Leftover Rice Creativeness

Rice is our staff of life, we eat a lot of it. And after years and years of consuming rice daily, we have become very creative when it comes to making rice dishes with leftover rice. Though our renown nasi goreng is not always prepared out of leftover rice, we first think about making the leftovers into the most versatile rice dish in Indonesia.

Nearly every region has its own special nasi goreng and therefore there are innumerable varieties as gastronome and epicurean el supremo Suryatini N. Ganie continues to explain.

There is the nasi goreng Madura with small pieces of fried salted fish of an excellent quality, the nasi goreng tempe of Central Java with nutritious fried tempeh, and then you have the Chinese overtoned nasi goreng bungkus dalam teratai or fried rice with a herbal touch of lotus leaves, the nasi goreng kunyit, with turmeric for health food aficionados and so on.

There are also other ways to creatively use leftover rice, it can be made into snacks, puddings, cakes and other goodies.

Following its history, rice is a very old plant that hails from Asia, and it’s true that most rice-eating cultures are in Asia.

From century to century the plant developed into various cultivars such as long-grained, short-grained, rice with elongated points, round rice, pristine, white, red, and brown rice — all those types of rice are now found and cultivated in Indonesia.

But rice’s importance isn’t restricted to kitchens alone. Many legends are connected with rice. It was the goddess Dewi Sri who protected the rice and in many regions Dewi Sri is mentioned in folk tales.

Another story is the legend of Joko Kendil or the young man (Joko) and the rice pot (kendil). He always shared his rice with those poorer than himself and one day he found a kendil in his room full of rice. After sharing with others, the rice pot filled itself and Joko Kendil never suffered from hunger again.

In ceremonies rice is of the utmost importance and when honoring guests, rice must be of the best quality. Not only in ceremonial events is rice important. In many households, the container of rice must never be empty, to ensure that there will be always rice in the house.

So, over the course of time, rice and overtones from the kitchen habits of foreigners passing through Indonesia leaving their imprint on local cooking, rice also became a very creative basic ingredient.

As for its nutritional values, rice has a vast amount of carbohydrates as well as protein, iron, and calcium. And for those on a diet, rice is of great importance acting as a diuretic. The vitamins B, B1, B2, and B6 enrich the nutritional values of rice.
Well, after taking all that in consideration and having a certain creativity in preparing a delectable rice dish, nobody will be able to tell it was made from leftover rice.