Melissa King's Thanksgiving Leftovers Hacks Are Nothing Short Of Genius - Exclusive

It's okay to be a leftover purist. Melissa King is, and the chef certainly isn't out to shame you if you enjoy reheating your Thanksgiving meals instead of repurposing them. "I like to open the fridge and eat it straight the way it was the night before," the "Top Chef" champion told Tasting Table in an exclusive interview.

However, on the off chance that cold turkey sandwiches or half-heartedly rewarmed turkey and days-old gravy don't electrify your tastebuds, King's got some tips and tricks up her magician's sleeves, too. Meet trick number one: "I'll do a turkey fried rice," she suggested. "A fried rice is a very great way to repurpose any leftovers. You have your basic pantry staples from rice to garlic and onion, and you can sauté that all together with scrambled egg or any other vegetables that are in your fridge to make a nice leftover."

Trick number two is a bit more involved, but it's oh-so-worth-it. Melissa King gave us her best advice for making a delicious turkey congee.

How to perfect your turkey congee after Thanksgiving

To get congee right, do it right from the beginning. "A good foundation to a congee starts with onions, garlic, and ginger. That's the holy trinity of Chinese cuisine," Melissa King advised Tasting Table. "I sauté that. I sauté the rice, and then I layer it with the broth. If I'm making mushroom congee, I'll use mushroom broth. If I'm making a chicken congee, I'll use chicken broth, and same with the duck congee, I'll use duck broth." You get the idea. If you're planning on using your leftover turkey for congees like King, think ahead and make yourself some turkey broth.

There's a second step to a perfect congee that you won't want to miss: the toppings. "Don't skip out on the toppings. That's always the fun part of having the chili crunch and fried shallots, cilantro, and scallions," King suggested. "You could have so much fun with chopped peanuts. It's quite endless, the type of toppings that you can put on top. You want a lot of textural components to make it exciting." If King had to pick three for herself, she'd go for chili crunch or Sichuan chili oil, shallots, and cilantro. But that's her — you do you.

For more recipe inspiration, don't miss out on Melissa King's adventures on Nat Geo's "Tasting Wild," which is currently streaming on Hulu.