How to Reheat Stir Fry

Written By Ross Young


Stir fry is an excellent meal to prepare for the family. Depending on how you put it together, it will almost certainly get you your five-a-day and give you the chance to enjoy some oriental flavours at the same time. But if you’ve made too much to enjoy in one sitting, how do you reheat stir fry?

To reheat stir fry you can either use the stove or the microwave. Undoubtedly, the best way to bring your leftover stir fry back to life is to reheat it in a wok with some spices and oil, but the microwave offers a quick and easy alternative.

How to Reheat Stir Fry

Stir fry is one of those meals that is best enjoyed when it’s fresh out of the pan. When reheated, the veggies typically soften, and the noodles never taste as great as they did the first time around.

But that being said, you don’t need to waste your leftovers, and you can reheat them either in the microwave or on the stovetop.

We would always recommend reheating stir fry on the stovetop if you can, but the microwave is a viable alternative if you don’t have the time or inclination to return your stir fry to the wok. Let’s take a look at the detailed steps of each reheating process in detail now.

How to Reheat Stir Fry in the Microwave

The microwave is useful for reheating just about anything, and stir fry is no different. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Prepare Stir Fry
    Place your stir fry in a microwave-safe dish or bowl, being careful not to overfill it. Then, cover it with a paper towel and place it in the microwave. 
  2. Reheat
    On medium power, reheat your stir fry for ninety seconds. 
  3. Check for Doneness: After the initial burst, remove your stir fry from the microwave and check for doneness. If your stir fry contains meat or fish, you will need to check its internal temperature is at least 165F or 75C before it’s safe to eat. If it’s not yet done, return it to the microwave for a further thirty seconds. 
  4. Serve and Enjoy
    When your stir fry is piping hot, add some soy sauce and tuck in!

How to Reheat Stir Fry on the Stovetop

The best way to reheat stir fry is on the stovetop. If you don’t want to ruin the flavour or texture, this is the approach to stick with. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Heat Wok
    Place your wok over medium heat and add some cooking oil to the bottom of the pan. You can also add some spices and flavours at this stage if you like. 
  2. Add Stir Fry
    After sixty seconds, add your stir fry to the wok. 
  3. Reheat
    Leave the wok uncovered and reheat your stir fry for around two minutes, stirring it occasionally to ensure it reheats evenly. 
  4. Check for Doneness
    After a few minutes, check to see if your stir fry is ready. If it contains meat or fish, you will need to check it has an internal temperature of at least 165F or 75C before it’s safe to serve. 
  5. Serve and Enjoy
    All that’s left to do is to dive into your stir fry with your chopsticks and enjoy! 

How to Reheat Stir Fry Successfully

If you don’t want things to go wrong when reheating stir fry, make sure you follow these 3 simple tips:

  • For Crunchy Vegetables, Use a Wok – Few things are as disappointing as a stir fry that has gone soggy as a result of the reheating process. And unfortunately, reheating stir fry in the microwave can cause it to go soggy. Therefore, if you want your veggies to retain some crunch, make an effort to reheat your stir fry on the stovetop. 
  • Do It Once Only – We would only recommend reheating stir fry once. If you were to reheat your veggies more than this, they will definitely go soggy and be far from appetizing, so bear this in mind when you’re divvying up your leftovers. 
  • Lay Off the Sauce – If you’re planning to reheat your stir fry, it’s best to do so before adding bucket loads of sauce to the dish. Again, this is because the sauce will cause your stir fry to go soggy, so it’s better to add it to your dish once you have already reheated the veggies and the meat. 
  • Consider the Vegetables Used – Some vegetables will reheat fine but others will become particularly mushy. The tops of broccoli, for example, can become quite mushy but root vegetables such as carrots, peppers and onions will be fine.

Is It Safe to Reheat Stir Fry

Yes, reheating stir fry is perfectly safe. Just be sure to store your leftover stir fry in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to reheat it, as stir fry left sitting out at room temperature is unlikely to be safe for consumption.

Providing you have stored it correctly and only do so once, you shouldn’t encounter any issues when you come to reheating stir fry.

Reheating Stir Fry FAQs

If you’ve still got a few questions about how to go about reheating stir fry then these FAQs might help you out:

Can You Reheat Stir Fry from the Takeaway?

Most takeaway stir fry can be reheated safely but it’s important that you store it correctly once it has cooled to room temperature. It should be placed in the fridge the moment it has cooled down. Do not leave it out!

Can You Reheat Stir Fry Noodles?

Yes, stir fry noodles can be reheated. You may find that the noodles become a little soft and mushy as there’s a risk that they will overcook when you reheat them so opt for a fast method of reheating such as a wok.

Can You Reheat Prawn Stir Fry?

We would err on the side of caution when reheating any dishes that contain shellfish, such as prawns. Bacteria have a habit of forming fairly quickly on shellfish so would instead avoid reheating it.

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