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Jul 17, 2009 11:01 PM

Can you freeze fried rice?

I know that you can freeze rice and fried rice for that matter. My real question is how do people not get sick and die from eating frozen or warmed up fried rice the next night?

To make fried rice you ideally need yesterdays left over rice (cooked once), you then cook it with veggies, meat, condiments (cooked twice), at this point you would freeze it or store it in the fridge, and then you defrost and reheat it (cooked a third time) ready to have it for dinner. I was under the impression that with food you should only reheat it once and then discard any leftover.

Did I miss something?

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  1. Yes, you did miss something.

    You can definitely reheat frozen fried ice.

    Have you never reheated leftover frozen pizza? (To name just one of many, many examples.)

    5 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      actually never, I wouldn't keep any left overs from a dish like that even if there were any.
      But thanks for the heaps up!

      1. re: snax

        do you throw away a lot of food?

        i'm always amazed how skittish some people can be about the potential longevity of food storage. it will last several days, or more, in the fridge and ages in the freezer. quality eventually will suffer, and same goes for reheating the same portion of something repeatedly. but then that can go in soup or fried cakes or something.

        i really hate throwing stuff away.

        1. re: snax

          I live with a guy that I have to hide things from he buys a roasted chicken from the grocery store and won't eat it the next day .....drives me crazy all the wasted food that we have I came from a farming family of 7 and if you didn't eat it that day it was re heated and then put into soup...

          1. re: hasbean

            maybe show him this:



            the u.s. wastes almost as much food as the total amount of food produced in sub-saharan africa.

            40% of food gets wasted.

            we throw away more food than paper, plastic and glass combined.

        2. re: ipsedixit

          Sure you can. You can even buy frozen fried rice in the grocery. What are you afraid of? As long as all cooking equipment are clean and the storage container is clean there in nothing to worry about.

        3. "I was under the impression that with food you should only reheat it once and then discard any leftover. "

          Not sure where you got that from, but it's not true. If it were there would be a lot of sick/dead Chowhounds! As long as you store the food properly and it doesn't sit at the temperature danger zone (40 to 140F) for excessive periods of time, you're pretty safe. Any time you heat food to over 165F any existing bacteria are going to be killed.

          1. Sure, anything can be frozen so long as it's reheated to a temperature that will counteract any bacterial activity. However, do you *really* want to serve a dish that's going to be mushy at best?

            1. ok I'm curious, just how many times can you reheat rice, pizza, meatloaf etc?? Like I said I was under the impression that once cooked, you could only reheat foods once.

              1 Reply
              1. re: snax

                In terms of safety, indefinitely, if it's been frozen. If it''s promptly cooled and refrigerated, no difference in safety from just keeping it in the refrigerator. This varies depending on the dish - pizza and rice, perhaps a week; meatloaf 4-5 days. Unless it starts to smell or look bad, it's edible. However, the longer the storage, whether freezer or fridge, the more the flavor (and, for some dishes, texture) change. Repeated reheating is not generally an issue to begin with, because most people reheat only as much of the food as will be needed for a particular meal. E.g.: you don't reheat the whole lasagna pan, you remove as many portions as you need and just heat those. If you did reheat the whole pan each time, it would dry out too much.

              2. Just don't let the cooked food sit around a long time at room temperature---get it in the refrigerator or freezer promptly. And if you don't like the consistency of leftover frozen Chinese food after you've microwaved it to thaw it, add it to chicken broth to make very good Chinese-type soup. This also works with a small quantity of restaurant leftovers that seems not worth taking home---take home and add to broth.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Querencia

                  Be extra careful with rice. Prolonged storage or multiple heat-cool cycles, cooked rice is trickier than most foods as it contains heat-resistant spores which produce toxins that can result in a food-bourn illness.

                  1. re: iamafoodie

                    This was a new one on me so I did a little online sleuthing. The culprit, Bacillus cereus, is in the soil and also contaminates other foods including spices. The rice won't contain it if the soil it was grown in is free of Bc. Since refrigeration was a 20th century development and rice has for eons been grown and consumed in warm climates, I am skeptical of the frequency of risk. Leftover rice is still saved a room temperature in many countries today. Perhaps we develop resistance to the bacterium. The symptoms are typical of food poisoning.

                    Since it sounds like snax does not often eat leftover food, s/he might be more vulnerable to gastrointestinal upset.

                    1. re: greygarious

                      This is a super old post but I wanted to reply in case anyone stumbles across this again. As an undergraduate (many years ago now) I lived for a semester in Costa Rica, where my host family commonly made rice for the week and then kept it on the counter in a rice cooker (for the whole week and multiple reheatings). Their fridge was very tiny. They also often left leftovers well-covered on the stove until they were used up. It was also uncommon for people to refrigerate eggs--they were even sold unrefrigerated in a plastic bag. I had some stomach issues for the first week or so (which at the time I attributed to the water), but then I was fine. I think people's systems get used to it. Nobody died.