I like making Stir Fry and I've tried several times to make two meal's worth so I can refrigerate half and take it to work, but so far every attempt has been sub-bar. It's veggie stir fry and I use a variety of sauces (most of which involve soy sauce) and a little vegetable oil.

The problem is mostly the sauce; I can't seem to drain it out, so it builds up at the bottom and gets nasty, or at the least it smells very strongly by the next day. I can't strain out the liquid from the bottom of my Wok very well and even after separating out the portion to be refrigerated I can't quite strain it; the sauce is there but just thick enough to not drain off.

Is there anything I can do to properly drain out the excess sauce or is there some method I can use to make sure the extra portion is edible, at least for a day? I know it's not going to be half as good, but it's completely inedible after a night in the fridge.

  • "or at the least it smells very strongly by the next day." That shouldn't happen unless you let the sauce ferment for WEEKS in the fridge. Either you are leaving it at room temperature for far too long before refrigerating, or the problem is with the container (plastic containers could react badly to pouring hot oily sauce in them, but usually they are fine - reheating oily sauce in a plastic container, even one designated microwave safe, often causes problems). Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 10:02

3 Answers 3


I make stir fry all the time and do the same thing as you. I would make extra, enough for 2 - 3 meals.

The thing I do to prevent the vegetables from getting too mushy in the refrigerator is by cooking the stirfry about 75%(I make sure if I am doing this that the meat is fully cooked first) and then take out the portion that I intend to refrigerate. This allows me to either finish cooking it in the microwave if I am taking it to work or reheat it up in the stove if I am staying home.

Also since I am taking the portions from the upper part of the stirfry, there is less sauce that the vegetables will be steeping in so that should solve your problem of too much sauce.

Another thing you should remember is that the types of vegetables you use makes a big difference. If you choose all vegetables that turns really soft when cooked(onion, squash, peppers) then reheated stirfry using those vegetables will be not as unpalatable. The trick is to use a variety of textured vegetables.

Also I dont want to state the obvious but if your problem is your sauce, have you ever tried using a different(lighter) sauce recipe?

  • 3
    salt in the sauce is what pulls moister out of the veg. As above, remove almost-done upper portion and save a bit of finished sauce on the side. Perhaps also layer noodle'rice under the veg for storage sponge.
    – Pat Sommer
    Commented May 1, 2012 at 3:04
  • That's a good idea, taking it out before it's fully cooked. I use mostly crunchy veggies rather than soft. I don't make my own sauce (yet) but I'll keep an eye out for other sauces as well.
    – Ben Brocka
    Commented May 1, 2012 at 15:29

I'm beginning to use a Wok for cooking and also notice excess moisture after the first cooking. It's possible you're adding to much oil and Soy sauce at the beginning. Also, if you have cooked rice that hasn't been added to the Wok during the initial cooking, you could try adding the cooked rice to the to-go dish the morning of. The rice will absorb some of the excess moisture and flavor (as long as the flavor is still desirable the next day).


The answer likely depends on how you're going to be reheating the stir-fry.

In a 'take to work' situation, odds are, it's going to be a microwave. For that case, I just put down a bed of rice in the container first, then the stir-fry on top of it.

The sauce will soak into the rice, helping to dry out the vegetables some, which in turn slows down their heating in the microwave.

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