Who doesn’t love an indulgent Chinese takeaway? Whether you go for General Tso chicken or crispy shredded beef, Chinese takeaway is much loved by families. But what should you do with your leftovers? Can you reheat Chinese takeaway safely?
To reheat Chinese takeaway, you can either pop the Chinese food into a microwave-safe dish and reheat for a few minutes. Or, if the dish is saucy, you can reheat it in a pot on the stove.
How to Reheat Chinese Takeaway
Chinese takeaway encompasses so many different dishes that it’s quite difficult to generalise about reheating your favourite!
That being said, the vast majority of Chinese dishes can be safely reheated, providing you have stored the leftovers in the fridge or freezer.
Because it would be impossible for us to go into every single Chinese takeaway combination in this guide, we’re assuming that you’ve ordered a typical Chinese meal – think a meat-based main in sauce (such as sweet and sour chicken), accompanied with rice or noodles.
There are two simple ways of reheating Chinese takeaway, and we explain the steps required for each below:
How to Reheat Chinese Takeaway in the Microwave
Reheating Chinese takeaway in the microwave is straightforward and is your best option. Here are the steps you need to follow:
- Add to a Microwave-Safe Plate
Position your leftover Chinese takeaway on a microwave-safe plate. If you can, keep the rice/noodles and your main meal separate, making it easier to reheat your takeaway evenly.
On medium heat, reheat your takeaway in ninety-second intervals. You will need to check that your dish is piping hot before deciding if it’s ready.
- Check the Temperature
If you’re reheating meat, you must check that it’s at least 70C or 165F before serving it up. Eating meat that has not been reheated sufficiently can lead to food poisoning.
- Serve and Enjoy
When you’re happy that your Chinese takeaway is up to temperature, serve it on a fresh plate and enjoy.
How to Reheat Chinese Takeaway on the Stovetop
If you don’t have a microwave, you can reheat your Chinese takeaway on the stovetop just as easily. But again, we recommend keeping your main dish and accompaniments separate, as things can get messy if you mix it all!
Here are the steps you need to follow to reheat Chinese takeaway on the stovetop:
- Heat a Pan
Add a small amount of cooking oil to a non-stick pan and heat it over medium heat.
- Add your Takeaway
Once the pan is hot, add your takeaway to the heat and allow it to simmer for 4-5 minutes.
- Stir Well
You will need to stir your takeaway consistently throughout the reheating process, so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Check the Temperature
When you think your Chinese takeaway is hot enough, use a probe to check the temperature of the meat. It should be 70C or 165F before it’s safe to serve.
- Serve and Enjoy
The final step is to sit down, enjoy your takeaway, and congratulate yourself for saving your leftovers! we know that’s not easy!
Yes, you can reheat rice from the Chinese takeaway. Some people will avoid doing so as the rice may have been reheated already, but this should be fine. The main cause for concern is if it has been left out at room temperature for too long beforehand.
How to Reheat Chinese Takeaway Successfully
If you want to have complete success when it comes to reheating Chinese takeaway then make sure you stick to these 3 simple, useful tips:
- Keep Things Separate – The key to successfully storing and reheating Chinese takeaway is keeping your dishes separate. When you’re packaging your leftovers, isolate your sides and add your main dish to a separate container.
- Store Leftovers Safely – You should never leave Chinese takeaway sitting out at room temperature for longer than necessary. As soon as you’ve finished your meal, package your leftovers and get them in the fridge as quickly as possible to prevent them from going bad.
- Freeze – If you don’t think you will enjoy your Chinese takeaway leftovers within 24-48 hours, you can freeze them for a couple of months. Again, it’s vital to get your leftovers in the freezer quickly, and you will need to defrost them before reheating.
Is It Safe to Reheat Chinese Takeaway?
Yes, it’s safe to reheat Chinese takeaway. The most important thing is to store your leftovers correctly, as leaving your Chinese food out at room temperature for too long will cause it to spoil.
If you’ve kept your leftovers in the fridge or freezer, you shouldn’t have any issues when reheating Chinese takeaway.
Can You Reheat Chinese Takeaway After 2 Days?
Yes, most Chinese takeaway food can be reheated within 3 days of it being delivered, but you’ll need to ensure it is stored correctly during those 1-3 days. All the food must be kept in the fridge as soon as it cools to room temperature.
Reheating Chinese Takeaway FAQs
Got questions that still haven’t been answered? Then perhaps these will help you out a little:
Yes, it is fine to reheat takeaway the next day, but this does rely on you having stored it correctly overnight. Never leave it sitting at room temperature. The moment it has cooled, it should be stored in the fridge.
It is possible to reheat Chinese in the oven, but it’s not something we would recommend. It takes quite a while and can cause the meat (and other protein) to dry out.
In general, you should be fine to reheat prawns, but this will rely on you storing it correctly in the first place. Fish, especially shellfish, must not sit at room temperature for extended periods.
Yes, chicken or vegetable chow mein can all be reheated. Tip the chow mein into a pan and reheat with a drop of oil over a medium heat. Keep the chow mein moving around the pan to evenly heat it.
Ross is a freelance writer with a passion for delicious food and drinks, having worked in the hospitality industry in the past. He began working with Let’s Foodie when it first launched to provide information on how to reheat, freeze and microwave different foods.