Fried rice is undeniably delicious and if you’re making a little, you may as well make a lot. Restaurants feel the same way, so when you order fried rice, you’re likely to get a serving of mammoth proportions.
Whether it’s homemade or takeaway, leftover fried rice can be just as enjoyable as the first meal, but it can also be really disappointing if it’s not reheated properly.
So, what is the best way to reheat fried rice? The best way to reheat fried rice is to add moisture back into the rice before reheating it. You can use the microwave, the stovetop, or the oven. No matter which method you choose, you will need to add in some oil, water, or broth to keep your rice from drying out.
In this article, we’ll discuss 4 different ways to reheat fried rice which are each fairly simple, but take different amounts of time and make use of different appliances.
The Best Way to Reheat Fried Rice
The most important thing you need to know about reheating fried rice, or any rice for that matter, is safety. Storing and reheating cooked rice should be done with the same care as you would give to meat and dairy products.
Even though rice is a plant-based food, it is extremely susceptible to bacteria that cause extreme food poisoning.
So before you get to the reheating part of enjoying leftover fried rice, make sure you follow a few safety tips first:
- Don’t let your cooked rice sit out at room temperature for any longer than absolutely necessary – get it in the fridge as soon as you know you’re not going to eat it all in one sitting.
- Store it in an airtight container in your fridge (make sure you have a quality container with a watertight seal, like these ones from Amazon) and don’t open and close the container multiple times.
- Only reheat your fried rice once.
- Make sure the rice is piping hot to kill any bacteria that may have survived.
Reheating Fried Rice on the Stovetop
The best way to reheat your fried rice is in a pan on your stovetop. This method will produce the best taste and texture, but it does require a bit more work on your part.
Fried rice is already fried, so frying it again is going to bring back the original texture and flavor.
Here is how to reheat fried rice on the stovetop:
- Depending on how oily your leftover fried rice is, add some water, broth, or extra oil to your pan and warm it up.
- Add the rice to the pan once the oil is warmed and stir continuously, distributing the heat and oil.
- Cook for a minimum of 10 minutes on medium-high heat.
If you’re watching the oil in your diet, steam-frying your fried rice with water or broth works well and tastes delicious.
To steam-fry your rice, follow these steps:
- Add the liquid to the pan and warm it up first.
- Add your rice and mix it well.
- Cover the pan and let it cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.
- Give it a good stir to make sure it’s not sticking to the pan, add more liquid if necessary.
- Cover and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Repeat this process until your rice has been heating for at least 10 minutes and has soaked up all the liquid.
Reheating fried rice on the stovetop is the best way, but it may not be a viable option if you’re taking your lunch into the office or something like that.
How to Reheat Fried Rice in the Microwave
The microwave is the most common way people reheat their leftovers, but it does have a tendency to dry out rice, especially fried rice.
To prevent it from drying up into tiny rocks, you’ll need to add in some liquid to reintroduce moisture to your fried rice.
Adding a tablespoon or 2 of water is the easiest, quickest solution. If you want to take your leftover rice to the next level, add a few tablespoons of chicken or vegetable broth instead.
Here are the steps for reheating fried rice in the microwave:
- Place your rice in a microwave-safe bowl and mix in two tablespoons of your chosen liquid.
- Cover the bowl, in order to keep the moisture inside the bowl. You’ll want to allow for some air to escape. A microwave splatter guard is perfect for this, but you can also cover your bowl loosely with a plate or a larger bowl inverted over the top of your food.
- Cook your rice on high for 2 minutes, give it a good stir to disperse the heat, and return to the microwave for another 3 – 4 minutes.
- Allow your rice to cool, and enjoy!
It is important to reheat your rice in the microwave for at least 5 minutes. This is longer than reheating usually takes in a microwave and it may make the rice too hot to eat right away.
However, heating for 5 minutes in the microwave is necessary for safety purposes.
How to Reheat Fried Rice in the Oven
Reheating fried rice in the oven is easy, but the most time-consuming of all options.
Here is how to reheat fried rice in the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 425 – 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place your leftover fried rice in an oven-safe casserole dish (like this amazing one from Amazon) and add in a few tablespoons of water or broth.
- Make sure there is enough liquid to moisten every grain of rice, but not turn it into soup. How much you need will depend on how much leftover fried rice you have.
- Cover your casserole dish with its lid so that the moisture will stay inside with your rice.
- Bake well-covered for 15 minutes at 425 – 450F.
- After 15 minutes, remove the lid and give it another 3 – 5 minutes to allow some of the steam to escape, but not too long or your rice will dry out.
How to Reheat Fried Rice in the Air Fryer
Reheating fried rice in the air fryer works very well. It’s probably the easiest method, but it does take longer than the microwave.
You don’t even have to add any liquid, it will protect the moisture naturally.
If you don’t already have an Air Fryer, then you might need to rethink some things. I’ve been using this one from Amazon and am totally obsessed with it.
To reheat fried rice in the air fryer follow these steps:
- Transfer the fried rice into your air fryer.
- Cook on high for 8 – 10 minutes.
- Cook until steaming hot. Err on the side of caution by adding an extra 2 – 3 minutes if you’d like.
- Let cool, and enjoy!
How to Reheat Fried Rice [Chart]
|Appliance||How Long||What to Expect|
|Microwave||5 minutes||Greatest risk of drying out, needs added moisture|
|Stovetop||10 minutes||If fried in oil, almost the same texture and flavor as the original serving. If fried in water/broth, might be softer and slightly more sticky|
|Oven||15 – 20 minutes at 425F||Slightly dryer rice, easily prevented by adding some moisture to your dish as it reheats. Maybe stickier than the original version.|
|Air Fryer||8 – 10 minutes||Fried rice that is almost the same as it was the first time it was served|
Reheating Fried Rice – All Kinds
Chinese fried rice, chicken fried rice, vegetable fried rice, and fried brown rice can all be reheated using the methods above, but there are a few notes to keep in mind for each of the different varieties.
Chinese Fried Rice
Chinese fried rice from your favorite restaurant will probably have a lot more oil than what you’d use to cook fried rice at home.
The best method for reheating Chinese fried rice is on the stovetop. You may not have to add much oil because there will likely be plenty.
An important note is to transfer the fried rice from the takeaway container to a container with an airtight seal before storing it.
Chicken Fried Rice
If you’re reheating chicken fried rice you not only have to worry about the fried rice drying out but also the chicken. Our favorite way to reheat chicken fried rice is in the oven.
Covering it in a casserole dish helps to regulate not only temperature but also moisture, and should keep your chicken from drying out.
Vegetable Fried Rice
Vegetable fried rice is tricky, as vegetables will reheat very quickly and go soft if reheated for too long.
The microwave solution is the best for vegetable fried rice, as you don’t need to worry about the veggies sticking to your frying pan or overcooking in the oven.
Finally, brown rice has more crunch to it than white rice, so you want to be even more careful not to dry it out.
Our favorite method for brown rice is the air fryer, but if you don’t have one, steam-frying fried brown rice on your stovetop or reheating it in the oven works really well.
Below you will find the answers to some other common questions related to reheating fried rice.
How Long Does Cooked Rice Last?
Properly cooled and stored cooked rice will last up to 4 days in your refrigerator, though the sooner you can eat it, the more enjoyable and safer it will be.
To get the most life out of your cooked rice, make sure that it doesn’t spend too much time unrefrigerated because cooked rice offers the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive.
You’ll want to make sure your rice is sealed in an airtight container inside your fridge because even in the cold bacteria can persist if you’re not careful.
If your cooked rice is dry or hard, smells funny, or is slightly slimy, your best solution is to toss it and start fresh.
Is It Safe to Reheat Rice?
If your rice has been cooled and stored properly, yes, it is safe to reheat rice. When you reheat it though, you want to make sure it is thoroughly heated to kill off any potential bacteria that may have snuck in.
If possible, eat rice within a day of being cooked, but certainly no more than 4 days later.
Can You Reheat Rice Twice?
You can reheat rice twice, but it is not recommended. This doubles the chances bacteria have to colonize your rice, and also really decreases the quality.
To keep yourself safe from potential food poisoning and to make sure you enjoy your reheated rice as much as possible, don’t attempt to reheat it more than once.
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