The Absolute Best Ways To Reheat Fried Rice

If you have leftover rice, adding chicken or shrimp or a mix of vegetables can easily build a satisfying lunch that can be served up in a moment's notice. Fried rice is one of those simple, comforting dishes you can rely on for a quick snack or a go-to meal. Combined with roasted garlic and perfectly cooked onions, fried rice can fill up your home with a scent that talks directly to any rumbling stomach.

Yet, if not stored or prepared correctly, rice can cause food poisoning (the result of the bacteria Bacillus cereus, via Live Science). Not to mention, reheating any kind of rice can be tricky. Hard pieces of rice are seldom delightful, and there's a fine balance between softly warmed kernels and something that is irreparably charred. If the fried rice you've cooked for last night's dinner has been properly cooled and placed in the fridge, though, there are a few methods you can use to revive your cold fried rice meal from yesterday.

Microwave alongside water

Though microwaving foods is an easy and convenient way to prepare a meal, there are a few tricks you can remember to make sure your recipe is restored to an enjoyable state.

To ensure leftover fried rice returns to a heated, fluffy condition, remember to add water. According to Insider, adding a spoonful of water per cup of rice provides the extra moisture needed to revive leftover rice. A glass of water alongside the bowl you're wanting to heat up can also keep food tasty; Food Hacks asserts that including a cup of water next to your main dish releases steam, not only preventing food from drying out but also absorbing extra radiation from the microwave that might overcook your meal. 

Low on dishes or pressed for time? Cover your food with a damp paper towel or add an ice cube to the top of your fried rice to add the moisture needed for a deliciously warmed meal.

Heat in a skillet

Alternatively, reheat fried rice in a skillet. Mahatma recommends that in order to reheat rice kernels to their intended chewy state, you'll need to add a few spoonfuls of water to your skillet and cook over a low-heat flame. Cover your food to keep moisture inside, and be sure to watch closely as to not overcook your rice.

If you're leaning toward something similar to a stir-fry or want to add a bit more flavor to your previously prepared meal, cook your leftover fried rice in your choice of oil over a low flame. After about three minutes, the rice should become warm, and by four minutes, your dish should be ready. For larger amounts of rice, you can reheat rice in a larger pot, according to The Mom 100, and use a similar process: add a spoonful of water for each cup of rice and cover over a low to medium flame.

Reheat in an oven

If you have many mouths to feed, placing all your rice into the microwave or piling it into a pan may not be an option. For larger amounts of rice, consider using the oven to heat up your meal. To ensure your leftover fried rice doesn't end up overly brown or sticky, the Food Delivery Guru advises you coat your baking dish with your preferred choice of butter, oil, or cooking spray.

Newsweek, meanwhile, suggests spreading rice evenly into an oven-safe dish and covering the dish with aluminum foil before baking at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. While this can take time⁠ — around 20 minutes — reheating rice in the oven can yield that fresh-from-the-oven experience that keeps larger groups satisfied and well-fed.

Also, if you're tired of eating leftovers, adding extra spices to cold fried rice before baking it can make the dish of today a bit different from what you ate yesterday, as new flavors and aromas will be released into your reheated meal.