How To Reheat Fried Rice (6 Ways!)

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Knowing how to reheat fried rice correctly is essential to enjoy any leftover rice safely. As a native Indonesian who has eaten rice as my staple almost daily for decades, I’ve learned six ways. Here they are!

Reheating Fried Rice: Six Ways

Fried rice is a popular takeout menu and a much-loved home meal choice. We often cook it in our household and sometimes order it from takeouts. 

Whether it’s plain fried rice, egg fried rice, or fried rice with meat and vegetables, it’s always a hit in our home!

Occasionally, I get excited about cooking the rice and making rice more than we need. More than likely, I’ve made too much for one meal so that we can enjoy it the next day, too.

But whether it’s leftover rice from your favorite takeout or you made too much at home, knowing how to reheat fried rice properly can make a big difference.

Not only do you want to bring back that delicious flavor and texture, but you also want to learn how to do it safely.

Rewarming rice isn’t complicated, but the recommendation is to do it at a core temperature of at least 165°F/ 75°C.

Reheated leftover rice should be indistinguishable from freshly made fried rice when appropriately done, making your leftovers something to look forward to rather than a last resort while clearing out the fridge!

Here, I’ve included six quick and easy ways to revive your fried rice, along with tips and tricks on elevating it for any occasion.

I guarantee these methods will work like a charm; choose the best way for you!

Ingredients Needed

You only need two ingredients: your leftover fried rice and some liquid. 

  • Leftover Fried Rice: You can revive any fried rice, be it chicken fried rice, seafood fried rice, tuna fried rice, lamb, or vegetables.
  • Water: To keep the rice from drying out. You can use a flavorful vegetable or chicken broth instead of water to add more flavor to your rice.

Equipment Needed

The equipment you need for reheating fried rice will depend on your chosen method. 

  • Frying pan with a lid: Use a standard frying pan or a skillet with a lid.
  • Steamer: This is an excellent stovetop method to avoid using a frying pan. But you can also use an electric steamer if you have one.
  • Microwave: Any standard microwave will work; this is the best method to use if you’re in a rush. Check the power setting and adjust the cooking time as necessary. You will also need a suitable plate, bowl, or other container for this method.
  • Air Fryer: Any air fryer will work here. This method is ideal if you want to crisp up your rice slightly.
  • Instant Pot: An instant pot with an air fryer function is required, with a bowl that will fit in the pot.
  • Oven: Every oven works differently, so watch your oven as it cooks. Remember to use an oven-safe dish for your rice as well.

How to Reheat Fried Rice

While each method is a bit different, they will all reheat the rice evenly without drying it out. Choose the one that best suits your available appliances and time constraints.

Reheat Fried Rice on the Stovetop

Of all the six methods here, this is the best way to reheat fried rice because it is easy to do, and chances are you already have the equipment needed. And it is easy for you to check the texture and taste of the rice you reheat.

  1. Place your leftover rice in a skillet or a frying pan and sprinkle a tablespoon of water. Turn the heat to medium.
  2. Stir the rice as it heats, breaking up any clumps in the rice. Stirring the rice also ensures you don’t get any cold spots in the dish.
  3. It should take approximately 3 minutes for the rice to heat through. The rice will become fluffy again as the water evaporates through it.

Rewarm Fried Rice Using a Steamer

This method can take longer, but it revives the fluffy texture of the rice well, and it’s handy if you don’t have another appliance and have no space in the oven.

  1. Find a bowl or plate that fits your steamer, and set it at the bottom of the pot. The liquid will create steam. So, you don’t need to add anything to the rice for this method.
  2. Place the rice in the bowl and run a fork through it so it’s loosened.
  3. If using an electric steamer, turn it to medium power for about 3–5 minutes. For a stovetop steamer, use boiling water from the kettle for efficiency, and reheat the rice for 3 minutes once it starts steaming.

Reheat the Fried Rice in the Microwave

This method is excellent if you want your rice to be ready quickly. Taking just 2 minutes of cooking time, it’s the quickest method for reheating rice.

  1. Place the fried rice on a microwave-safe plate and fork in some water, breaking up any clumps of rice as you do this.
  2. Cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid on top of the rice. The lid will help create steam around the rice, keeping it moist. A damp paper towel will do the same, so use whatever you have.
  3. Cook the fried rice in the microwave on full power (700W+) for about 2 minutes. Be sure to adjust the power of your microwave if needed depending on the amount of rice you reheat, or you may overcook the rice.

Warm Up the Fried Rice in the Air Fryer

An air fryer is excellent to crisp up any bits of vegetables or eggs in the fried rice.

  1. Place a heat-proof bowl of fried rice in an air fryer basket.
  2. Stir in water or broth, and break up the rice with a spoon or fork.
  3. Set the air fryer to 356°F (180°C) for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the amount of rice. Stir halfway through.

Using the Instant Pot

  1. Place the rice in a container that fits inside the Instant Pot.
  2. Mix the water or broth into the rice with a spoon, breaking it up.
  3. Use the air fryer function and set it to 356°F (180°C) for 5 minutes. Stir halfway through.

Warming the Rice in the Oven

Heating rice in an oven is the most prolonged method. Still, it’s ideal if you have other things to cook in the oven anyway or if you want to add your rice to a dish in the oven.

  1. Preheat your oven to 392°F (200°C).
  2. Place the rice in an oven-safe baking dish and mix in the water.
  3. Bake your fried rice in the oven on the middle rack for about 7 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Tips and Tricks

Adding flavor: If your fried rice has lost some taste, or if you want to add more flavor, add a little soy sauce, sesame oil, or spices to rejuvenate it. You can also garnish your rice with fresh herbs like cilantro, freshly chopped green onions, or fried shallots.

Prevent the rice from going dry: The key to keeping your rice from drying out is to warm it with some liquid. You want to add just enough juice. You can choose water, stock, or broth to refresh the rice without making it soggy. Add one teaspoon of water per cup of rice to prevent the grains from drying out and becoming hard and crispy. 


Can I store reheated fried rice?

You should not rewarm for a second time the rice that’s been cooked, stored, and reheated. So, keeping the reheated fried rice is not ideal.

It’s worth noting that you must store leftover fried rice in an airtight container and keep it refrigerated before warming it up.

Can egg-fried rice be reheated?

Yes, storing the egg-fried rice properly after being cooked and reheating it thoroughly to a safe temperature is safe.

Can you reheat fried rice the day after cooking it?

If your cooked rice is cooled, covered, and refrigerated within 2 hours of being freshly made, you can keep it for another day and reheat it later. You can freeze fried rice for up to 3 months and reheat it after thawing it.

Can I reheat my fried rice more than once?

I would only recommend doing it once, as it will have a different texture than the first or second time. Do so only with the portion you need, and keep the remaining in an airtight container in the fridge for as long as it’s still good.

Enjoy Your Fried Rice!

This detailed guide contains all you need to learn how to reheat fried rice perfectly, as well as how to store your leftovers safely in the first place.

Whether you’re in a rush to eat and need to use the microwave or have the time to use your oven and garnish it, these methods will ensure your fried rice will be just as (if not more) appetizing the second time.

This article originally appeared on Pink When.

By Devy Dar

Devy Dar is the founder and creator of So Yummy Recipes, a website where she shares traditional and non-traditional recipes from South Asia, the Far East, and beyond. An Indonesian native living in the UK and married to a Kashmiri-Pakistani, Devy has a BA degree in Japanese studies and language for which she studied and lived in Japan. Her encounter with various cultures and cuisines has encouraged her to help others recreate recipes from those cultures in a practical way with daily ingredients. Her works have been featured in Reader’s Digest, Al Jazeera, MSN, Yahoo, Bon Appetit, and more.