If you find yourself waking up surrounded by the debris of a delivered late night feast, it can be easy to reach straight for the bin bags. Unless you have a particularly strong stomach, half-eaten cartons of stone cold curry can feel like the least appetising thing on earth.
As unappealing as they may first look, it turns out that takeaway leftovers are actually the gateway to food hack heaven. If you can be prepared to put in a little extra effort and think outside the takeout box, there’s no limit to the number of tasty ways that your scraps can be put to good use. Here are seven awesome things that you can do with last night’s leavings.
1. Pizza grilled cheese
Surprisingly few people realise that the ultimate way to reheat pizza is in a frying pan. To take this hack to the next level, place two slices on top of each other, fry, melt and enjoy the ultimate decadent Italian sandwich experience.
2. Egg Fried Rice Waffles
The greatest weapon in any breakfast lover’s arsenal is a waffle iron. Combine with old Chinese food and you have a match made in heaven. Simply add handfuls of egg fried rice to a waffle iron with a touch of oil, cook and remove for an awesome fusion breakfast. Goes great with kimchi and a poached egg.
3. Noodle pakoras
With their somewhat awkward shape, it can be tricky to see anything beyond the obvious stir fry for old noodles. An easy way to transform whatever you have left is with a healthy handful of flour. Season, mix and shape into stringy patties, before frying and enjoying golden crispy noodle fritters.
4. Curry Grilled Cheese
Often only eaten for dinner, it can be easy to ignore an old curry until it’s too late. If you’re looking for a way to turn your chicken tikka into a new lunchtime favourite, try using it as a filling for an OTT grilled cheese toastie. Contrary to popular belief, it turns out that curry and cheese really are a match made in heaven.
5. Mini crispy duck lasagne
As one of the highlights of any Chinese meal, crispy aromatic duck is an absolute must for any order. Since it’s so popular, it’s not unheard of for groups to drastically overestimate just how much they can pack away. If you do find yourselves left with a few sorry shreds of meat, pancake and spring onions, an awesome hack is to layer up your leftovers with hoisin in a muffin tin and bake for a few minutes in the oven, leaving a new-look Asian duck lasagne.
6. Pizza frittata
While many claim that cold pizza is fine just the way it is, there are many ways that the hungover classic can be taken to the next level. An unorthodox approach is to cut up your cold slices, add to an egg mix and bake into an Italian inspired pizza frittata. Topped with cheese and fresh tomatoes, this is one hack that at least has the illusion of being vaguely healthy.
7. Fried rice arancini
This Italian snack is already an awesome way to make the most of leftover risotto. However, if you’re looking for something a little more daring, fried rice arancini is the perfect way to combine Asian flavours with street food simplicity. Shape cold rice into balls, before paneing and frying in sesame oil for perfect bite-sized finger food.
Whenever anyone’s presented with a takeaway, it’s easy to get lazy. More often than not, it’s perfectly satisfying to continue browsing on the remains of whatever was left from the night before. But, if you can muster some extra energy from somewhere, there are a load of awesome ways that your takeout can be taken to new levels. All it takes is a little imagination.