As with most festive feasting, the Lunar New Year celebration often leaves us abounding in food…and leftovers. Foresee having too much leftover food and unopened goodies in the days to come? Fret not, we have some ideas on how you can repurpose your New Year goodies so you can enjoy them in a different way after the festive celebrations!
- Whip up some pineapple marmalade
Too many tubs of pineapple tarts? Turn their fillings into your very own pineapple marmalade spread! Firstly, scoop and separate the pineapple fillings from the pastry, and then combine all the fillings together. Place them in a clean jar, and there – your new breakfast spread!
If the spread is too dry for your liking, you can also soften it before storing it. Simply transfer all the jam fillings to a large saucepan and add some water. Over medium heat, stir well to mix the water and the filling, and cook until it reaches the gelling point. Once it cools, your marmalade should spread smoothly.
- Prepare ready-to-eat cookie dough
Now that you have repurposed the fillings from the tarts, don’t throw out the biscuit part of the tart just yet! Instead, why not turn them into edible cookie dough?
Simply place the leftover biscuits into a resealable bag and use a rolling pin to crush them into finer pieces. Alternatively, you can crush them up in a food processor to speed up the process.
Afterwards, mix the crumbs with butter until the batter is smooth, before adding toppings (we recommend nuts and chocolate chips). Once you are satisfied with the mix, line your containers with baking paper, transfer the cookie dough into it, and store them in the fridge. You now have ready-to-eat cookie dough that you can indulge in whenever you want!
- Make a cheesecake or pie base
If edible cookie dough is not something you fancy, you can rest assured that we have a couple more alternatives to share! With your leftover biscuits, almond cookies, or even gok zai (Cantonese sweet fried dumplings), you can make a cheesecake cookie base or pie crust!
Firstly, crush the cookies into finer bits with a rolling pin or food processor. Next, melt your butter and mix it into your cookie crumbs. After greasing your pie tin, flatten out the mixture evenly inside the tin. You can now proceed with making your cheesecake batter as usual.
Using leftovers like almond cookies should give your cheesecake base hints of nuttiness, which can enhance the taste of your regular cheesecake. Give it a try and taste it for yourself!
- Bak kwa sandwiches or bak kwa bits
Bak kwa (sweet dried pork) is another beloved Lunar New Year delicacy we enjoy eating as it is. But have you tried eating bak kwa with some bread and/or buns? This is your sign to do so!
Add your bak kwa to a slice of bread before adding other ingredients such as pork floss, lettuce, or even eggs! Add your preferred dressing, fold it up, and voilà! You have just made a bak kwa sandwich that you can have during meal times!
An alternative way to repurpose bak kwa is to make bak kwa bits (like bacon bits!). All you have to do is chop up the bak kwa slices into your preferred size! To achieve finer, even pieces, you can place them into a food processor on a low setting. Just like that, you have bak kwa bits that you can add to your salad or fried rice to enhance the taste of your food.
Tip: If the leftover bak kwa is too dry, steam it lightly to soften it. Once cooled, it should be as succulent and fragrant as when you first purchased it!
- Share the prosperity when you donate
While repurposing can give your excess food a second “lease of life”, repurposing all of them might simply mean ending up with the same amount of food but in different forms. Why not donate some to welfare associations such as Food from the Heart, The Food Bank Singapore, or Lion Home for the Elders, whose mission is to bless those in need.
With your generous donation, you can spread joy and prosperity to those who might not have had the chance to receive such goodies this year. It is good practice to refer to the respective organization’s donation guidelines and check the expiry dates of the snacks before donating. Prosperity is always better shared!
This Lunar New Year, we hope you’re inspired to repurpose your excess New Year goodies instead of throwing them out. Aside from these five ways, there are many others as well. All you need is some creativity!