Leftover do-over as easy as 1, 2, 3

Feels like the first few months of the year have dragged on a bit, isn’t it?

It wasn’t too long ago that we celebrated the New Year, but with the Movement Control Order (MCO), it seems like we are trapped in an endless time loop ala Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.

This Ramadan will be the first time we will be stuck at home. Many are finding ways to cope by performing terawih prayers at home, catching up with family and friends via video chats and buying supplies or food online.

There is a positive to this new normal – many are finding their hidden talents in cooking.

There are some disasters out there but with the Masak Apa Tak Jadi group you know you are not alone. They laugh at themselves and encourage you to try again, hopefully with better results.

This month, the combination of MCO and fasting month made me think of writing about quick meals that we can make without wasting food but if your house is anything like mine, there is always plenty of leftovers.

So instead of quick meals, let’s talk about modifying leftovers so they aren’t boring – when you have an imaginative mother like mine, leftovers are always interesting.

Last week, she made chicken pie and we had excess filling … and I mean a lot extra!

So, I took some, mixed with cooked pasta, grated cheese and some par-cooked vegetables, stuffed it all into a pan, drizzled the top with parmesan and we had cheese-baked pasta.

Cheese-baked pasta.

A couple of days later, we used the remainder of the filling to make potato au gratin, where we just layered finely sliced potatoes and filling and topped it all with breadcrumbs mixed with cheese and butter as a crumble. It was a fun side dish.

The week before, mum made sambal for our nasi lemak and as usual, made plenty to keep. Besides having sambal as an accompaniment to nasi lemak or mee hoon or just with rice and a fried egg, you can use it as a base for fried rice or fried noodles.

Just stir fry some onions, add in the meat of your choice, add a couple of spoonfuls of sambal, some vegetables and rice or noodles and you are done!

If you are in the mood for something lighter, use frozen puff pastry or even the frozen roti canai/paratha, lay it out flat (for the paratha, cut in half or quarters unless you want a giant puff), put a spoonful of sambal in the middle, fold and press the sides of the pastry together, then bake it for a yummy sambal puff.

For those with no ovens, just flatten a slice of gold (I mean bread), spread the sambal, roll the bread and dip into a beaten egg and fry for sambal roll!

Or if you want to be creative, make a ‘nasi lemak sushi’.

If you don’t have sambal, even curries work (but please thicken the curry before making into puffs or rolls, oky?).

In any case, if you are ever hard-pressed for ideas, my mother’s best friend – Mr YouTube – is always on hand as a guide and if your experiments don’t work, please share pictures of it on Masak Apa Tak Jadi so we can all laugh together.

As for those who are unable to cook or are missing the bazaars, there is a little good news for you as various online Ramadan bazaar groups have been set up.

You only need to head to Facebook to see updates, so just check for the ones in your state.

Here are some for Klang Valley. At least you can go shopping in your butterfly kaftan and no one will know.

Subang Jaya 


Shah Alam 

Kota Damansara 


and plenty more…

Selamat Berpuasa everyone and hope you stay safe by staying indoors and cooking more!

Don’t forget to call the gas man.


Tagged with: