How to Reheat Chinese Food: 4 Best Methods (Updated 2024)

best ways to reheat chinese food

Want to learn how to reheat Chinese food? Stick around as we share several methods…

The thing about Chinese food is, leftovers tend to stink because everything gets soggy if you reheat them in the microwave.

The crunchiness of the meat or seafood easily vanishes once you store them in the fridge and then heat them the next day.

So, how do we deal with this dilemma of reheating Chinese food?

First of all, it isn’t always about the kitchen appliance or tool you use to heat the food. To not end up with rubbery meat and dry rice, here’s the best way to reheat Chinese food.

Preventing Food Poisoning

Leftovers are safe to consume within three to four days to avoid food poisoning. For Chinese food with lots of sauces, it is safe to reheat the leftovers after up to three days.

Going beyond this timeframe is dangerous and could lead to food poisoning.

Also, take note that you should refrigerate your leftovers within two hours or they will spoil.

Additionally, leftovers should be stored in a clean and airtight container. The temperature of the refrigerator should be 40F or lower.

Chinese Food

How to Reheat Chinese Food

Reheating leftovers is one of the most convenient ways to enjoy a delicious meal without actually cooking or ordering.

Because most Chinese restaurants are known for serving generous portions of food, you may end up with leftovers that will be good for the next two meals.

There are different ways to reheat Chinese food. Using different kitchen appliances, you can preserve the texture and taste of the food, preventing soggy noodles and rubbery meat.

1. How to Reheat Chinese Food Using a Stove

Stovetop - How to Reheat Chinese Food

One of the quickest ways to reheat the food is by warming it on a stovetop.

  1. Simply place a frying pan over moderate heat and drizzle in some oil.
  2. When the pan is warm, toss in the leftover and add fresh ingredients such as soy sauce.
  3. This method only takes five to eight minutes for fried rice and vegetables. Noodles will also get better when you toss them in a frying pan and add spring onions.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and enjoy an almost fresh meal.

2. How to Reheat Chinese Food Using a MicrowaveReheat with a Microwave oven

If you are in a hurry but don’t want to sacrifice the quality of reheated food, you can always go with a microwave.

This method is best for reheating steamed vegetables, noodles, soups, and stews.

Tip: Never put the breaded chicken in the microwave because the texture will end up bad.

  1. To keep the rice moist, place a cup of water in the microwave as you reheat your meal.
  2. Aside from the cup of water trick, you can also try covering the food with a damp paper towel to steam it.
  3. This process keeps the food from drying out and allows heat to distribute evenly in the microwave.
  4. Repeat the process until the desired temperature is achieved.

3. How to Reheat Chinese Food Using an Oven


The best way to avoid sogginess and unpleasantly chewy meat is by reheating leftover Chinese food in an oven.

This is best for crab dishes, shrimp fried rice, egg rolls, and other fried dishes.

The oven will preserve the crispness of the food and make it taste as if it is freshly cooked.

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit or to 425 when you are flash reheating.
  2. Cover the dish using aluminum foil and fold the edges for an airtight seal.
  3. Heat the food for about five to ten minutes until thoroughly heated.
  4. For egg rolls, spring rolls, and chicken wings, wrap them in loose foil and pop them inside the oven.
  5. Make sure to open the foil during the last minutes of reheating to allow the food to become crispy.

4. How to Reheat Chinese Food Using a Rice Cooker

Rice Cooker

The rice cooker is a versatile kitchen tool that you can use for a lot of things, not just cooking rice.

If you have leftover soup or congee, you can heat them in the rice cooker with the lid open.

  1. Use the Keep Warm setting to heat your dish.
  2. You can add water to the congee and season it with salt and pepper to make the dish taste good.
  3. Make sure that the food doesn’t dry out by adding soy sauce and water as you heat it.
  4. Additionally, the rice cooker is also effective for steaming tofu, fish, and dumplings.

Modern rice cookers have different settings that are suited for cooking different types of food.

Play around with the settings and reheat your beef stew and roast pork inside the rice cooker.

To keep the food warm, always put it on the Keep Warm setting.

You can also reheat the food when you cook fresh rice. Use the steaming tray to reheat dumplings and meat.


Reheating Chinese food is easy using basic kitchen tools.

Following the methods mentioned above will make leftovers taste delicious and crispy, without the need for sophisticated equipment.

At the same time, you can avoid food poisoning by storing and reheating the food properly.

how to reheat chinese food


How to Reheat Chinese Food in Air Fryer

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We all have experienced the guilt of throwing away leftover food that has turned cold and tasteless. Especially when it’s delicious Chinese food we relished the day before!

Thankfully, you can now enjoy your leftover food by reheating them within minutes. Check out how to reheat Chinese food in the air fryer!

  • Author: Recipe Marker
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 13 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving
  • Category: Reheat
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: Chinese


  • Leftover Chinese food
  • Water & Spatula (for fried rice)
  • Oil spray & Tongs (for crisp fried Chinese food)
  • Aluminum foil (for saucy Chinese food)


  1. Preheat the air fryer to 375° F for 3-5 minutes. If your air fryer has a reheat mode then press that button instead.
  2. To prep-
  • Place the Chinese fried rice on the air fryer pan. Drizzle some water on the rice and stir it.
  • Oil-spray the batter-coated fried chicken or spring rolls and place them in the air fryer basket.
  • For the saucy Chinese chicken, line the basket with 2 aluminum sheets, then put the chicken pieces in a single layer. 
  1. Place the pan in the air fryer-
  • Heat the rice for 7-8 minutes while stirring it halfway through.
  • For the crisp fried chicken/rolls, heat for 4 minutes while flipping them at 2 minutes intervals using tongs.
  • Saucy Chinese chicken needs 8 minutes to reheat and should be flipped after 4 minutes.

Serve immediately and enjoy!


  • You can also reheat frozen leftover Chinese food in the air fryer within 15-16 minutes. The advantage is that you don’t need to thaw it before reheating it. Just start at a lower temperature to help defrost the food and then increase the heat. Do remember to stir/flip in between for best results.

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