Eggs: The Creative Ingredient

How To Store And Reheat Your Chinese Food Leftovers

by Ethan Stone

If there's one thing that you know you're going to get with Chinese food takeout, it's generous portions. All too often, Chinese leftovers sit in the fridge until they're thrown out because they just don't taste as good the second time around. But that's probably because you're reheating them wrong. It's not as simple as throwing your food in the microwave. If you heat it up with just the microwave, you'll probably end up with hard, dry food. Fortunately, there is a way to store and to reheat your Chinese food leftovers so they're almost as good as the first time around.

Storing Chinese Food in the Refrigerator

Like any food, if you don't store Chinese food properly, you're not only running the risk of ruining your leftovers, put potentially putting yourself at risk for foodborne illness. Make sure you put your food in the refrigerator within two hours of eating. While it may be tempting to store it in the takeout container it arrived in, those containers aren't good for long term storage.

Place your food in a resealable container, or wrap your takeout container with plastic wrap. The more airtight you can make it, the better preserved your food will be. Chinese food shouldn't be left in a refrigerator more than four days.

Reheating Chinese Food

One of the best ways to reheat Chinese food is to use a ceramic bowl along with a dinner plate. Separate any rice or noodles from meat, and put them in the bottom of the bowl. Your rice will likely be clumped together from being in the refrigerator, so use a fork to break up any clumps. Place the meat on top of the rice or noodles, but don't mix it in. Once everything's in the bowl, put the dinner plate upside down over top. Heat the food for 15 to 30 seconds, just enough to loosen up the rice. The, take out your plate and bowl and flip them upside down so the plate is now on the bottom. Moisten the rice with a little water. Leave the bowl on top, and microwave for 90 seconds to 2 minutes depending on how much food you have. Leave the food in the microwave for another two minutes to allow the rice to steam heat and rehydrate.

Of course, some people actually do like cold take out food. If you go this route, there's nothing to worry about as long as you kept it refrigerated and you're eating it within the proper timeframe.

So instead of just nuking your leftovers, take a little time for preparation, and you'll end up with a much better meal!