Using leftovers to make a completely different dish is my thang. Everything you see was featured the day before. You can create incredible meals with just about any leftovers ~ soups and salads are the easiest. We just so happened to have grilled vegetables, gai yang grilled chicken thighs and pan seared broccoli from our dinner the night before. And my lunch the day before included a cucumber radish confetti. A chilled rice plate came to mind, so I made this version and dressed it up with a sweet, spicy rice wine vinaigrette, fried garlic and shallots and toasted sesame seeds.  There are a lot of bold flavors, fresh crunch, a little citrus and nutty sweet spicy notes in every bite.

Makes FOUR big rice plates.

Here’s how we pulled it all together:

  • 1 C chili rice wine vinaigrette (recipe below)
  • 3 C cooked rice (jasmine, basmati, short or medium grain brown or white rice)
  • 6 leftover gai yang boneless, skinless chicken thighs (recipe below)
  • 2 C leftover pan seared organic broccoli
  • 2 C leftover grilled yellow squash
  • 8 – 12 leftover marinated grilled mushrooms, stems removed
  • 2 roasted hatch peppers (optional)
  • 1 to 1-1/2 C cucumber radish confetti (1 cucumber, julienne cut and 1 bunch radishes, julienne cut)
  • 1/4 C sliced garlic, fried (approximately 8 cloves of garlic)
  • 1/3 C sliced shallot, fried
  • 1/2 C scallions, chopped
  • 1/3 C toasted white or black sesame seeds
  • 8 red or green romaine lettuce leaves
  • fresh radish sprouts or micro greens (optional)
  • cilantro sprigs (optional)
  • Sriracha (optional)

For Plating

On large plates or in large pasta bowls, mound 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup rice in the center. Begin placing foods around the rice in a decorative way considering colors, textures and size of foods. Each plate should have 1 to 2 chicken thighs (either whole or sliced – not chopped), 1/2 cup broccoli, 1/2 cup grilled squash, 2-3 mushrooms, 1/4 cup cucumber radish confetti, on top of the rice place 1 teaspoon fried garlic and 1 tablespoon fried shallot, 1 tablespoon scallions (scattered over all ingredients), 1 tablespoon (or more) toasted sesame seeds (sprinkled over all ingredients). 3-4 lettuce leaves placed on rim of plate or bowl, radish sprouts and approximately 1/4 cup vinaigrette drizzled over all the ingredients.  Add sriracha or sambal if you like more spice.


Mushrooms were marinated for an hour with some of the same marinade used for the thighs.  We grilled them for about 9 minutes, cap side down so juices collected in the mushroom.  We also roasted hatch peppers on the grill and added a sliver of the pepper to the mushroom with a dollop of sriracha.  You could saute the mushrooms and as an alternative to the hatch peppers, use any other grilled pepper you like best. Yellow squash was sliced thick to hold up to the grilling. You could use zucchini if you don’t have yellow squash. We basted squash with tamari and sesame oil and grilled about 3 minutes per side. Broccoli was cut with long tender parts of stems and pan seared for 2 minutes per side in sesame oil and a bit of salt.  Cucumber radish confetti was from the day before – undressed, so it held up well for the next day’s meal. We fried sliced garlic cloves in canola oil until lightly golden.  Shallots were fried in sesame oil and sea salt.  Make this a vegan or vegetarian meal by substituting chicken with gai yang grilled tofu!


  • 1/2 C rice wine vinegar
  • 2 T shoyu or tamari
  • 2 T sambal or sriracha
  • 1 shallot, rough chopped
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 2 T fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 1/4 C sesame oil
  • 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil (or other salad oil)

In a blender, add in vinegar, shoyu, sambal, shallot, garlic, ginger, zest and sesame oil. Pulse a few times. On low speed, drizzle in olive oil until all ingredients are well incorporated.


Please note: This is the recipe we used to make two meals of gai yang chicken thighs.  If you only need enough for the rice plate, cut marinade ingredients in half and only use 1-1/2 lbs chicken.

  • 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs

For the Marinade

  • 8-10 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 3 stalks of lemongrass, chopped (white portion only)
  • 2 shallots, rough chopped
  • 1/4 C fresh lime juice
  • 2 T fresh lime zest
  • 4 T fish sauce
  • 2 T sesame oil
  • 1/3 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 C sriracha or sambal (use more if you’d like it a bit more spicy)

Mix all ingredients in a medium size bowl until well incorporated.  In a large container (that has fitted lid), place chicken thighs and pour marinade over the top. Rub marinade over all pieces and on both sides. Thighs should be submerged in marinade and lay in one or two layers in your container..  Marinate for at least 4  hours or overnight for 24 hours.

For the Grilling

Set your grill on medium-hot.  Remove thighs from marinade and place in single layer on your hot grill.  Thighs should take about 7-8 minutes on each side.  You want a nice caramelization on the thighs. Watch closely, as thighs have fat and tend to flair up the grill when fat drips.  Total cook time is approximately 15 min,  Place thighs on a sheet pan to rest.  Serve hot or cold. (discard marinade!)