What to Do with Leftover Chicken and Rice: The Singaporean Way

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Hainanese chicken rice in white plate with a text "what to do with leftover chicken and rice"

Chicken and rice is not an unusual pairing. 

We have been enjoying it for years on end. If anything, it’s a classic. 

One country even made it their national dish. Any guesses on which?

It’s a garden city. 

The Garden City because of its lush greenery and famous landmark, the Gardens by the Bay.

Singapore is a dream destination for us foodies, especially with their Hainanese chicken rice. A national treasure that you’ll find in the country’s many hawker centers along with other incredible dishes.

While your chicken and rice may be leftovers from last night and may not be the authentic one from Singapore (or is it?), it doesn’t mean that you can just throw it in the bin today.

Several recipes can answer a single question. 

So, what to do with leftover chicken and rice?

Humble Origrains 

Hainanese chicken rice with condiments on the side.

The chicken and rice combo may have several variations around the world, but the Hainanese chicken rice managed to pique our attention. 

It was Hainanese immigrants that brought their culinary wonder of chicken and rice to Southeast Asia. The phenomenon has been in Singapore since the 19th century. 

Hainanese chicken rice sets itself apart because of its unique way of preparation. 

This version features poached chicken, where it is gently simmered in seasoned water. Ginger, scallions, and even pandan leaves are used as aromatics for the poaching liquid. 

As for the rice, it is cooked in the fat leftover from the chicken. The result is a subtle richness and golden hue. 

Chicken and rice is usually accompanied by three things to truly elevate its flavor. 

We have the spicy chili sauce to add a kick of heat. 

Then, there’s the soy sauce for saltiness and an umami burst.

Lastly, cucumber and ginger are added for that refreshing contrast. 

Hungry now?

Well, same. 

But since we can’t all fly out to Singapore at this very moment, let’s just figure out what to do with leftover chicken and rice.

Feeling Peckish?

Well, well, well. Fancy seeing you here on another leftover rendition. 

But truly, I’m glad you’re not choosing the easy way out. 

And for that, I’m taking you to a flavorful journey down Singapore’s culinary landscape. 

No need to run around like a headless chicken. Here’s what to do with leftover chicken and rice:


This popular street food is an integral part of Singapore’s food culture. Popiah is an appetizer akin to spring rolls with crepe-like wrappers. 


  • 2 cups of leftover chicken 
  • 2 cups of leftover rice
  • ½ cup of chopped veggies (of your choosing)
  • 1 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp of sesame oil
  • ¼ tsp of white pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 pack of spring roll wrappers
  • Vegetable oil
  • Dipping sauce of your choice 

Cooking Utensils

  • Large bowl
  • Large pan 
  • Plate with paper tissues


  1. Combine the chicken and rice, veggies, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, pepper, and salt in a large bowl. Make sure to mix everything thoroughly. 
  2. Lay out a spring roll wrapper and place a spoonful of the filling in the center. 
  3. Fold the sides in and make sure to roll it up tightly. Seal the edges with a dab of water. Do this for the other wraps, as well. 
  4. Heat oil in a large pan then fry the spring rolls. 
  5. Remove them from heat and place them in the plate with paper tissues to absorb the excess oil. 


Laksa Singapore in a white bowl.

This iconic soup is particularly popular in Singapore and Malaysia. The very foundation of laksa is in its flavorful broth. 

The most common is made with coconut milk, while the other (and more prominent one in Malaysia) is made with the addition of tamarind. 


  • 2 cups of leftover chicken 
  • 2 cups of leftover rice
  • 4 cups of chicken broth 
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp of curry paste (go with your spice preference, red or yellow works)
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass 
  • 1 torn kaffir lime leaf
  • ½ cup of chopped green beans
  • ¼ cup of bean sprouts
  • 1 tbsp of fish sauce 
  • Salt to taste
  • Fried shallots
  • Chopped cilantro

Cooking Utensils

  • Large pot
  • Spatula
  • Bowl


  1. Heat the oil in the large pot then sauté the curry paste for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Pour the chicken broth and coconut milk. Then, add the lemongrass and kaffir lime leaf. Bring everything to a simmer for a few minutes.
  3. Stir in the leftover chicken and rice and let them simmer in the broth for two minutes.
  4. Drizzle in the fish sauce and salt.
  5. Add the beans and sprouts allowing them to simmer for a couple of minutes until tender. 
  6. Garnish with shallots and cilantro before serving.

Nasi Goreng

Nasi Goreng or fried rice in white plate.

Meaning “fried rice” in both Indonesian and Malay, Nasi Goreng is a culinary icon that is rooted in leftover rice. 

This dish is not only made popular by its bursting flavor, but its incredible versatility, as well. 

Think of it as your ultimate leftover hero. 

You can make it with any leftovers you have, not just with the current chicken and rice. 

Seafood? Mixed veggies? You name it.

Nasi Goreng can solve your leftover problems for you. 


  • 2 cups of leftover rice
  • 1 cup of leftover diced chicken
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 minced cloves of garlic
  • 1 sliced red chili
  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 1 tsp of shrimp paste
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • Chopped spring onions as garnish
  • Lime wedges

Cooking Utensils

  • Large frying pan
  • Spatula


  1. Over medium fire, heat the oil in the large frying pan. 
  2. Add the onion, garlic, and chili, then stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Push the mixture aside and crack the eggs in the middle. Scramble them until cooked.
  4. Mix them all together.
  5. Toss in the chicken and rice. Stir-fry for another 3-4 minutes until well mixed.
  6. Pour the soy sauce, fish sauce,and shrimp paste. Make sure everything is evenly coated by stir-frying for a minute.
  7. Garnish with onions and serve with lime wedges. 

Flying the Coop with Flavor

We might as well have visited a hawker center with these three recipes. 

What to do with leftover chicken and rice is now another question that you can just forget about. 

And the next time you find yourself faced with leftover chicken and rice, don’t chicken out. 

Let those creative juices take flight. Whip up a dish (or two) that’s sure to rule the roost. 

Alright, alright, I’ll stop with the chicken expressions now. 

I’ve had my fun, but I’m seriously hoping you had yours, as well. 

Until our next culinary adventure! Where do you think we will go next? 😉

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