Chinese Makeover

I have a recipe that I make.  It’s not a real recipe.  It’s different every time I make it…but it’s always good.

This all originated as I’ve been working to try to have less food waste.  I’ve always been good at masking food to turn something that is a little less than desirable and make it into something good.

So in my refrigerator were two bags of carrots that had maybe 12 or carrots in each.  The carrots were dry.  There was a 1/3 of a head of celery left and it really had to be used as it was going to go bad.  I had a 1/2 of purple onion.  I had about 8 mini peppers that were left from a bag.  They needed to be used too…so what’s a girl to make?  Chinese Makeover

Here’s how I do it.  I make rice in the Instant Pot.  I used chicken broth for the water because I had that in the refrigerator and it needed to get used up.  I made 2 1/2 cups worth.

While that is cooking, I chop up whatever needs to be used that’s going to go bad in the refrigerator.

I have a big flat top griddle that goes over my whole stovetop.  I make mine on here but it can be made with two frying pans too.

I had the chicken broth that needed to be used so I decided this time I’d have a chicken version of this.  I chopped some chicken breast into bit sized pieces and started frying this too.

For the oil, I used…
sesame oil…

As I was digging the refrigerator for the veggies I found some leftover chicken from two nights ago, I deboned that and threw that in with the veggies.

I had to put a little water on the veggies and cover them with a pan to get the veggies tender.

I added a little bit of ginger to the chicken and the veggies.

I added a little Mr. Dash Chicken seasoning too.

Now it’s time to decide what seasoning I want this to have.  I so far have used Kung Pao sauce, peanut sauce, and sesame sauce.  All have been good.  Today’s version was with sesame sauce.  If you’re making it, pick whichever flavor you prefer.

I put 1/4 bottle on the chicken and carmelize the chicken with it.
I put 1/4 on the veggies.  The rice was done so I moved the veggies to the middle.  I put some more sesame oil down and then put the rice down and used 1/4 of the bottle on the rice.

The chicken was caramelized and the veggies were done so I mixed those.
Then I mixed everything together including the remaining Sesame Sauce.

…and there you have my favorite “clean up the icky veggies in the refrigerator” recipe that I call Chinese Makeover.

I serve soy sauce on the side and let people put their own on.

This is one of my favorite foods.  I know it sounds crazy but it really is.  Every time I make it, it’s different.  I’ve used pork chops, beef…fresh or leftover.  If I have part of a can of corn, I’ll throw that in too.  Seriously, whatever is left in the refrigerator is fair game…kind of like adding that leftover chicken.  I’ve even sliced up radishes and thrown them in.  They are quite good.

I always keep some version of Chinese Sauce in my cupboard now as I never know when I’ll have a bunch of veggies that need using.  I always make a big batch as the leftover are really good.  If I worked away from home, I’d make a batch of this over the weekend and take it for my lunch all week.  YUM!!

Karl and I both like this…It’s a great way to use some iffy veggies that turns into a tasty meal.

14 thoughts on “Chinese Makeover”

  1. Margaret in North Texas

    I am ready to be “served”. I love Chinese also and will make your version. I like that you show us exactly the products you use. Thanks Jo.

  2. Yummy, I think the Sesame oil makes such a big difference. My veggie clean up was New Year’s Day with sausage and black eyed peas ( a Southern good luck pork and black eyed peas tradition). I don’t believe in luck, but blessings, and since I had the veggies I decided that not wasting is a big blessing!
    I have nothing to make your wonderful dish. But I will.

  3. Yes! Looks yummy and good kitchen management to use up the veggies. Try adding a few eggs — chicken fried rice!

  4. I refer to this as refrigerator cleanout stir-fry though I usually don’t add any sauces except soy and occasionally peanut butter (it’s surprisingly awesome combined with soy). I usually keep a few cans of beans sprouts in reserve to add too. Sometimes I add quinoa to the rice too.

  5. I’m with Gwen on here, and would like more info on your over the stove top griddle cover device. I am intrigued with it. Thanks for posting your Chinese make over.

  6. Yum. My sister makes a broth with beyond the pale veggies. When they get so you dont even want to eat them, like wilted lettuce and even dry fruit, throw them all into a pot and cover with water or ends of celery or carrots, etc. . Simmer an hour or two. You get a very rich vegetable broth.

  7. I do this too and usually use quinoa or farro but occasionally rice. I’ll have to try using the oil and sauce for added flavor. Looks delicious!

  8. I have never used sesame oil or the sauce that you showed but i will buying them and making this dish. It looks easy and I love having leftovers. Chinese is one of our favorite foods and I like to use the frozen cauliflower rice instead of real rice. Great recipe, thanks for sharing.

  9. We have done what we call “garbage” soup or casserole for a long time, the attitude being “if we don’t use this/that/all these bits & pieces up it will end up in the garbage”. Not glamorous sounding by any means, but rarely a disappointment. And, once I realized that I could make a garbage soup so fast and easy in my electric pressure cooker, well, game on! One of our favorite conglomerations is Chinese food leftovers mixed with whatever needs to be used up.

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