A freezer stashed with cooked rice always comes in handy when you are running late and want to prepare a quick meal for yourself. Life becomes a little easier and stress-free, plus rice lends bulk to any other meal too.
To get the desired texture on reheating the frozen rice, cook the white rice al dente. However, in case of brown rice, cook it all the way through before freezing it.
In this fast-paced life, no one has the time to dedicate to cooking a meal every day. However, eating at home or preparing your and your family’s meal is a healthier and economical choice. To make your life a tad simpler, you can always choose to precook your meals and freeze them for another day when you are tired or simply too lazy to cook. You can do this for almost anything from vegetables, meat, soups, and even rice. Yes, you read it right! Cooked and frozen rice can last you for a month. All you have to do is simply thaw it, and it is as good as freshly cooked rice. Following are some quick and simple methods to freeze rice and answer that lingering question in your mind about ‘can you freeze rice dishes?’ Not just rice, but you can even freeze rice pudding and rice dishes for babies.
Freezing Rice in Airtight Containers
◆ Scoop out the cooked rice into airtight containers.
◆ Once the rice has cooled down to room temperature, close the lid of the container.
◆ Write the date of cooking the rice and secure it into the freezer.
Open the lid of your rice container, sprinkle some water, and place the container into a microwave. Heat it for a couple of minutes. As it begins to thaw, mix the rice well at regular intervals.
Freezing Rice in a Plastic Wrap
◆ As per the serving quantity, spoon out some rice and into a bowl.
◆ Place a plastic wrap on top of the rice bowl.
◆ Swiftly turn the bowl upside down.
◆ Carefully remove the rice bowl and cover with a plastic wrap around the rice.
◆ Remove any excess air to be sealed along with the rice. Gently nudge the rice into a square or rectangular shape and flatten out all the surfaces. This will help you organize the packets in the freezer.
◆ Put these individual packets into an airtight bag and seal it shut.
◆ Write down the date of packaging on the bags.
When you decide to use this frozen rice, all you need to do is remove it from its individual wrapping and transfer it into a bowl. Place this bowl of frozen rice into the microwave, sprinkle some water, and heat it for a couple of minutes till you have soft and fluffy rice.
Freezing Brown Rice
◆ Rinse a sheet pan under the tap and shake out the excess water.
◆ While the rice is still hot, scoop it on to the sheet pan and spread it evenly.
◆ With the help of a wet measuring cup or bowl, cut the sheet of rice into smaller portions.
◆ Allow the rice to cool down to room temperature.
◆ Transfer these rice portions into freezing bags.
◆ Spread and flatten these rice bags. Remove any excess air and seal the bags shut.
◆ Flatten the rice in the freezing bags and write down the date.
◆ Now simply stack them up in your freezer.
Transfer your frozen brown rice into a microwave-safe container, sprinkle some water, and heat the frozen rice for a couple of minutes or till the rice is nice and hot.
Freezing Rice Pudding
◆ Cook the rice pudding till it is free from water. This will help prevent freezer burns.
◆ Scoop out the rice pudding into a freezer-safe container and allow it to cool down to room temperature.
◆ Make sure your containers are as per individual servings. This will help you thaw the quantity that will actually be consumed rather than the whole lot. This is because rice pudding should not be refrozen.
◆ Allow the pudding to cool down. Label the container and seal it shut.
◆ This rice pudding is ready for you to freeze. It will last you around 3 months. However, finishing it as soon as possible is recommended.
Remove the pudding from the container and place it into a saucepan. Pour in a couple of tablespoons of milk and slowly heat the pudding. Remember to stir, because if you let it settle in at one place, there are chances of it sticking to the saucepan and getting burned.
Freezing Rice Dishes for Babies
◆ Sterilize an ice cube tray with a lid.
◆ Allow baby food to reach room temperature.
◆ Spoon the baby food into the ice cube tray.
◆ Once filled, tap the base of the tray a couple of times by lightly banging it on the counter. This will help excess air from the tray to escape and prevent freezer burns.
◆ Cover the tray and place it into the freezer.
◆ Once it is completely frozen, retrieve it from the freezer and place it in individual wrappings.
Remember: Do not reheat or refreeze any baby food, especially if it contains any form milk or milk products in it.
Retrieve the little quantities of baby food as and when you require to use them. Allow the food to thaw in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight. You can choose to heat it in the saucepan or defrost it in the microwave. Either way, make sure to stir the food well at short intervals to prevent it from burning. Allow the food to cool before feeding the baby.
Tip to Remember While Freezing Rice Dishes
Remove any excess air or water content in the container or you’ll come across nasty food burns, which will affect the taste, texture, and smell of food. Do not forget to splash water to your frozen rice before reheating it. This will add back some moisture to the rice and prevent it from dehydrating due to the dry heat of the microwave.