5 Ways To Use Up Leftover Raya Food


Atiqah Mokhtar •  May 22, 2020

[Updated 28 Apr 2022]

What's one thing everyone looks forward to during Raya? Hari Raya food! From rendang to ketupat, sayur lodeh and more, it's always a treat to tuck into these iconic traditional dishes. But what happens after the first few days of Raya when you have leftovers but aren't as interested in eating the same meal? Avoid food wastage and breathe new life into some popular Raya food with these easy ideas on dishes to make with Raya leftovers, from lontong goreng to milkshakes made with kuih raya and more!

5 Ways To Use Up Leftover Raya Food

1. Rendang

Rendang is a dish you can freeze for long-term storage, but if you want to use up your leftover rendang, there are plenty of ways to do so! Whether it's chicken or beef rendang, you have a delicious protein source that can be easily mixed into stir-fries like fried rice or noodles! For a different twist though, it's great to add as a filling in an omelette - the combination of the rendang wrapped in eggs is delicious. To make it easier to incorporate into all these dishes, be sure to shred your rendang into smaller pieces - if you're using chicken rendang, peel the chicken flesh away from the bone first.

You also can go the wrap route, using your rendang as a filling inside a wrap or tortilla, along with some fresh veggies like lettuce or baby spinach to make a wholesome meal. Or, take it up a notch and make a grilled cheese sandwich or a quesadilla! Toasted bread combined with hot melted cheese and the flavourful rendang is delicious!

2. Ketupat or nasi impit

Ketupat or nasi impit (compressed rice) is a staple during Raya, but how many of us often end up with leftovers even though the rendang or kuah kacang is all gone? When you have extra nasi impit, you gotta make lontong goreng (also known as nasi impit goreng)!

Just use your favourite fried rice or stir-fry sauce but instead of rice, use your cubed up nasi impit instead! Add protein like chicken, minced beef, egg, and whatever veggies you have lying in your fridge. It's easy, quick and very yummy. Other (somewhat more obvious) suggestions include making soto ayam, having a satay party, or simply eating the nasi impit with your other favourite local dishes in place of regular rice.

3. Kuih Raya

Between the kuih raya we bake, buy and the ones may get from family and friends, it's often easy to end up with plenty of leftover kuih raya after the main celebrations. If you're looking for ways to use up your kuih raya, there are several things you can do! Crumble them up for a yummy topping to use on ice cream, oatmeal or yoghurt bowls. You can also use them mix into a milkshake - a raya cookies & creme milkshake, if you will! Just follow a regular cookies & creme milkshake recipe (such as this one) but substitute the cookies for your kuih raya.

Another variation is to use them in desserts like English trifle, the classic dessert where sponge cake or sponge fingers are layered with custard, cream and sometimes fruit to form a wonderful layered pudding. Instead of using sponge cake, use your raya cookies instead! A similar concept with a slightly different take is the Italian classic tiramisu - use Raya cookies instead of the ladyfingers to make this popular dessert. Another idea is to use them for making cookie pie crusts! A number of desserts call for crusts made out of graham crackers or digestive biscuits (such as cheesecake, pies and tarts) which are crushed and combined with butter to form the crust. You can try substituting your leftover kuih raya instead to make the cookie crumb crust.

4. Dates

So dates aren't necessarily a Raya food. But most households will usually have some leftover from the fasting month even after the Raya period. If you don't particularly crave dates on their own, you might be wondering how else to use them. Well, we're glad you asked!

One easy way is to make date milk - simply blend a handful of pitted dates with milk, and you end up with a creamy drink that's lightly sweetened! You can also use dates as a natural sweetener when blending up smoothies or milkshakes. Simply add a couple or more pitted dates to get the sweetness that you desire and you won't have to opt for sugar?

Another idea is simply to switch up how you can eat them  - try stuffing your dates with things like pistachios, walnuts, pecans, grated coconut, or even peanut butter to make yummy morsels.

5. Lemang

Credit: lemangtokman onInstagram

Now, this is a super interesting one! Have you ever tried fried lemang? That's right, we said fried lemang! We discovered this recipe while doing research for this article and found several blogs touting this dish. And it couldn't be easier - you just heat up some oil in a pan and you fry your unwrapped slices of lemang in the oil until golden brown. For an alternative version, you could also dip it in beaten egg before frying. You can enjoy them as is or alongside savoury dishes. They're best enjoyed warm!

Raya food is delicious but sometimes not everyone wants to eat them over and over again until they finish everything! So if you've got leftovers hanging out in your fridge, it's time to get creative and use them up in new dishes that will entice you all over again ?