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People worldwide enjoy eating a variety of rice dishes, including the beloved egg fried rice. It’s been known to stand alone as the main course or can be used as a side dish to complement many other ingredients, such as shrimp or chicken.
The question is: Can you put leftover egg fried rice in the freezer?
Yes, you can safely freeze cooked egg fried rice. However, you need to put the dish in the freezer within one hour because bacteria might grow if it sits at room temperature for too long. Egg fried rice should not stay in the freezer for more than 3 months. After that, it might lose its flavor.
People from all walks of life have been freezing it and serving it as a quick meal for decades. It’s not only delicious, but it can be made in multiple creations, including healthy variations.
How To Prepare Your Cooked Egg Fried Rice For Freezing
You can prepare your cooked fried rice any way you desire before deciding to freeze it. The main health concern for safely freezing your egg-fried rice comes into effect when you want to freeze it after it’s been prepared.
It doesn’t matter which ingredients you want to add to your egg fried rice; as long as they are freezer friendly, you are good to go!
If you want to freeze your cooked egg fried rice, then simply follow these steps:
Step 1 Dividing Your Cooked Egg Fried Rice
Immediately after cooking your rice, allow it to cool down for 10 to 15 minutes before dividing it into the amounts you want to freeze. Then scoop your rice into each container or bag you will use to store it in your freezer.
Note: It’s crucial to be sure that whatever option you choose can be sealed tightly.
Step 2 Allowing Your Rice To Cool
Allow the rice to cool before closing the lid on your container or sealing your freezer lock bag. However, don’t wait longer than one hour before putting your portions into your freezer. This will prevent any bacteria from growing before it is frozen.
Step 3 Labeling Your Storage Methods
Use a permanent marker to write on a label or bag with the following details:
- What the Contents Are (Ex: Shrimp Egg Fried Rice)
- The Date Prepared and Frozen
- Any Other Preferred Details
This will help you identify what it is in the freezer and how long it has been there. Keep in mind that frozen egg fried rice should be consumed within three months to avoid being spoiled or contaminated.
Unlike many other frozen foods, rice has a shorter life span when frozen. So don’t make huge batches and freeze them; try only to cook what you know can be consumed within the timeframe of one to three months.
Step 4 Putting Your Rice In Your Freezer
After your cooked egg fried rice is cooled off and it has been less than one hour, you can go ahead and seal the bag or close the container with a sealed tight lid. Place the containers or bags of rice in a location in your freezer that you will regularly see.
Hiding or tucking your frozen cooked egg fried rice could run the risk of not being used accordingly. So keeping it in plain view will help remind you that it needs to be consumed.
Never allow your cooked egg fried rice to sit in direct sunlight or reach room temperature for longer than an hour. Always consume or freeze your rice before it has a chance to form any bacteria or make you ill.
Does Freezing Your Cooked Egg Fried Rice Affect the Flavor?
Freezing your cooked egg fried rice should not impact the flavor of the dish. Since rice has a good amount of moisture when frozen, that flavor will present itself again in your meal once it thaws.
However, if you don’t use your frozen cooked egg fried rice stored in a freezer lock bag or an airtight container within three months, it can begin to lose its flavor.
Note: Cooked egg fried rice that is frozen longer than three months and has not been vacuum-sealed can begin to get freezer burn, which will impact the consistency and taste.
How Long Can You Keep Cooked Egg Fried Rice In the Freezer?
Depending on how your rice was stored will determine how long it can be safely kept in the freezer. Below you will find the maximum time frames you can store your egg fried rice in the freezer.
If you choose to vacuum seal the bag, you will need to make sure that you are using a bag designed for that purpose and a machine used to vacuum seal foods.
|Freezer Lock Bag||Up to 3 Months||Loses Flavor After 3 Months|
|Air Tight Sealed Container||Up to 3 Months||Loses Flavor After 3 Months|
|Vacuumed Sealed Bag||Up To One Year||Doesn’t Affect the Flavor|
How To Defrost Cooked Egg Fried Rice
There are a few different ways you can quickly defrost your cooked fried rice. Depending on how soon you want to eat it and your preferences for the outcome (soft vs. crispy), will dictate the best method for defrosting your egg fried rice.
Here are the best ways to defrost cooked egg fried rice:
- Bowl of Water – Simply place your container or bag of frozen egg fried rice into a bowl of cool water and allow it to sit for a while. This method actually takes more time, but it is also the best way to avoid that your rice has time to be contaminated. Just make sure you check the water frequently and swap it for freshwater if it is too cool.
- Frying Pan – This can be a fast and effective way to reheat your fried rice. Cook it over medium heat for about two minutes, checking the dryness. If it appears too dry, add a little water or soy sauce and continue cooking it until it is thoroughly heated. If you want your fried rice to be crispy, use less water and toss it more often to prevent burning.
- Microwave – Many people just pop their frozen cooked egg fried rice into the microwave for a few minutes and then mix it up and check the dryness before continuing to heat it. Your rice will be softer when using this method, so if you want a little crunch, remove it from the microwave and put it in the frying pan for one to two minutes to get crispier.
The above methods are very effective for defrosting and reheating your frozen cooked egg fried rice. Depending on your personal preferences will determine which way will work best for you.
Just make sure that you do not allow your cooked egg fried rice to remain at room temperature for longer than an hour if you want to avoid any chance of it forming any bacteria.
Can You Re-Freeze Cooked Egg Fried Rice?
It is not recommended that you freeze your cooked egg fried rice more than once. Rice is delicate and can be tricky when it comes to consuming it safely. That is why it is best only to freeze your cooked egg fried rice one time.
Once you thaw your frozen cooked egg fried rice, you run the risk of allowing bacteria to begin forming when trying to re-freeze it. This is never a good idea, and you should not take the chance when it comes to foods that can make you sick if contaminated.
Also, keep in mind that many restaurants make their fried rice in advance and then freeze it until preparing it for a customer’s orders. Therefore, you should never freeze cooked egg fried rice you brought home or had delivered from a restaurant.
Other Methods For Storing Cooked Egg Fried Rice
If you don’t want to freeze your cooked egg fried rice, then you can store it in your refrigerator for several days as long as it was stored correctly with a tight lid. You don’t want air to get into your bag or container when storing fried rice in the fridge or the freezer.
You also need to consider what else you put in your egg fried rice, such as chicken which should be consumed within three days after being cooked. You’ll know if your rice has gone bad by the following examples:
- Odor – If it smells foul, it probably is and should be thrown away!
- Texture – If it looks slippery or feels slimy, toss it out.
- Taste – If it has a funky taste, kind of like sour (but not in a good way) – bye-bye!
Freezing your cooked egg fried rice can easily be done safely and effectively when following the above steps outlined in this article. When you know the limits of consuming your favorite foods, you can enjoy many meals that taste great and are easy to reheat.
The primary goal is to avoid eating something that can eventually make you sick. So freezing your cooked egg fried rice in a sealed airtight container is the best way to store it and make sure you consume it within the allotted time.