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Air fryers are slowly becoming a staple in everyone’s kitchens these days. There is barely anything this kitchen appliance cannot do. You can use it to broil, bake, reheat, and, of course, fry any kind of food. But can you reheat Asian food in an air fryer? Let’s find out.
Yes, you can indeed reheat Asian food in an air fryer. Air fryers are good for reheating any kind of food. The reason behind that is the flexibility in adjusting the temperature and time on it. But do remember Asia is a huge continent with many diverse cultures. So, not all of the foods are the same. That makes the reheating method slightly different for each type of food.
The biggest issue you might face while reheating food using an air fryer is the adjustment. Since Asian food can be unique to the region, there are many ways that it can be cooked. You will only have to make sure that you do not ruin the texture and quality of the dish while reheating.
The Different Kinds Of Asian Food
Most of the Asian foods that are popular all over the world can be split into the regions of Asia. You will find common characteristics among them. But they have unique cooking styles that will make it a bit difficult to use a one-size-fits-all technique when you use the air fryer on them. What you can do is get into what makes each cuisine unique and how to adjust your method.
The most popular kind of Asian cuisine is East Asian cuisine. This includes traditional foods from China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Tibet. Next is South Asian cuisine, with Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and other parts of the Indian subcontinent. Besides these, there is also food from Southeast, Central, and West Asia that is considered Asian food.
That was a brief geographical lesson, but it is necessary! Now, I will get into how to make the best use of your air fryer when you are reheating these unique kinds of food.
How To Reheat Asian Food In An Air Fryer?
From here on, I have split each method of reheating food using an air fryer by the parts of Asia the food is from. You will find the cuisines below ranked from most popular to least popular—though all types of Asian food are well-loved anyway.
East Asian Food
East Asian cuisine includes Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese, and Tibetan food. You will find a lot of dishes prepared by steaming, stir-frying, and deep-frying in this cuisine. So, reheating them has a separate method that I will show below.
Rice is one of the most common East Asian food staples. The following recipe is ideal for any kind of fried rice. You can use the method for about two servings, and cook it straight out of the freezer.
The ingredients you will need are 500g of your choice of fried rice and extra virgin olive oil spray. You have your air fryer already.
Step 1: Take the rice out of the packaging or container and place it whole in the air fryer pan.
Step 2: Place the pan inside the air fryer and set the temperature to 320 °F for 10 minutes. Once done, spray the olive oil on the rice and air fry it again for 5 minutes at 360 F.
Step 3: Stir the rice once it is warm and serve.
Any Kind of Meat with Sauce
A lot of the East Asian food you will find are either fried or cooked in sauces. Food items like orange chicken, General Tso’s chicken, etc. are part of this kind. Here is how you can reheat them in the air fryer.
The ingredients for this one are your choice of saucy dish, cooking oil, and the air fryer. But in this case, make sure that you separate the meat from the sauce and store it. You can use the sauce later.
Step 1: Preheat your air fryer to 400°F and spray the basket with oil.
Step 2: Place the battered meat in the air fryer for approximately 4 minutes. Turn the pieces over after 2 minutes, and cook them for the rest of the time.
Step 3: Reheat the sauce on the stove or in the microwave, or allow it to cool to room temperature. And then take your fried meat out of the air fryer to put it back into the sauce.
Dry Fried Food: Rolls, Potstickers, and more
Potstickers and spring or chicken rolls are some of my favorites when it comes to East Asian food. These are food items I would consider dry-fried foods. The way to reheat them with an air fryer is similar to the last method, but there is a small difference.
The ingredients in this one are the same. Take your choice of fried dish, some cooking oil, and the air fryer. If you are taking the dish out of the freezer, it is best to let it thaw for a bit till it comes to room temperature.
Step 1: Preheat your air fryer to 350–400 degrees Fahrenheit. It may take around 5 minutes.
Step 2: Grab your room-temperature fried food and put it in the basket after spraying it with a little cooking oil. At this point, reduce the temperature by 10–20 degrees so the food does not burn.
Step 3: After about 3 minutes, flip the items over and cook them for a couple more minutes.
Step 4: Cook it until it reaches the desired level of crispiness and warmth, then remove it to serve.
South Asian Food
One great thing about South Asian food is that you will find some common types of food across the region. Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and other South Asian cuisines have dishes like stove cooked bread (naan); deep-fried foods like samosa and pakora; and items like tandoori or kabab in common. Here is how you can reheat them in the air fryer.
Flatbread: Naan, Roti, etc.
Grilled flatbread, or what is better known as “naan” in South Asia, is one of the best types of bread out there. Reheating it can be tricky. Since the outer side of this bread is almost crispy and the inside is soft and airy, reheating it wrong could ruin it completely. So, here is how to go about using your air fryer to reheat this bread.
The things you will need are your bread, some cooking oil spray, aluminum foil, and, of course, your air fryer.
Step 1: Lay some aluminum foil flat on a surface and spread your naan on it after spraying it with cooking oil.
Step 2: Fold the foil so the heat remains inside and warms it up. And then put your foil packet in the air fryer basket.
Step 3: Preheat the oven to 350°F and cook for 2-4 minutes. Once it is warm enough, let it rest for a minute outside of the air fryer, and serve.
Deep-fried Food: Samosa, Pakora, etc.
Deep-fried food is at the heart of South Asian cuisine. You will find it in every part of South Asia as the kind of food that never fails to satisfy. Since the crispiness and flavor of this type of food are the most important parts of it, here is how you can reheat it best with an air fryer.
The ingredients you will need are the fried items, some aluminum foil, and your air fryer. You can use this method for any kind of dry, fried South Asian finger food!
Step 1: Take your fried items and spray them with cooking oil if they are dry, then wrap them in foil.
Step 2: Place the foil packets in the air fryer, and heat them at 390 F. If you are reheating a large number of items, heat them up to 400 F.
Step 3: If it is only one or two servings, allow the food to warm for 2-3 minutes. And if it is bigger, let it cook for about 5 minutes before taking it out and serving.
Grilled Food: Chicken/Beef Tandoori or Kebab
When you are reheating tandoori or kebab, it is important to make sure you do not overcook and ruin the texture of the meat. Fortunately, your regular air fryer will cook it easier than any other appliance. And here is how you can do that.
The ingredients are the cooked meat, parchment paper, and the air fryer. Here, you will need parchment paper to get the food out of the air fryer easily.
Step 1: Preheat your air fryer to 400F
Step 2: To allow the cooked meat to cook thoroughly, cut it into small to medium-sized pieces. Place them on the parchment paper and fold the sides of the paper to make picking them up easier.
Step 3: Place the parchment with the meat in the air fryer for about 2-3 minutes.
Step 4: Remove the meat from the air fryer when it is warm enough (or 165F if you have a thermometer) and serve.
Southeast Asian Food
Southeast Asian food is one of the well-loved cuisines around the world. This cuisine includes Thai, Vietnamese, Filipino, Indonesian, and Malaysian dishes. There are noodles, rolls, various types of rice dishes, and, of course, fried food in this cuisine. Can you reheat these using an air fryer? Yep, here is how.
Noodles: Pad Thai, and Others
These noodle-based dishes are the most popular foods that come from Southeastern cuisine. Pad Thai and other mixed noodles are some of the varieties you can enjoy from this cuisine. The most important thing you need to watch out for when it comes to this type is keeping the dish moist and not letting the texture go bad.
The ingredients you will need are your noodles in one serving, olive oil, aluminum foil, and the air fryer.
Step 1: Take your noodles and spread them out over the aluminum foil as you need.
Step 2: Wrap the foil into a packet so the warmth can stay inside while it cooks.
Step 3: Preheat your air fryer to around 200-250 degrees and place the foil packet inside.
Step 4: Cook the noodles for around 10-15 minutes and take them out after cooling for 1-2 minutes.
Seafood: Fish, Shrimp, and More
Fried seafood is another staple of coastal Southeast Asia. You will find variations of deep-fried or stir-fried fish, shrimp, squid, and clams in this type. Like with other fried foods, you will have to watch out to make sure you do not overcook your seafood in the air fryer.
The ingredients for this recipe are your choice of seafood, some cooking oil, parchment paper, and an air fryer.
Step 1: Preheat your air fryer to around 300-320 F.
Step 2: Separate your pieces of cooked seafood on a piece of parchment paper. Leave enough space between them, and drizzle some cooking oil on them so they do not dry out.
Step 3: Place the parchment paper on the tray and heat for 5-7 minutes with a break in the middle to turn them over to the other side.
Step 4: Once it is warm enough, take them out and serve.
Fried: Adobo, Spring Rolls, etc.
Just like in South Asia, Southeast Asian fried food is some of the best in the world. From Indonesian spring rolls to Vietnamese adobo, there is something for everybody. When you reheat fried food from this cuisine, just make sure the flavors and crunch are intact.
The ingredients you will need here are fried food items, some cooking oil for moisture, and an air fryer.
Step 1: Preheat your air fryer to around 280 F for a couple of minutes
Step 2: Take your fried food items, and place them on the air fryer basket with enough space between them. Spray some cooking oil on them for the crisp.
Step 3: Reheat at the same temperature for around 10 minutes or until they seem warm enough. Once they are done, serve immediately.
West Asian Food
West Asian cuisine is better known as Middle Eastern cuisine. With a couple of differences, you can still find the same kind of food in West Asian cuisines such as Turkish, Arab, Iranian, and many other types.
These foods are usually cooked well and are full of different flavors. When you reheat food items from this cuisine, keep an eye on the texture more than anything else.
Rice-based: Polo, and More
Much of the rice-based dishes in West Asian cuisine have similar cooking styles to South Asian cuisine. You will find the Iranian Polo along with many other plain rice recipes that use light spices. The trick here is also to not let it overcook and dry out.
The ingredients you will need are your rice dish, the same cooking oil used in the rice dish, and a cake pan with your air fryer.
Step 1: Preheat your air fryer to around 320 F for around 3 minutes and then place a cake pan on the air fryer basket.
Step 2: Spray the cooking oil or drizzle it on the rice dish, stir it a bit to make sure the oil is well-distributed, and place it on the pan.
Step 3: Air fry your rice for around 8-10 minutes at the same temperature. Then increase the temperature to 360 F and flash cook for around 3-5 minutes. Serve once it is warm enough.
Kebabs: Turkish, Iranian, etc.
The reheating process for these kebabs is kind of similar to South Asian kebabs. Make sure to not overcook your meat in the process, and you are all good.
The ingredients you will need are the kebab, parchment paper, cooking oil, and an air fryer.
Step 1: Spray the kebab with a little bit of cooking oil and make sure the oil is well-distributed.
Step 2: Place the kebab on the piece of parchment paper separately and raise the sides to make picking it up easier.
Step 3: Once you place the paper with meat in the air fryer, raise the heat to around 320 F. Heat the meat for about 3 minutes or more depending on how much kebab you are cooking. Serve when done.
Fried: Falafel, and Others
The fried food in this cuisine is almost the same as the South Asian ones. So, you can use the same process or change it just a little bit to reheat it perfectly. Here is how you can use the air fryer for it.
The ingredients you will need are your fried food and the air fryer. Yep, it is that simple.
Step 1: Preheat your air fryer to around 350 F.
Step 2: Take out the air fryer basket and place your fried food items separately. Make sure they do not touch. Heat them for around 2-3 minutes.
Step 3: Once done, cut one open to see if it’s warm throughout. If it is still cold inside, cook for another minute and then serve.