It isn’t uncommon to over-order when you have a Chinese takeaway. There are so many delicious dishes to be had. You can choose from such dishes as Chinese chicken satay, Chinese curry, sweet and sour pork, Peking duck, beef and tomato stir fry, and garlic prawns, not to mention all the side dishes like egg fried rice, chop suey, and noodles.
It can be hard not to order more than you need so what do you do if you find that you have leftovers? The answer is simple, freeze them. Just be careful to do this reasonably quickly as bacteria can form after food sits at room temperature for more than two hours. In this article, we will be taking a look at how to freeze Chinese takeaway and how to defrost it.
How To Freeze Chinese Takeaway
It is best to freeze Chinese dishes that come with a sauce, That doesn’t mean that you can’t freeze a dish without a sauce, but it might end up dry when you come to defrost and cook it.
You can freeze side dishes like noodles, rice (see also article on freezing stir fry), and chips but we recommend that you do this in separate containers. These dishes may not last for the same amount of time in the freezer and you will want to make sure that you don’t keep them in the freezer for too long.
These are the steps you need to follow to freeze Chinese takeaway dishes.
1. Cool down the dishes
Make sure that the dishes have cooled down to room temperature. If they haven’t, they can bring up the temperature in the freezer and the food will start to defrost and then freeze again. This can dry out the food as moisture will be lost.
2. Pack the Chinese takeaway
It is best to freeze the Chinese takeaway in airtight plastic containers. This stops freezer burn from occurring. While the food will still be safe to eat, it may lose taste and texture. Put a label on the containers with the date you put them in the freezer. If you are freezing a lot of dishes, it is also a good idea to write on what the dish is so that you defrost what you want to eat.
3. Put the containers in the freezer
Tips for Freezing Chinese Takeaway
- Don’t store the food at room temperature even if you think you are going to eat it the next evening. If you think that you are going to eat the takeaway within the next couple of days, put it in the fridge. Otherwise, freeze it. Two hours is the maximum time the food should sit at room temperature.
- Freeze the different dishes in different containers so that you can just defrost what you want and don’t unnecessarily waste food.
- Freeze side dishes separately. Again, you may only want to defrost one at a time. Also, the side dishes might have a shorter shelf life in the freezer than Chinese meat and sauce.
- When you come to reheat your dishes, make sure that you reheat them thoroughly to reduce the chance of food poisoning. This is particularly important when it comes to meat which needs to reach an internal temperature of at least 165F.
For How Long Can You Freeze Chinese Takeaway?
You can freeze Chinese takeaway for around two months, although if you are freezing something dry, it is best to defrost it sooner. Things like rice only keep their taste and texture in the freezer for about a month.
How Do You Defrost Chinese Takeaway?
There are two ways in which you can defrost Chinese takeaway. You can take it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge overnight. Then put it in the oven for about fifteen minutes. It is important to check that if there is meat that it is cooked all the way through. The center of the meat should be at least 165F.
Alternatively, if you don’t have much time, you can defrost it in the microwave without defrosting. Just set your microwave to defrost for about three minutes. You can then heat it in either the microwave or in the oven.
Can You Refreeze Chinese Takeaway?
It’s not a good idea to refreeze Chinese takeaway as you don’t know how it was prepared or stored. In addition, the more times food is frozen and defrosted, the more moisture it loses and the food will end up dry. The best thing to do is to freeze the takeaway in meal-size portions so that you only defrost as much as you need.
Is It A Good Idea To Freeze Chinese Takeaway?
Yes, there’s nothing stopping you from freezing Chinese takeaway as long as you just freeze it once. The important thing to remember is to freeze it as soon as you can. You don’t want to leave out food at room temperature for longer than two hours as bacteria can start to develop.
You also have to take into consideration the time it has taken to get to you from the delivery service. Chinese takeaway freezes best if it is in a sauce otherwise it has a tendency to dry out.
Make sure that the food is stored in airtight containers or freezer bags to stop freezer burn from occurring.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you now know all that you need to know about freezing Chinese takeaway. However, if you would like to know more, we have answered a couple of questions here.
Is it dangerous to reheat rice?
This is a difficult one. Reheated rice has a high risk (see also How To Freeze Cooked Rice) as it contains Bacillus cereus, a naturally occurring bacteria spore that is resistant to cooking temperatures. However, the real problem is not the reheating but the storing. If you have bought rice from a Chinese takeaway and don’t keep it at room temperature for longer than two hours and then refreeze it, you will be safe.
Can you freeze Chinese noodles?
Perhaps you have ordered chow mein or chop suey and are worried that the noodles won’t freeze well. The good news is that they will and will be safe to eat as long as you put them in the freezer within two hours.