The Ultimate Comfort Food: Meatloaf Fried Rice

30 May

For me, fried rice is the original leftover-catchall dish. When I was growing up, my family made fried rice often, and we’d throw in all kinds of meats or vegetables. It was invariably delicious! It was one of the first dishes I learned to cook, and I always considered it an especially comforting and simple sort of meal.

ORIGINAL MEAL: Turkey meatloaf with mixed vegetables and rice

Meatloaf is another of my favorite comfort foods. I make it often, and always end up with plenty of leftovers. This week, I decided to test out my longstanding conviction that fried rice works well with just about everything by combining it with meatloaf. Pretty much any meatloaf recipe will work, but here’s one of my favorites:

Turkey, Bacon and Smoked Gouda Meatloaf
1.5 lb. ground turkey (or 1 lb. ground turkey and 0.5 lb. ground lamb)
1 coarsley grated medium red onion
4 slices bacon (or turkey bacon)
1 cup of Guinness or other stout beer
1/4 cup panko
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large egg (or 1/4 cup egg substitute)
1 cup smoked Gouda
salt and pepper

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a skillet, fry the bacon until crispy, then saute the onion in the bacon grease. Break up the bacon and put it back in the skillet with the onions. Add 1 cup of beer, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the liquid has disappeared. Remove from heat and let cool for five minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the ground turkey with the panko, barbecue sauce, garlic, egg, half the smoked Gouda, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper and mix well. Add in the bacon and onion and stir until just combined.

Transfer the mixture to an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Roast until cooked through, 45 minutes to an hour. Let the meat rest 10 minutes before serving.

REINCARNATION: Meatloaf fried rice

I had about 2 cups of meatloaf left, along with about 3 cups of various vegetables (caultiflower, broccoli, carrots and green onions) and 5 cups of cooked rice. But it’s OK if you have more or less of these ingredients. This is a very versatile and forgiving recipe, so use what you have and adjust the soy sauces to taste accordingly!

Here’s what I did:

Meatloaf Fried Rice
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 bunch green onions or chives, chopped (my mom always uses a leek instead; sometimes I substitite 3-4 sliced shallots)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cups veggies (fresh, steamed, boiled or sauteed will work)
2 cups meatloaf
5 cups rice (it’s OK if you have a bit more or less; use what you have!)
2 tbsp. soy sauce (I used low sodium, but use whatever you have)
1 tbsp. sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)*
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten (optional)
salt and pepper
chili paste (sambal) or other hot chili sauce, to serve
* Note: You can just use 3 tbsp. regular soy sauce and add 1/4 tsp. of sugar if you don’t have this. Just be careful to use less salt!

In a wok or skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic and veggies, and stir fry until tender. (If the veggies are already cooked, add them after the onions are tender and use only 1 tbsp. oil. If using an uncooked meat instead of meatloaf, add it to the stir fry and cook it now.) Add rice, soy sauces and sesame oil. Mix well. Add meatloaf, breaking it into large chunks with the spatula and tossing it with the rice to combine. Add eggs, if using, and stir them into the rice until cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot with sambal or other chili sauce.

I hope fried rice turns out to be as helpful for using leftovers in your household as it has been in mine!

One Response to “The Ultimate Comfort Food: Meatloaf Fried Rice”


  1. ‘Quiche’ Your Leftovers Goodbye: Tri-Tip and Roasted Veggies Quiche « The Leftover Diaries - January 30, 2012

    […] lamb, beef, fish, sausage, ground meats, all sorts of vegetables, potatoes, noodles and, yes, even meatloaf. I think of this dish as a creamy cross between an omelet and a savory pie. Mmm, […]

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