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Feb 17, 2007 09:04 AM

Reviving rice?

There's a thread on the home cooking board asking what to do with leftover rice. A poster says "The refrigerator is not rice's best friend" SO true.

Is there a way to keep rice a day or two so it doesn't dry out or do I just need to pay attention to the above link to see what to do with my rice that has either dried out or congealed into a ball that I could bounce?

Due to calorie concerns, I don't eat a lot of rice at one sitting. It is a pain to make 1/2 cup of rice.

Will it go bad leaving it on the counter? If I put it in the fridge or freezer, is there something I can do to bring it back to life? Or is there some way of cooking it that keeps it from drying out? Maybe throwing some oil in while cooking?

It would be nice to just make one big batch of rice, throw it in the fridge and use it as the need arises.

Why does rice become so useless so quickly?

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  1. Freezing rice and reheating in the microwave is so successful that I've found it the perfect solution to my problem which is the same as yours. I only want a 1/2 cup or so at a time and it's too much trouble and too time consuming to cook that little.

    I cook the entire bag - 1 or 2 pounds at a time - cool it completely, put it into ziplock bags and freeze. When I need it, I can take out just the amount I want, even if it's a chuck of grains stuck together, and microwave it. The moisture seems to re-steam it.
    I swear it comes out as good as freshly cooked rice. Better than had I refrigerated it and reheated it. That always seems to produce some crunchy grains that dried out in the fridge even after only a day or two. The fridge is not friendly to rice.

    1. I freeze my brown rice regularly in various size portions.
      My silicone muffin tray gets more use as a rice portioner than as a baking too -- I freeze the rice in muffin sized portions then remove to a ziplock.

      To reheat I just zap with the microwave. Though more often than not I'll heat up chili, toss a frozen rice muffin in and come back to a one-dish meal.

      1. Leftover rice doesn't have to be useless. Take note on the above. Feezing little portions in baggies is ideal. You can also invest in a rice cooker which allows you to keep rice warm consistanly over time. Or, take leftover rice and make n.f. rice pudding which is a great breakfast item. Use n.f. 1/2 &1/2 and splenda :)KQ

        1. I keep leftover rice in the fridge or the freezer with equally good results. We usually make rice in the cooker with a meal (always Cal-rose japonica type - different brands, but most often Tamaki Gold or Haiga). Once done, I let the rice cool and put immediately in a ziploc, squish out air, and put in the fridge or freezer, depending on what I anticipate our needs to be for the next week. I take out what I want (1/2 cup or so) in my rice bowl, and nuke for a minute - longer if frozen. Rice comes out nice and hot, just slightly sticky - perfect for lunch. Or I take the whole bag and make chahan to accompany a meal.

          I know many Japanese friends that do the same thing and feel the same way. Perhaps that's because we like our rice somewhat sticky - not super sticky like mochigome or sweet glutinous rice, but with just the right amount of hold. If you're into having rice completely separate - more like the long grain rices (river rice, basmati), then perhaps refridgerating/nuking doesn't work. For Japonica short to medium grain rices, the key is to get it into the ziploc as soon as possible after cooking - leaving it out will definitely dry it out, and then the rice coming out of the fridge/freezer will no longer be sticky at all - just dry, hard, and separate. Even then, sprinkling a little water on (by hand) before nuking can restore it somewhat - although that's pretty desperate - I'll usually make another batch by then.

          1. Make the rice. Eat & enjoy. Then with the cooled leftover rice, form into balls, about fist-sized, wrap them in plastic wrap, then dump them into large freezer bag. When ready to use another day, bring out a rice ball, unwrap, place in traditional Asian indiv.rice bowl, microwave until hot - you get instant 'steamed' rice. (one rice ball per person). it's great. You can use the plastic wrap you covered the rice ball with to cover rice bowl in microwave if you wish.