Got some Chinese food leftovers hanging around your fridge? Learn how to reheat Chinese food in these 4 great kitchen hacks you wish you knew before!
Leftover foods can be a sanity saver to some people. In most cases, reheating leftovers is a convenient and time and life-saver for the busy individuals, particularly parents juggling their demanding schedules.
One of the best take outs is of course Chinese food. They are rich in flavor and are still awesome until the next day! But how to reheat Chinese food properly?
Read on and find out the different methods you can use for a delicious reheated Chinese food that looks and tastes like they’re good as new.
4 Kitchen Hacks in Reheating Chinese Foods
It is highly likely that once you order a take out of your favorite Chinese food you will have leftovers well enough for the next meal or two. These Chinese restaurants are simply known for serving generous portions especially for takeout orders.
Reheating your leftovers may seem like a sensible move to save your time, reduce food waste, and at the same time it’s budget-friendly too.
There are different ways to ensure you will preserve the taste and texture of your reheated food. The following are some of the best techniques when reheating Chinese dishes:
1. The Stove-top Method
- Simply place a frying pan or a wok over a moderate amount of heat and add a little bit of oil.
- Toss over the food when the pan is already warm.
- You may add fresh ingredients or a dash of soy sauce to enhance the flavor.
- Stir the food for two to three minutes until warm enough.
- Remove from the heat and enjoy.
2. The Easy Microwave Tactic
Using the microwave to warm up your food is one of the quickest ways to enjoy a delicious warm meal. However, it is important to note that the intense heat from the microwave may affect the texture of some Chinese dishes.
Hence, microwaving is not recommended for crispy foods such as breaded chicken. It works best though for other Chinese foods including stir-fries, steamed vegetables, noodles, soups and stews.
Place your leftover in a microwave-safe container. Spread the food out evenly then cover with a damp paper towel. The damp coming from the paper towel serves to create a steam during the heating process and keep the food from drying out.
Now place the container with the food inside the microwave. Microwave the food in short one-minute bursts. After one minute interval, check the food and stir to distribute the heat properly as the microwave tends to heat the food unevenly.
Repeat these steps as needed until you reach the ideal temperature.
3. The Oven Technique
Sometimes when you use microwave to reheat the food, it tends to cook the food again. As a result the rice can become dried-out or unpleasantly chewy and the crispy foods may wind up soggy. So, if you want to reheat your leftover Chinese food without the soggy mess, the oven technique can be your best option.
This technique works best for General Tso’chicken, crab Rangoon, shrimp fried rice, egg rolls and other fried dishes to preserve their crispy texture.
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit or 425 degrees when you are flash reheating.
- Place the food in a baking dish or any oven-safe container and cover the dish with an aluminum foil. Don’t forget to fold the edges for an airtight seal around the container.
- Next, place the container in the oven. Reheat the food for two to ten minutes until it is thoroughly heated. For crispy Chinese dishes such as egg rolls, spring rolls, chicken wings, and fried wontons, they must be wrapped loosely in a foil.
- You will need to open the foil during the last minutes of reheating to allow the food to crisp up.
4. The Amazing Rice Cooker Trick
You might think your rice cooker only works for cooking rice. But your rice cooker is actually a versatile kitchen tool that you can use to cook and reheat a wide variety of foods.
If you have a leftover soup, noodles or chicken congee, you can heat them up in the rice cooker with the lid open. Once warm enough you can simply switch to “Keep Warm” setting so the food stays warm until you’re ready to eat it.
Your rice cooker can also do wonders for reheating meat, rice, porridge and a lot more. Just add in a small amount of water along with the food so it doesn’t dry out.
You can also use your rice cooker as an amazing steamer to steam almost everything effortlessly, from vegetables to tofu to fish and dumplings.
Rice Cooker Works Wonders
Your rice cooker’s boil, simmer and keep warm settings make it a single-pot wonder that can literally make your life in the kitchen easier. Depending on the type of rice cooker you own, you can actually play around with its settings and you will be surprised with the variety of things that you can actually make with this piece of equipment.
Loaded for tomorrow? Who says your only option to save on meal preparation time is reheating? You can actually use your rice cooker so you can enjoy fresh and warm meals whenever you need to.
- Use the rice cooker’s clock time and delay timer to make a one-pot meal for breakfast or when you get home for dinner so much easier. Or, prepare your breakfast during the night and still enjoy the food nice and warm the next day.
- Simply stuff all the ingredients for your one-pot meal – soups, stews, noodles, pork roast, mac and cheese and so much more.
- Then, set the clock time and program the timer to complete the cooking at a specified time.
- The rice cooker’s “Keep Warm” option also comes in handy when you want to cook rice in advance and you want the rice to be kept warm for whenever you want it.
And, while you cook your rice, why not steam meats and vegetables for your dish at the same time? You can start the rice first and towards the end of the cycle insert the steaming tray. Now, here’s to more reasons why your rice cooker deserves a permanent spot on your kitchen’s counter.
You can also watch this video tutorial on how to reheat your favorite Chinese food!
Now that you know the different methods to reheat Chinese foods while still preserving its taste, quality and texture, you’ll no longer feel guilty when you “unintentionally” order extra at your favorite Chinese restaurant.
A friendly reminder though, while leftovers can make brisk and tasty meals, it is very important to remember to refrigerate them promptly and reheat them up properly. Reheating leftovers properly is necessary to keep you and your family safe from food poisoning.
In addition, it is recommended that you consume refrigerated leftovers within two to three days. So, have you tried reheating Chinese foods? How did it turn out? Why don’t you share it with us and comment below.