A cast iron pan filled with layered rice, cheese, beans, green bell pepper, chicken and green onion.

Crispy Rice Leftovers


Many cultures have crispy rice dishes - in fact many even have a word for the crispy rice itself, be it concón in the Dominican Republic, the socarrat of paella, pegao in Puerto Rico, or the tahdig of rice pilaf.

This is less a specific recipe, but more one of our favorite vehicles for transforming leftovers into something new and delicious. The only strict requirement is some rice.



  1. Mise en place all your ingredients. Consider the layering order of the ingredients. E.g. using cheese as a glue, and what ingredients will need the most time to heat up (you may want to add them earlier).
  2. Cut or shred any larger leftovers into pieces ~1 inch in length, or smaller.
  3. Get your skillet heating up on medium-high heat.
  4. Once the pan is hot, coat with a fine layer of oil and give the oil a moment to heat up.
  5. Scoop in the rice and distribute it evenly across the pan. Be careful not to mix the rice with the oil more than absolutely necessary. Gently pat down the rice to form a consistent layer.
  6. Layer in the remaining ingredients and then cover.
  7. Every few minutes, check the edge of the rice. Remove from the heat when it is golden brown and lifts easily off the pan.
  8. Add any finishing touches (e.g. green onion).
  9. Using a spatula scoop portions, plating the crispy rice facing up.