Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve in bowls, garnished with the remaining scallion and cilantro, if you have it. Serves 4 as a main dish and 6-8 as a side.