Who doesn’t love Chinese food? Today, you have roadside stalls and restaurants galore serving Chinese food. In addition, almost every party has various Chinese menus like Schezwan rice, noodles, soups, etc. So, if you have leftovers and would like to store them for future consumption, the most appropriate question should be, ‘can you freeze Chinese food?
Can You Freeze Chinese Food?
Yes, you can freeze Chinese food. So, the next time you prepare them in large quantities, you do not have to worry about throwing them away. The tips discussed here should prove helpful in freezing Chinese food and enjoying them at a later date.
It is better to freeze Chinese food prepared at home. However, you can also freeze Chinese takeaways from restaurants and parties. We shall discuss all these aspects here.
How Do You Freeze Chinese Food?
The most popular Chinese foods to freeze are fried rice and chow mein. Freezing fried rice should not be a problem because you can prepare it as usual, with rice, vegetables, chicken, egg, pork, beef, etc. However, when cooking chow mein, it is advisable to remove the food portion you wish to freeze before cooking the noodles. The idea is that the food should be tender.
Step 1 – Cool The Food To Room Temperature
First, the cooked Chinese food should be cooled to room temperature. Placing hot food inside the freezer is not advisable because there could be condensation issues resulting in a decline in the food quality. It also increases the risks of freezer burn. Besides, placing hot food inside the freezer raises the temperature inside the compartment, putting other frozen food at risk.
Step 2 – Store Chinese Food
You can use an airtight container or sealable freezer bags for storing and freezing Chinese food. Aluminum containers are also ideal, but it is better if they can keep the air out.
An airtight container is the best because it keeps the air out and is reusable. It also proves ideal for storing large quantities of food. If you portion the food into small amounts, you can choose the containers accordingly. However, airtight containers occupy more space in the freezer. Therefore, resealable freezer bags are also viable options.
Resealable freezer bags prove helpful for storing small portions of fried rice or chow mein. Labeling freezer bags is convenient. Besides, they can lie flat in the freezer and occupy less space.
Aluminum containers are convenient, but they are not reusable. Secondly, aluminum containers can be expensive. But, aluminum vessels are preferable because it becomes possible to defrost and reheat the Chinese food in the same container.
Once the Chinese food cools down to room temperature, you can store them in the chosen container for freezing. Label the containers and set them to freeze inside the freezer compartment.
How Do You Freeze Chinese Leftovers Or Takeout Food?
The primary issue with Chinese takeout food is that you do not know how the restaurant personnel handled the food. Therefore, we recommend freezing it immediately as you reach home or the food gets delivered. The problem is that you are not aware of how long the food has been kept at room temperature in the restaurant.
Place the Chinese takeout food in the freezer bags, label it, and put it into the freezer.
How Long Does Chinese Food Remain Good In The Freezer?
While Chinese food can remain fresh for extended periods in the freezer, the quality can deteriorate. Therefore, we recommend consuming frozen Chinese food within three months of freezing because you can expect it to lose its texture and flavor.
However, a lot depends on how you handle Chinese food before freezing. If you handle it well, the food remains fresh for long periods. Ideally, you should freeze Chinese food within two hours of cooking it.
How Do You Defrost Chinese Food?
The best way to defrost Chinese food is to leave it in the refrigerator overnight. You can transfer the containers from the freezer to the fridge and leave them to defrost naturally for six to eight hours. It ensures against bacterial regrowth.
If you do not have much time, you can defrost Chinese food at room temperature or microwave it. However, it increases the risk of bacterial contamination. Besides, Chinese food defrosted in the microwave can become mushy.
Can You Reheat Chinese Food?
Once the Chinese food is defrosted, you can reheat it before consumption.
- Food like fried rice, chow mein, and orange chicken can be reheated directly on the pan placed on a stove. First, however, you should ensure to preheat the pan and add some oil. Then, wait for the oil to heat to medium-high and add the Chinese food. Stirring it frequently prevents the food from sticking to the pan and getting burnt.
- You can also reheat Chinese food in the microwave. Defrosted Chinese food can be dry. Adding a tablespoon of water to the Chinese food makes it easy to reheat it in the microwave. One minute should be sufficient to reheat Chinese food in the microwave. If it does not become sufficiently hot, you can reheat it for some more time.
How Long Can You Refrigerate Chinese Food?
Generally, Chinese food lasts for five days. However, much depends on how long you had maintained the food at room temperature. The ingredients in the fried rice can also determine its storage.
How Long Can Chinese Food Like Fried Rice Last After Defrosting?
If you have not reheated the Chinese food, it can remain in the refrigerated stage after defrosting for three days. However, if you have reheated them, they should be consumed immediately.
So, you cannot refreeze Chinese food.
How Do You Tell If Chinese Food Has Gone Bad?
Smelling the food lets you know if the Chinese food has spoiled. If the food smells different from usual, you can safely discard it. Besides, you should not consume Chinese food with mold formations in them.
Can you freeze Chinese food? Yes, you can freeze Chinese food, provided you follow the methods described here.