Thanksgiving Leftovers: Asian Rice Bowls

Thanksgiving Rice Bowl


Here we are with Lisa Yokota on KTVU's  "Bay Area People" turning Thanksgiving leftovers into a yummy Asian-inspired rice bowl. Click the photo to see the segment.

Here we are on KTVU’s
Bay Area People” turning Thanksgiving leftovers into a yummy Asian-inspired rice bowl.

Right now, everyone has Thanksgiving on the mind and we are already thinking about how to transform the main Thanksgiving meal into something entirely different.  We love cooking large quantities of food anyway and changing them up into a new dish the next day (or over the next few days).  Naturally, Thanksgiving is the perfect vehicle for that.  For us, I think, the holiday meal is really more about the “leftover challenge” versus the main day’s feast.  Plus, we love taking traditional leftover Thanksgiving goodies to a different part of the world and turning them into “an around the world adventure.”  Check out two of our blog posts from the years past – the first on “Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Goes Global” and the second which was about hosting a “Global Thankgiving” with dishes inspired by different cuisines from around the world.  This year, we have vegetarian family members in town and are hosting a vegetarian Thanksgiving potluck.  I can’t wait to see what we end up with on Thanksgiving day and beyond.

Our kids love rice bowls and they also love the idea of designing their own rice bowl.  The possibilities with Thanksgiving and turning what’s left of your Thanksgiving meal into a rice bowl are endless – you can stir-fry combinations of leftovers, make spiced potato patties with leftover mashed potatoes, dress leftover salad with an Asian vinaigrette and so on.  For these rice bowls, pull out all your Asian condiments, sauces and seasonings and let your imagination run wild!  Below is just some inspiration to get you started.


  • Teriyaki-glazed turkey (recipe below)
  • Flash-fried brussels Sprouts with Oyster Sauce Glaze (recipe below)
  • Oi Sobagi / Korean quick cucumber pickle (recipe below)
  • Bean sprouts, blanched and drizzled with sesame oil
  • Diced Avocado
  • Crispy Shallots
  • Chopped Peanuts
  • Chopped Herbs (mint, cilantro)
  • Poached, fried or soft Boiled Egg

We recently taped this recipe for the show “Bay Area People”, here’s a link to the video segment on KTVU:

Teriyaki-glazed Turkey

Fry leftover turkey cubes in some heated oil, then use our favorite homemade teriyaki sauce and fry for another couple of minutes.  As easy as that and transforms the turkey into a delicious Asian delight.


Flash Fried Brussels Sprouts with Oyster Sauce Glaze

  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Quartered
  • 3 Tablespoons Oyster Sauce
  • 1-2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 Tablespoon honey

Flash fry sprouts (or any other leftover vegetable) with the oyster sauce mixture.  You can glaze with some extra oyster sauce, if desired.  This works with other leftover vegetables as well.

Lisa’s Oi Sobagi Quick Cucumber Kimchi

Our friend Lisa from our favorite knife shop, Bernal Cutlery, was sweet to share her grandmother’s recipe for Oi Sobagi. This is a  Korean-style quick pickle and a nice, kid-friendly alternative to kimchee to use as condiment for anything from rice bowls to BBQ. It’s easy to put together and you can make it a day in advance and keep it in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

  • 2 small Kirby or persian cucumbers, cut into ½” cubes
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks (or grated on the large holes of a box grater)
  • 1 scallion cut into ¼” pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fish sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon grated ginger
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons gochujang (Korean chile paste)
  1. Sprinkle cubed cucumbers with salt and toss until evenly coated. Turn cucumbers every 10 minutes, 30 minutes total (3 turns).
  2. Rinse cucumbers with cold water to remove salt, then drain.
  3. Add scallion, cucumber, carrot, garlic and ginger to large bowl and mix.
  4. In a separate small bowl mix fish sauce, sugar, sesame seeds, gochujang (chili paste) and mix until well combined
  5. Dress vegetables with the sauce, mix well and eat immediately if desired.





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