Hey everybody! I know that by now, you're probably used to seeing recipes on MBP every Tuesday, but I thought we'd try something a little different this week. My mom and dad had a ton of leftover Chinese food that was still wrapped up, and hadn't even been opened, due to an order mix-up from the weekend. There was so much food that they couldn't eat it all, so they sent it home with me and my husband and son to enjoy.
I love Chinese food, and I'll eat leftovers, but they have to be reheated the right way, in order for me to be down with chowing down. So, there are a couple of do's and don'ts that I follow when it comes to leftover Chinese food.
1- Not all Leftovers Are Created Equal
They're not all made with the same ingredients, and don't have the same textures, so of course, some things will reheat better in the microwave better than others. Use your best judgement as to how you ought to reheat certain foods, and always be sure that even precooked foods are heated to the minimum safe temperature of 167 degrees, thoroughly, and you should only reheat food once.
I am not a big fan of reheating much of anything in the microwave, because things wind up soggy, the textures become rubbery, etc. If you have leftover noodles, I'd say those would be fine to microwave, and if there isn't a lot of sauce with them, you may want to sprinkle a little water on the noodles beforehand. Leftover soups would also be fine to reheat in the microwave.
3- Stove top
When it comes to meats, veggies and rice, I'd say go for the stove top! If you own a wok, you could toss the meat and veggies into it with a bit of extra soy sauce and water. Use a low heat, and simply heat it through. This is the best way to prevent vegetables from becoming soggy, and meat from becoming rubbery. For rice, you can also use a smaller pan with water. Adding water is an important piece to the reheating puzzle. If you don't add a little bit of water to the pan, the rice will wind up dried out. Add tiny bits of water at a time. You can add more as needed.
It may seem unconventional for Chinese food, but I would recommend reheating things like spring rolls, wontons, rangoons, etc- in the oven. You just need them to be warmed through, reaching that food safe temperature. Using the oven will help these foods retain their crispy textures.
What I would not recommend doing, is something that a lot of folks love to do... eating cold leftover Chinese food, straight out of the refrigerator. The FDA recommends the food safe re-heat temperature for a reason. Though cold noodles may be tempting, it's better for your health and safety, if you reheat them before eating.
I enjoyed my leftover Chinese food yesterday. I only reheated the portions I knew I would eat. The meat warmed up in the pan (sesame chicken and orange beef) were yummy, and still tasted fresh. The rice was nice and moist, and the wantons were crispy! And of course, I used my fancy chopsticks, and enjoyed my fortune cookie, too!
Are you a fan of Chinese Food? What's your favorite?