This authentic Asian cuisine is probably the easiest meal to create. It’s loaded with a lot of nutrients, depending on what you use for ingredients. Fried is simple to make at home or you can order them from an Asian restaurant. However, fried rice is a food that tends to go bad really fast when it cools down. It needs to be eaten right away or stored in the fridge or freezer. If you have leftovers from eating out or made some at home, you’ll need to store it for later use.
So, can you freeze fried rice? Fried rice can be frozen in the freezer and they actually freeze very well. When the rice is cooked, it will absorb moisture and that’s what makes them freeze easily. However, preparing them to be frozen is an important step to preserving their taste and texture.
In this short guide, we’ll through the proper way to freeze fried rice, how to defrost it, how long it will last, and how to tell when fried rice is bad. If that’s the information you’re searching for, keep reading.
Can You Freeze Fried Rice?
Since fried rice is rice that has been cooked, freezing them is possible. However, the rice should only be reheated once. That means once the fried rice has been frozen already, it’s not recommended to refreeze them. Doing so will destroy the texture and flavor of the fried rice. The result will be fried rice that is mushy and has a bland taste.
Can You Freeze Takeaway Fried Rice?
If you have leftover from dining out or bought fried rice from a restaurant, it’s best to not freeze it.
Fried rice takes a long time to prepare. Therefore, many restaurants will prepare fried rice beforehand and store them in the freezer. Once you’ve placed an order of fried rice, the cook will take the frozen fried rice and reheat it. They do this to save time by not having to prepare and cook fried rice from scratch.
Generally speaking, fried rice should only be reheated once. By freezing them again and reheating it the second time, the texture and flavor of the fried rice will change.
So if you’re looking to freeze fried rice from the restaurant, it’s best to just store them in the fridge and try to finish it within a day.
Can You Freeze Homemade Fried Rice?
Fried rice made at home can be frozen and stored in the freezer. It’s recommended that you plan ahead when freezing fried rice. That means after cooking the fried rice, after it cools down, transfers them to a freezer bag and stores it in the freezer right away.
The problem with rice is once they are cooked, bacteria will start growing on them once they cool down.
If you have leftovers, you can store them in the freezer as well. Make sure the fried rice has not been sitting at room temperature for more than an hour. If so, it’s best to throw away the leftovers. At this point, bacteria will probably start growing on the fried rice already.
Does Fried Rice Freeze Well?
Fried rice freezer really well in the freezer. This is due to the moisture that’s in the rice when it’s cooked. During cooking, the rice will absorb moisture and become soft.
Additionally, the texture of the rice will help retain its structure and holds the moisture in during freezing.
How Long Can You Freeze Fried Rice?
Fried rice will last in the freezer for about 3 months. After that, the rice will still be safe to eat, but some of the flavors will be lost. The longer the fried rice is stored in the freezer, the texture and flavor will slowly start to deteriorate.
This is due to freezer burn. Plastic bags do a good job of preventing air from getting into the bag. However, the plastic bags still have tiny pores in them. Over time, air will slowly get through the pores and cause the fried rice to get freezer burn.
Another option to keep fried rice for up to a year is to vacuum seal the bag. This requires the use of a special freezer bag along with a vacuum sealing machine. This GERYON vacuum sealer does a great job of sealing fried rice, which can be found on Amazon.
How to Freeze Fried Rice
When it comes to freezing fried rice, it will depend on what ingredients you’ll be using. Using seafood in fried rice will require more preparation than you would with vegetables fried rice.
Freezing Vegetables Fried Rice
When it comes to freezing vegetable fried rice, it’s best to flash freeze the vegetables and rice separately first. Doing so will help keep the rice from absorbing moisture from the vegetables during freezing. Also, flash freezing will help preserve the texture and flavors of the vegetables.
Here’s how to freeze vegetables fried rice:
- Cook the vegetables and fried rice separately in a different pan.
- Let the vegetables and fried rice cool in the pan.
- Take 2 trays and place baking sheets on each of the trays.
- Once the vegetables have cooled completely, lay them on the baking sheets. Keep the vegetables from touching each other.
- For fried rice, once it’s cool enough to touch, lay them on the baking sheets. Try to lay a thin layer of fried rice covering the entire tray.
- Put both trays into the freezer for about 4-5 hours or until they are completely frozen.
- In a freezer bag, place the frozen vegetables and fried rice in there together.
- Leave about an inch of space at the top of the bag so you can zip the bag.
- Squeeze out as much air as possible from the bag and seal it.
- Label and date the bag.
- Place the vegetable fried rice into the back part of the freezer.
Vegetables fried rice will remain fresh for up to 3 months.
Freezing Shrimp Fried Rice
When it comes to freezing shrimp fried rice, it’s important to freeze them as soon as possible after preparing it. Freezing shrimp fried rice should be done right away after the fried rice has completely cooled down. The longer it takes to freeze them, the chances the quality of the shrimp fried rice will decrease. Also, the higher the chances bacteria will grow on the fried rice.
Here is how to freeze shrimp fried rice:
- Cook the shrimp fried rice like you would.
- Let it sit in the pan to cool down first.
- Grab a tray and lay a sheet of baking paper on it.
- Once the fried rice is cool enough to touch, grab some out of the pan and lay them on the tray.
- If there are clumps, gently separate them with your fingers.
- Lay them as a thin layer covering the entire tray.
- Place the tray of shrimp fried rice into the freezer for about 4 hours.
- Once the fried rice is completely frozen, transfer them to a sealable freezer bag right away.
- Squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing the bag.
- Label the bag with the date and move the fried rice to the freezer right away.
Shrimp fried rice will remain fresh for up to 3 months.
How Do You Defrost Fried Rice?
Take the entire package of fried rice from the freezer and put the rice on a plate. You can either use the microwave or reheat them using a frying pan. Both are great for defrosting and reheating fried rice.
However, a microwave will make the fried rice softer and a little mushy. Using a frying pan, on the other hand, will make the fried rice a little bit crispier. Depending on your preferences, you can use either.
While reheating them in the microwave, it’s important to check the dryness of the fried rice. After 2 minutes of reheating, if the fried rice seems dry, add a tablespoon of water. Mix it in with the fried rice and reheat for another 2-3 minutes. This will make the fried rice soft and moist.
If you’re using the frying pan, again, check for dryness. After about 2 minutes, if the fried rice seems a little to dry, you can either add soy sauce or water to it. Mix it and cook it for another 3-4 minutes. Cook the rice to your preferences. If you want fried rice to be more crispy, use less water. Add more water to make the rice softer.
Using Frozen Fried Rice
When it comes to fried rice, most will just thaw them and eat it. Since all the ingredients have been added, it makes sense to eat it this way.
However, fried rice is versatile and can be used to create other meals. Below are a few examples:
Soup & Stews
You can add frozen fried rice straight to the soups while it’s cooking. Great for making chicken soups and vegetables and rice soup.
Another great meal to add fried rice to as well. Chicken and beef stir-fry are great to use fried rice with. It will bring out more flavor and make the stir-fry a healthier meal.
If you have frozen chicken fried rice, make great tasting pilafs with it. Give Mediterranean Rice Pilaf and Lemon Rice Pilaf a tangy twist that goes really well with chicken.
Bowls are trending right due to their quick, versatile and it’s packed with nutrients. You can make a simple bowl with frozen fried rice. Add fried rice to the bowl for a more healthy meal.
As you can see, there are many other meals you can make besides eating just fried rice from the freezer. Again, fried rice is versatile so use your creativity and imagination to create a tasty meal.
How Long Does Fried Rice Last?
At room temperature, fried rice will last no longer than an hour. Once the rice is cooked and has cooled down, it will start to have bacteria growth. For rice, the most common one is Bacillus cereus, which is a toxin-producing bacterium. This bacteria is known to cause food poisoning and could get you very sick.
Therefore, after the fried rice has been cooked, it’s best to consume as soon as possible. If you’re not planning to eat it right away, store it in the fridge to eat later.
In the fridge, fried rice will last for a couple of days. Depending on the ingredients you used, it may stay fresh shorter, or longer. Fried rice using chickens and beef will last for a day or so. Using just vegetables, on the other hand, will make the fried rice last in the fridge a little longer.
In the freezer, fried rice will last for 3 months. It can last much longer than 3 months, but the quality of the rice will deteriorate. However, if you’re going to use frozen fried rice in soups or to make stir-fry, it won’t be an issue since the rice will be cooked with other ingredients.
How To Tell When Fried Rice Go Bad?
Depending on where it’s stored, there are signs to look for. For fried rice, once they go bad, it’s recommended to discard the entire content.
Below are some of the things to look for:
Odor: At room temperature, spoiled fried rice will start to have a foul odor to it. It will smell bad enough that you won’t want to eat it. If it’s stored in the fridge, it will have a foul smell to it, but not as strong as it would be left at room temperature. Any kind of bad odor should be discarded right away.
Texture: Fried rice left at room temperature and the fridge, the texture of it will start to become slimy and mushy. If you notice this texture along with the foul odor, it’s best to throw the entire content of fried rice away.
Taste: Hopefully, the odor, and texture of the fried rice will already be enough to prevent you from eating it. If you’re wondering how spoiled fried rice tastes like, it will taste sour and bland.
It’s best not to eat fried rice that has spoiled due to the Bacillus cereus bacteria. Not only will you get food poisoning from eating it, but it could lead to death if you ingest a lot of spoiled fried rice.
Can you reheat fried rice that is spoiled?
No! You should never reheat fried rice that has already spoiled. More than likely, the bacteria will already grow on the rice already. Reheating the fried rice will not kill all of the bacteria which could make you sick from food poisoning.
A passionate cook and stay-at-home mom. Since I spend most of the time in the kitchen, keeping the pantry clean and organized is a top priority. Besides being a clean freak, I enjoy gardening, hiking and other activities under the sun.