How Long Does Chinese Food Last in The Fridge?

Many of us have a habit of ordering Chinese foods again and again and then we promise ourselves not to order it again but we always fail to keep our promises.

It’s not your fault obviously, the food is so tempting that we humans obviously can’t resist. But then you might think about what to do with the leftover food and it is very important to know how long this Chinese food is good for?

So Then how Long Is Chinese Food Good For?

Simply summarizing, Chinese food is good for usually not more than 2-3 days. But it is imperative to know when the food was cooked to decide accordingly and then to make a decision to store your leftovers for later.

Want to know more about it, don’t worry we have got you covered. Read the article below and you will get all your questions answered.

How to Properly Store Chinese Food?

As stated above you can easily store leftovers of Chinese food for a maximum of 3-4 days. But here’s the catch, you can freeze them to increase their shelf life. We will go deep into it but first and foremost let us look at the ways how one can store Chinese food.

If you don’t store any of these food items especially Chinese food in a proper manner then the food might get spoiled even before it normally would have.

Learning more about storing the chinese food in a correct way will in turn help the customers to eat the food in a safe manner and also enjoy the food to the fullest.

Foods for example like kung pao chicken or the tuna salad must be kept in the refrigerator just within 2-3 hours of serving. This will help to get rid of pathogens which are foodborne which may go directly in the consumer’s body which is very harmful.

Also it is always advised not to keep the leftovers open in the kitchen counter. Always keep it in the refrigerator once you are done eating it. To utilize the leftovers in the best way possible follow the steps given below:

  • Make sure you are storing your food in airtight containers.
  • Also, make sure you are refrigerating your food as soon you are making it.If possible within 2-3hrs of preparing it.
  • It is recommended to avoid storing the food in takeout containers as they are not made for storing food for a long time.
  • It is advised to wrap the food with cling wrap. You may find the packaging is full of air so it is always recommended to remove the excess air.

Why Should You Put Away the Leftover Chinese Food ASAP?

You should put away the leftover as soon as possible because you have no idea how long the food has been sat around before it has been delivered to you. Chinese food gets rotten if it is placed at room temperature for long period of time.

If you have kept the food in the fridge immediately after you have received it then chances are that it will remain fresh for some more time. Also it is always advised to make flat surfaces of food so that it gets cool quickly.

Also one more advice is that it is always better to check the temperature of the fridge or even the freezer to be on a safer side, the ideal temperature of the fridge should be 320 degrees Fahrenheit and your freezer should be at 0 degree.

How Long Is Chinese Food Good for In the Refrigerator?

Usually, Chinese food lasts up to three to four days when kept refrigerated but it is recommended to store it for a maximum of 2-3 days and not more than that.

If it is stored for more time then the chances of getting food poisoning from the spoiled food also increase.

As you might know, the bacteria which are found in such foodborne illnesses do not affect much on the appearance, smell, or even the taste of the food. Hence you won’t be able to differentiate between fresh and spoiled food and if your Chinese takeout has lasted for a week or so.

To be more cautious one should not keep the takeaway for longer periods in the fridge.

How Long Is Chinese Food Good for In the Freezer?

Freezing your leftover Chinese food is the best way to increase its shelf life. And guess what you can freeze it for up to 3 months which is insane.

Some food items can stay for a very long period of time in the freezer which includes main course recipes like chow mein, fried rice, and other prominent dishes. If they are adequately stored then it even won’t affect the quality and taste of it.

Also, one more thing that if the Chinese food is home-cooked then it will freeze more efficiently than takeaway food. But you need not worry you can still freeze the leftover takeaway. But for that, you will have to consume it in a period of 2-3 months and not more than that.

To get the best out of your frozen Chinese food you will have to learn how to freeze it and then how to reheat it in the correct manner.

How to Freeze Chinese Food?

There are two prominent ways you can freeze Chinese food.

Plastic/Aluminium Resealable Containers

When it comes to freezing the leftover foods then these plastic containers that are airtight and also which are freezer friendly are the best shot for the said purpose. But yes you can also go with the aluminum ones that also offer sealability.

Freezer-Friendly Plastic Bags

This type of storage requires more effort and also requires more caution from your side. But yes if you are willing to put this much effort then first and foremost make sure that the bags used are totally airtight and also make sure that it does not have any leakage.

As the food boxes are made up of cardboard and then this nair can easily flow through it which directs to rapid growth of bacteria which will contaminate the food soon. You can get a variety of these airtight containers in markets or even online.

Also you can use glass containers than the plastic containers as plastic is in turn more dangerous not only for humans but also for the environment.

Once you have followed the steps then freeze it in a way that the other food items do not overlap with your Chinese takeaway. 

Okay, so you now know the ways how you can freeze the food and so it is now very important to know what not to do in the process.

Down below are some pointers which will guide you on what not to do.

  • It is always advised not to freeze items which are fried or items that contain a lot of oil in them as once they are freezed they will not pass the quality check you thought about.
  • Bring the chinese food to a room temperature before freezing the food.As the hot food can even lead to freezer burns if they are frozen right away.
  • After you are done cooking the food, freeze it within two hours,for the food is frozen takeaway food then make sure to freeze it after you are done eating it,as you can never say how long the food has been kept in the restaurant so it is always recommended to be careful about this fact.
  • Also if you are freezing home cooked food for consumption later then always try to cook the rice slightly halfway through being fully done as if you do this then you will not overcook it once you reheat it again.

How to Thaw/defrost Frozen Chinese Food?

As you might be aware if you want to defrost the food items then the best possible way to follow the process is slowly and gradually. If you do it in a hurry then then you might invite bacteria growth.

It is advised to leave the food overnight in the refrigerator to defrost it gently and steadily. If the food is thawed in the oven or in the microwave then you could risk the growth of bacteria and even bring down the quality and texture of the food which you obviously don’t like to.

How to Reheat Chinese Food?

Let us understand this with help of a example. Let us suppose you have frozen your leftover Chinese food a month or so ago. Then suddenly you remembered about it and then you kept the food in the refrigerator to defrost it overnight.

But now as you have the food but you might wonder how to reheat it. To know about it you can follow the ways listed below.

  • The first and probably the best way to reheat the food is with the help of a pan or a skillet.To do so first and foremost add some oil to the pan and then leave it till it gets a bit warm and after that toss some rice in it.This will also help to improve the texture of the food and will protect your chinese food from getting mushy.
  • The next possible way is that you can reheat the food in the microwave. But for this to take place make sure the food is in a room temperature. Once the food is in the room temperature then place the food in a microwave friendly bowl and don’t forget to add water to it to prevent it from drying. If the food is spilling out of the container then you can place a ceramic plate upside down.

Why It Is Advised to Avoid Microwaves?

It is always advised to avoid microwave as microwaves usually heat the food unevenly and not in proper manner. Once the food is reheated in the microwave then it tends to lose its taste, moisture and texture.

It might turn so soft oven very hard that it won’t be possible to consume it. But yes microwave is easy to use and it also saves a lot of your time, so if you are willing to use it then here’s a advice for you, keep the food at a low temperature for a long period so that the food remains fresh and so that the food is heated up evenly.

How to Tell if Your Leftover Chinese Food Has Gone Bad?

As stated above in the article it is very difficult to detect if your Chinese food has grown some harmful bacteria or not. But yes there is one way that you can detect the bacteria.

Once you are done with the defrost process and once you have heated the Chinese leftover then you will have to do a smell check. After that you will know if the food has gone bad or if you can still consume it.

If the food has gone bad and you find it unsafe to eat it then it will for sure develop a oily foul sort of smell. If it smells the same it used to while you refrigerated it then you are free to consume the food.

But it is always advised to go with the gut instinct and in some cases the food wont smell any different but the taste will be different so better you do not consume the food in such a case.

Why Should You Break the Food Clumps?

It is always advised to break, defrost or even break the rice clumps using your hand before you are heating your food and never heat them while it is in a clump shape because doing, so the food will lose the texture and even the taste.

Once it is in a flat surface then you are all set to reheat it with the help of a microwave or a stove.


You are very well aware that the Chinese food are made up of a lot of eggs, shrimps, chicken and sauces. These are some ingredients which gets rotten in just some few hours. That gives idea about how long does Chinese food last in the fridge.

So it is always recommended to store these food at a lower temperature. The tips mentioned above in the article will help you store the food for a longer time and thus increase its shelf life.


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