A rice noodle dish is incredibly easy to prepare when you need a quick fix, or simply when you want to enjoy the goodness that rice noodles offer! It is a good idea to keep a stock of rice noodles to whip up quickly, but you cannot keep fresh rice noodles indefinitely without risking them spoiling.
To keep rice noodles fresher for longer, can you freeze them? Yes, you can freeze rice noodles successfully. In fact, most rice products do freeze well, with uncooked rice noodles faring better than those that have been cooked already. If prepared and frozen right, the rice noodles will have little change to their texture or taste once they have been frozen and thawed.
Keep reading for the best way to freeze rice noodles.
How To Freeze Cooked Rice Noodles
If you are cooking a rice noodle dish and are anticipating some leftovers, do not mix all the noodles with the sauce.
The sauce might bring down the shelf life of the noodles, as it spoils quicker than the noodles themselves when kept in the fridge, but in the freezer, the sauce could turn the noodles even soggier when thawed.
If possible, you should also try to cook the leftover noodles al dente, so that when reheated, they can be cooked to the perfect consistency and texture.
Place the leftover noodles into a freezer container. The best option would be to store them in a freezer-safe plastic bag, laying them flat so no ice will form in the center, which could destroy the texture.
Freezing single portions in plastic freezer bags laid flat, also means you can stack them on top of each other to save space in the freezer.
Place the sauce into a separate freezer container, either into a plastic freezer Tupperware or into a freezer bag, to stack alongside the noodles.
You can also choose to place the noodles into an airtight container, tossing them slightly with some oil so they do not clump together. Try not to overfill the container. Whether using a container or plastic freezer bag, label the container with the name of the noodles and date of storage so you know when to use them by.
For noodles that have been mixed with ingredients already, you can freeze them, but you will not get the best results.
Once again, place the leftover rice noodle dish into a plastic container or freezer bag and place it into the freezer, labeled with the name of the dish and the date of freezing on the packaging.
Freezing Uncooked Rice Noodles
It is best to freeze rice noodles uncooked if possible. Uncooked noodles will stay fresher for longer than their cooked partners, especially when frozen.
You can place the uncooked noodles into an airtight freezer container, or into a plastic freezer bag. Even better, if you have a vacuum sealer, vacuum seal the bag to maintain the ultimate level of freshness.
Label the bag with the date of freezing, so you are aware of when to use the rice noodles by. If you are freezing the rice noodles for smaller portions, it is a much better idea to place them into smaller freezer bags, which can be stacked flat one on top of another in the freezer.
This way, you have access to a single portion, without having to defrost the whole batch, which would just lead to waste.
Thawing and Reheating Frozen Rice Noodles
You need to be particularly careful when thawing the frozen rice noodles, to not expose them to temperatures which might encourage bacterial growth, which could lead to food-borne illnesses.
To thaw the rice noodles, transfer the containers from the freezer straight to the fridge. Leave the rice noodles to thaw in the fridge overnight, or for a few hours during the day.
The rice noodles will be ready to use once they have thawed completely in the fridge. Only remove the portion you will need to reheat, as once you reheat the rice noodles, you cannot place them back into the fridge, they will need to be eaten immediately.
There are three ways to reheat the rice noodles, depending on the dish you are making.
The microwave is a fairly good option to reheat noodles, as it is quick and efficient.
Place the rice noodles into a microwave-safe plate and place them into the microwave. In addition, put a cup of water into the microwave to provide some moisture to stop the rice noodles from drying out.
Nuke the noodles in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until fully heated through. Leave the noodles to sit for a minute to allow the heat to distribute evenly before eating.
You can reheat the noodles in the skillet, and this works best for noodles that were cooked prior to freezing.
You can place the skillet over medium heat and add in any other ingredients you wish to cook with the rice noodles. Add in some oil to the noodles to stop them drying out, and then allow them to reheat on the stove, stirring continuously to prevent them from sticking.
The oven method only works if your rice noodles are drenched in a sauce. Place the al dente noodles onto a baking sheet, spreading the noodles around with their sauce.
Place the noodles into an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and leave them there for around 20 minutes until heated through.
The Shelf Life Of Rice Noodles
Kept in the fridge, noodles on their own last longer than noodles mixed in with a sauce or other ingredients. In the fridge, cooked noodles remain fresh for up to 5 days, kept in an airtight container or plastic bag.
Kept in the right storage conditions in the freezer, rice noodles, cooked or uncooked, can be kept for up to 2 months. These will be fine to eat after this amount of time, but the quality of the rice noodles will deteriorate quickly after this, as the ice crystals or freezer burn will ruin both the texture and taste of the rice noodles.
In the freezer, the noodles should be kept at a constant temperature. Noodles kept in the fridge, both before and after freezing, should be kept below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, as above this temperature, bacteria will begin to grow. Once thawed and reheated, rice noodles should be thrown away if not eaten.
If you are wanting to defrost a batch of rice noodles, you should keep them in the fridge and only reheat what you will be eating immediately, and discard any leftovers in the fridge within 2 days.
When it comes to refreezing rice noodles, it is not recommended. With some foods, it is possible to allow the foods to thaw in the fridge, and then to be placed back into the freezer within a day, and still be safe to eat, better yet if the thawed rice noodles have ice crystals.
While you might be able to do this with rice noodles, as they are so delicate, the texture and taste of the rice noodles will be ruined and turned to a soggy mush when thawed once again and reheated. Refreezing the rice noodles is not advised.
Can you get poisoning from rice noodles?
It is very possible to get food poisoning from rice noodles, especially cooked or fresh rice noodles. Dried rice noodles are not as bad, as bacteria do not grow well in dried foods.
However, with fresh or cooked rice noodles, given the right temperature, between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, bacteria can grow rapidly.
This is why proper storage of rice noodles, and freezing for extended life, is so important. Once reheated, rice noodles should be discarded, and if rice noodles are left out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours, they should be thrown away.
How can you tell if rice noodles have gone bad?
There are a few simple ways to tell if rice noodles have gone bad.
First, look at the noodles. If they have discolored, or if there are any signs of mold, they should be thrown away immediately. You can also smell the noodles, if they have a sour, rancid, or off smell, throw them away.
The last resort is to taste the noodles, which really is not recommended, but the first taste should be a good indication of whether or not the noodles have spoiled, as they will be sour and unpleasant.
Freezing Rice Noodles
Do not let leftover or excess rice noodles go to waste, they are too delicious to just be thrown away. Instead, use the above guide to learn how to properly prepare and store rice noodles, whether they are uncooked, cooked or mixed in with other ingredients.
Proper storage is the key to ensuring that the noodles remain safe to eat, and still retain their taste and texture when it is time to enjoy them.
Use the method that suits you best to reheat the rice noodles, and add in whichever extra ingredients you are craving for!