How to Reheat Chinese Food in the Oven

When you order takeout Chinese food, it is almost inevitable that you'll have leftovers, as takeout portions are notoriously generous. While you can reheat your leftovers in the microwave, it seems that shrimp fried rice, General Tso's chicken and crab rangoon are just not the same. This is because the microwave isn't just reheating your Chinese food -- it is cooking it again, causing the meat and rice to become chewy and dried-out, and crispy foods to wind up soggy. A better method is to flash-reheat your Chinese food in the oven.

Reheating Rice and Meat

Step 1

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Flash reheating requires you to reheat at high temperatures between 425 and 475 F, depending on what you are reheating.

Step 2

Place your leftover Chinese food in the oven. Food such as fried rice, lo mein and chow mein noodles, and sauce-covered meats like orange chicken, Mongolian beef and shrimp in black bean sauce, should be placed in a shallow baking dish or tray and covered with aluminum foil. Foods that need to be crisped, such as egg rolls, fried wontons and chicken wings should be wrapped loosely in foil, which you can open in the last minutes of reheating to allow the item to crisp up.

Step 3

Heat the leftovers in the oven on the rack closest to the heat source. Reheat for two to 10 minutes, depending on the size and amount, until the food is fully heated through and has reached an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F. Stir fried rice and saucy covered meats occasionally to promote even reheating. Open the foil around foods that need to crisp up in the last few minutes of reheating. Eat while hot.

Things You'll Need

  • Aluminum foil

  • Baking tray


Store leftover takeout in the refrigerator within two hours of receiving it to avoid bacteria, which will start to grow when food is at temperatures below 140 F for longer than two hours.

Take Chinese food out of its paper containers and store in smaller portions in shallow airtight containers.

Use a food thermometer to accurately measure the temperature of the food you are reheating to ensure it has reached 165 F. Insert the thermometer in the several areas of the food you are reheating to make sure it is all fully reheated.

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