Chopstick Cinema

Celeste Heiter's Adventures in Asian Food & Film

Using Up the Leftover Ingredients

The leftovers of my Scent of Green Papaya dinner were almost as delicious as they were the night before, but I still had lots of fresh ingredients remaining as well. There was mint, there were lots of fresh vegetables and plenty of the garlic-ginger jasmine rice. The Vietnamese dinner leftovers gave me a much welcome respite from cooking the next day, but once they were gone, I was ready for a change of cuisine. So I got back in the kitchen a couple of days later and made up a hearty batch of curry vegetable stew using the leftover carrots, onion, bell peppers, and coconut milk. I also made a variation on the Hanoi Yellow Fish Nuggets, using the remaining orange roughy filets, which I dredged in curry powder instead of plain turmeric. I served the stew and the curried fish nuggets over the remaining jasmine rice with a fantastic (and extremely economical) spicy mango chutney that I found at an online grocer called It was absolutely delicious.

While I was in the kitchen, I made up a batch of Arabic fatoosh (sort of like an Arabic salsa fresca) from the leftover mint, cucumbers, onions, and garlic, along with a few diced fresh tomatoes, and fresh parsley from my garden, mixed together and dressed with lemon juice and olive oil. After marinating the fatoosh in the fridge for a couple of days, I enjoyed it with chips made from wedges of lightly toasted pita bread. Yum!

It's amazing how the same suite of ingredients can be used to make such dramatically different dishes. It's all in the spice!