Fruit Rice, a.k.a. How to Use All the Leftover Chinese Food Rice…

September 11, 2009 | Written By:

By Mark Bishop, Deputy Director

Last week we had people visiting and we ended up ordering in Chinese food — twice. So when Henry asked for oatmeal for breakfast the other day, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and use up some of that leftover white rice.

(Before we go on, just one small request: Mr. & Mrs. Delivery-Chinese-Food-Restaurant-Owners, please put brown rice on the menu. Please!)


When I lived in Taiwan fifteen years ago, breakfast would often be a thick soup of re-cooked rice that had been boiled in water. You'd then eat it with your morning items, veggies, eggs, pickled bamboo (which I love), prunes etc. It was fine, but my American taste buds always wanted something a bit less watery and maybe a bit more flavorful.

Now, again, similar to many of my “recipes,” there is no real recipe here — I just went looking for stuff in my fridge. But in short, here goes. . . 

Fruit Rice


  • Cooked leftover rice 
  • Water

Optional but highly suggested 

  • Milk
  • Vanilla
  • Sugar, honey, agave or other sweetener
  • Pinch of salt

Other options

  • Fruit (I used strawberries, pineapple and peaches that have been in my fridge a bit too long. Bananas also work great.)
  • Cinnamon
  • Nuts
  • Raisins

Put your rice in the pan and cover it with water or milk. Add all your fruit, sweetener, salt and spices — you can always add more later. Personally, I love just a few tablespoons of honey and vanilla with fruit.

Bring it to a light boil and then let it cook for 10-15 minutes. You want it to cook long enough for the rice to get extra soft and to absorb the flavors of your fruit and spices. What you'll find is that the liquid will get absorbed quickly into the rice so you'll have to continually add more, and add until you have the consistency you desire. You can use milk, but it may curdle a bit. So I like to start with water first and then add milk as it needs more liquid.


Kids love it. It clears out the fridge a bit. And you'll feel a lot better about serving this than instant oatmeal.

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