We all want to reduce our food waste, both for the sake of our pockets and for ethical reasons. There is no denying that some food tastes a little funky when it is reheated, which can really put us off the idea of eating it.
Even certain foods could cause you a very upset stomach if they are not reheated in the right way. Rice, shellfish, and rare meat are just a few of the food examples that need to be heated correctly to avoid feeling unwell after your meal. Don’t worry though, once you have finished reading this article, you will be a pro at reheating fried rice. Enjoy!
Preparation for Reheating Fried Rice
Before I go into detail about how to reheat fried rice, you will need to establish if your rice is safe and edible. This might sound odd if you only cooked the rice last night, but even the FDA has some recommendations around reheating rice, so it is better to be safe than sorry.
You should only reheat cooked rice once. This is because cooked rice that has been boiled and left to cool down begins to develop a bacteria called Bacillus cereus. Bacillus cereus causes vomiting, nausea, or worse.
Bacillus cereus develops when the rice is cooked and left to cool down very slowly, which is what happens when you cook rice and leave it to cool on the countertop. To stunt these harmful bacteria’s growth, you should cook rice and then place it straight in the refrigerator to cool down quickly.
If you forgot to refrigerate your rice and left it out for longer than two or three hours, it would need to be disposed of as it is no longer safe for consumption. Look at the rice in your refrigerator; if it looks good and smells fresh, you can cook it using the following instructions.
Step by step Guide for Reheating Fried Rice
There are a few ways that you can reheat fried rice safely the next day. Choose from one of the following methods, depending on how much preparation time you have for your meal and whether you are cooking it at home or now.
Use the oven method if you want to add some spices to your rice dish. This is a brilliant way to transform plain rice into something exotic and full of personality.
What You Need:
- Heavy-bottom baking tray
- Spice mix of your choice or a spice paste
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure the oven is at this heat before putting your rice in.
- Mix the butter and spices together and place them at the bottom of the heavy-bottom baking tray.
- Put the tray in the oven for two minutes or until all of the butter is melted.
- Pour the rice over the spices, mix the rice and spice mix together, ensuring that any large clumps of rice are separated.
- Plash the top of the rice with water.
- Cover the rice with tin foil and put it in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Serve and eat immediately.
This is probably the best method, as it gives the rice the texture that we all know and love about fried rice. The best thing about this method is that you can change up the dish and add eggs, cooked veggies, cooked meat, and basically anything you like!
If you do plan on adding extra ingredients to your fried rice dish, you should chop them up finely before putting them in with the rice. All fried rice ingredients need to be the same size or a little bigger than the rice grains themselves.
You Will Need:
- A frying pan with a lid
- Vegetable oil
- Some water
- A wooden spoon
- Drizzle some vegetable oil into the frying pan and wait until the pan and the oil are hot before proceeding to the next step.
- Heat up the extras until they begin to become golden and put them to one side.
- Put some more oil into the pan and add the rice.
- Use the wooden spoon to break up the rice.
- Pour ¼ cup water over the rice, stir, and cover with a lid.
- Wait until the rice stops steaming and add the extra ingredients.
- Toss the rice and plate up.
Thank goodness for microwaves! Microwaves allow us to cook and reheat food in a matter of minutes, so if you are in a hurry or you are at work and want a quick and convenient way of reheating fried rice, this is it!
You Will Need:
- Wet paper towels
- A small amount of water
- Vegetable oil
- Microwave safe dish
- Put the rice into a microwave-safe dish that is large enough for the amount of rice you are reheating.
- Sprinkle some water over the rice and drizzle a small amount of vegetable oil over the rice before mixing and breaking it up using a fork.
- Cover the rice with a wet paper towel.
- Using the highest heat setting, microwave the rice for three minutes, stopping and mixing the rice every so often.
- Make sure that the rice is hot all the way through before eating it. If it isn’t, continue to microwave and mix the rice until it is hot enough.
Steam in a Saucepan
Fried rice is very dry, so reheating it can make it even dryer and unpalatable. Putting a little bit of moisture back into your fried rice can make it taste fresh and Moorish. This method is a little time-consuming, but oh-so-worth it!
You Will Need:
- Two tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup water
- Large saucepan with a lid
- Melt the butter in the saucepan slowly over low to medium heat.
- Once all of the butter is melted, add the rice to the saucepan and separate any large chunks.
- Pour in the water and place the lid on the saucepan.
- Leave the rice to steam for about 10 minutes and stir before serving.
Step-By-Step Guide for Turning Left Over Boiled Rice into Fried Rice
If you are a fried rice lover, you will know that it is far easier to make fried rice with leftover boiled rice than with fresh rice. Freshly cooked rice is too moist and sticky to fry, so it turns into a clump of goo if you try to fry it when it is fresh, which isn’t what you wanted, that is for sure!
Once you have established that the rice is safe to eat and has been stored correctly, follow these easy steps for some yummy fried rice.
You Will Need:
- A wok or large frying pan
- Eggs (one egg per cup of rice)
- Left-over rice
- Light soy sauce
- Any other extras (peas, chopped up carrot, and sweet corn are great fried rice extras)
- Heat the frying pan or wok until it is lightly smoking.
- Add a splash of oil to the pan and swirl it around until it covers the whole pan.
- Add the beaten eggs to the center of the pan. Flip the eggs so that they are brown on both sides.
- Move the egg to the side of the pan and add some more oil.
- Pour the rice into the pan and place the egg on top of the rice.
- Use a wooden spoon to break up the rice and eggs and toss the rice until the ingredients are mixed well.
- Add any cooked extras and mix.
- Oil the rim of the pan and also add the soy sauce to the rim of the pan. Mix well.
- Serve and eat immediately.
How to Store Cooked Rice in the Refrigerator
Put your leftover rice into a sealable container and keep it in the refrigerator. You shouldn’t keep cooked rice for longer than a day, so think about how you are going to incorporate rice in your meals the next day to avoid waste.
Tips, Tricks, and Things to Look Out for
There are a few ways to identify gone-off rice. Not everything that has spoiled has got mold on it, and unless you know what signs to look out for, you might find yourself eating rice that is not safe for consumption.
Do Not Eat the Rice if it Has the Following Symptoms:
- The rice is very dry and clumpy
- Smells strange, or not how you remember cooked rice to smell
- Slimy or gooey
If you have mixed other ingredients and added extras with the rice, it can be very hard to determine whether the ingredients are causing the funny smell or texture or if the rice is off and inedible. Throw the rice out if you are on the fence to stay on the safe side.
Follow These Simple Tips for Success:
No matter how you want to reheat your rice, you must rehydrate it in some way. Sprinkling water on your rice no matter how you choose to reheat your rice, you should always rehydrate it with some water. Sprinkling water over the rice before you proceed to cook it again is the best way to do this.
Make Sure it is Piping Hot
Do not eat the rice until every bit of it is piping hot. Stir it well during the cooking process to make sure every bit of it gets hot. Don’t worry; this doesn’t take long as left-over rice gets hot in no time!
Refrigerate Rice ASAP
You probably usually wait for food to cool down completely before refrigerating, but always remember that this is not the case with rice. The sooner you get it into the refrigerator, the better.
Always Use Butter or Oil
Adding butter or oil to your rice before reheating it boosts its flavor and texture. A little goes a long way!
Plan Your Meals
Planning your meals for the week prevents food wastage and stops you from buying unnecessary ingredients from the grocery store. Think about how you want to eat your rice when it is fresh and how you want to eat it the next day.
Let’s wrap things up by taking a look at some frequently asked questions along with their answers. Food is a big part of our lives, so understanding all of the ingredients in your cupboard will ignite your love for food and cooking even more.
Q: Is rice good for your health?
A: Rice is a great source of iron, calcium, vitamins, and minerals. Eating it will keep you fuller for longer as part of a balanced meal, and it contains good cholesterol and very little saturated fats. This makes it brilliant for your health as part of a balanced diet.
Q: What is the best rice to eat?
A: White and brown rice are the most frequently consumed. White rice has gone through more processing than brown rice, making some people view brown rice as the healthier option.
Q: How much rice should I eat with my meal?
A: A small hand full or a cupcake wrapper full of rice is recommended with a well-balanced meal. Rice is usually the carbohydrate component in a meal.
Q: Is quinoa better than rice?
A: Quinoa contains protein and amino acids that rice lacks, but rice is more versatile and contains fewer calories. Neither is better than the other, they are just different, and the appropriate one should be chosen to fit the rest of the meal.
Q: What ratio of water to rice should I use?
A: One cup of rice should be cooked in two cups of water.
Q: Do I need to wash rice before cooking it?
A: Yes, you should rinse rice before cooking it to remove excess starch. This will make the rice easier to cook and healthier for you.
Q: How do I know how much rice to cook per person?
A: Rice expands when it is cooked, so it can be difficult to know how much rice to make per person. One cup of rice is roughly enough for two or three adults.
Q: Why do we fry rice before boiling it?
A: Frying rice creates a deeper flavor and gives the rice a better texture.
Q: Should I season rice before or after cooking it?
A: Adding salt and butter to the rice before boiling it will give it depth and flavor that will require much more salt and butter if you were to wait until the rice is cooked to season. This is also a brilliant way of ensuring all rice grains are evenly seasoned and delicious.
Q: What spices go well with rice?
A: Well seasoned and spiced rice takes your dish to the next level. Saffron, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, five-spice powder, and bay leaf are just a few of the flavor-rich ingredients to add to rice.
I hope you enjoyed this article and that you feel like a rice expert now! Practice makes perfect when cooking rice, but as long as you are experimenting on fresh, edible rice, the sky’s the limit!