My wife and I like Asian meals (Curry, Niku Jaga, et cetera) and without fail we tend to make more rice than we need.

I would encourage her to cook less rice, but a preferable solution would be to use the rice with the meal - since we tend to have leftovers anyway, and it would be more convenient to cook the amount of rice needed to go with the meal and leftovers.

However, rice in the microwave always comes out either soggy, grainy, or both at once. This is hardly appetizing, and I suspect the reason for it is an improper method of storing leftover rice.

Normally we simply put the rice in a plastic Tupperware container in our refrigerator and then microwave it when we want to use it. Is there a better way to store or cook our leftover rice so that we don't wind up with soggy, unappetizing rice leftovers?


3 Answers 3


It seems that the secret to re-heating rice is to use a little bit of liquid during the re-heating process. StillTasty suggests adding 2 tbsp. of liquid per cup of cooked rice, and about 1 minute on high for each cup in a microwave (5 minutes flat for stovetop re-heating).

Another thing it hints at, though doesn't outright state, is that cooked rice should be stored in an airtight container separate from the food it is meant to go with - this is likely where I went wrong, and why my rice is always soggy and unpalatable.

It also suggests that 2 hours is the maximum allowable time for cooked rice to be kept at room temperature, and that it can stay stored in the refrigerator between 4-6 days, or up to 6 months if frozen under ideal conditions.

  • 1
    I prefer butter instead of water :-)
    – Doug
    Commented May 8, 2015 at 21:03

I frequently make more rice than I need -- I store it because I love to cook fried rice and the best fried rice is made from leftover rice.

Make sure that you let the rice cool before you put it in a container. I always store mine in ziplock bags. Adding a little water to it when you microwave it will help to reconstitute it. Otherwise, if you're going to fry it or cook it on the stove, it should be fine right out of the refrigerator.

When I make big batches, I use a little less water than normal, because it tends to cook a little more in bulk. There is so much rice that, unless you constantly stir it to cool it down after cooking, the rice on the bottom will still be hot for a while after taking it off the heat. I think that stirring it frequently after cooking will help keep your rice consistent and firm.


Freeze it!

See Safe to wash rice the night before and leave overnight before cooking?

If there were one thing I could stress more than any other, it would be to freeze leftover rice.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.