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When I steam vegetables or boil rice I leave it to cool off for a few hours and then put it into a plastic lunch box and then into the fridge. After a day the vegetables get very soggy with a pool of water at the bottom of the lunch box. The rice turns brittle and tastes like sand.

I don't have time to cook everyday, I try to get as much cooking done as possible on Sundays and store the result in the fridge.

I try to Google things about avoiding moisture or drying vegetables but this gives me unrelated results.

Can anyone give me advice for avoiding these problems?

Thank you very much.

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I'm sorry, but to me, "lunch box" brings to mind something like this. As a result, your question makes no sense to me, as putting your Superman lunchbox in the fridge would be a) strange, and b) somewhat useless. –  Marti Sep 20 '13 at 22:10
    
@Marti I suspect the OP just means a plastic reusable container. –  Jefromi Sep 20 '13 at 23:03
1  
@Marti You may find that there are more countries in the world than just your own. We may have different customs and colloquialisms, this does not mean you should stop using common sense and judge everyone that is different to be wrong. –  user20324 Sep 22 '13 at 8:10

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

From personal experience, rice doesn't refrigerate well; I tend to buy quick-cook rice that I can just microwave so it's fresh when I need it, but I hear that it freezes better, with less moisture loss. Perhaps the vegetables can be frozen as well? If you spread them out on a baking sheet when you freeze them, they should be easily portionable later, but I don't know which vegetables you're cooking or whether they are hardy enough for the freezer.

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I wasn't aware that some vegetables cannot be frozen. I'll look into that. Thank you for your suggestions. –  user20324 Sep 22 '13 at 8:07

Make your rice a big batch at a time, let it cool until handleable, then pack individual servings in snack sized zipper-top bags. Throw them in the freezer. Rice freezes beautifully, I take the frozen packs and throw them straight into the microwave (it would work just the same way in a steamer basket, even simmering water, just don't open the bag), the hot product is virtually indistinguishable from fresh, hot rice. Unless you're making fried rice, refrigerating cooked rice very quickly ruins it. I freeze rice like this this all the time - trust me, it works.

[EDIT] - Oh, and if you must steam your veggies in advance, line your "lunch box" with a few layers of paper towels or a dish towel.

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There's a dish at my restaurant served with rice but it's not ordered enough to justify having a cooker warming up rice all the time. We cheat by putting a serving in a sandwich bag (with no zipper-top) and folding over the top, refrigerating a bunch of those bags, and microwaving on demand (while still bagged). The end product is just as good, I think. I think it's the steaming effect specifically that works wonders. The rice is refrigerated usually only 1 day but sometimes it's up to 3-4 (over the weekend when we're closed) and I don't notice much difference. –  janeylicious Sep 21 '13 at 0:48
    
My experience with refrigerated rice isn't good. Frozen, it lasts well for months. It seems to me that your restaurant would benefit from freezing the rice in individual portions. If nothing else, it would reduce the frequency of needing to making rice. –  Jolenealaska Sep 21 '13 at 0:59
    
Thank you for your suggestions. I'll try the towel thing if freezing does not work. I'm sorry I can only pick one answer. –  user20324 Sep 22 '13 at 8:07

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