Rice noodles are very popular in Asian cuisine and are often used in stir-fries, salads, and ramen-style dishes. But if you make too many, or want to prepare them ahead of time for a quick lunch, you’re probably wondering what the best way to keep them fresh is.
How to store rice noodles? Rice noodles are always best served fresh, but if you have some leftover and need to save them, it’s best to keep them in the fridge. Tossing the rice noodles in oil will prevent them from becoming too sticky and clumping together during storage.
How to store leftover rice noodles
Leftover rice noodles that have already been soaked or cooked should be kept in a shallow airtight container, or a resealable plastic food bag, in the fridge. The noodles will keep for 3-4 days. For longer-term storage, you can freeze them for up to 2 months.
Make sure the rice noodles are dry and cool before you put them in the fridge. If the rice noodles are warm, this can cause condensation and the extra moisture will make the noodles soggy.
Rice noodles shouldn’t be kept at room for any longer than 2 hours, so make sure to put them in the fridge or freezer within this time frame. Harmful bacteria can multiply quickly at ambient temperatures (between 40 and 140 degrees) but not at the cooler temperatures found in your fridge.
How to stop rice noodles from sticking together
One issue with refrigerating rice noodles is that have a tendency to clump together when they get cold and this can make them very hard to separate.
To prevent the rice noodles from clumping together in the fridge follow these three steps:
Step 1: Wash the rice noodles with cold water
Washing the noodles gets rid of their starch coating, and the starch is what causes them to stick together.
To wash them, place the noodles in a bowl of cold water and mix them around. Rinse and repeat until the water stops turning milky.
Step 2: Toss the rice noodles in oil
Tossing the noodles helps to make sure they’re all evenly coated and are easy to separate.
I like to use sesame oil because of its flavor. Peanut oil, olive oil or sunflower oil are also great options.
Step 3: Portion the noodles out
You can keep them in separate containers or use plastic wrap to separate the layers.
Another trick is to put the noodles in the container in a kind of criss-cross pattern to section them out.
How to store rice noodles cooked in a broth
If your noodles are mixed in with a broth, then I’d advise separating the noodles from the soup before you store them. Otherwise, the noodles will absorb the liquid, and the whole dish will become a mushy, unpleasant mess.
After separating the noodles and the broth, you may find the noodles just aren’t salvageable. The good news is that you can save the broth; just have a sealed container to hand.
Leave the noodles to air dry for a bit before storing, and reheat the broth and noodles separately to give your noodles the best chance of surviving.
How to store rice noodles cooked in a sauce
If the sauce you’ve cooked the noodles in is a bit thicker and you’re unable to separate them, this is okay, but the extra moisture will cause the quality of the noodles to deteriorate quicker.
Put the whole dish in the fridge and make sure to check it looks and smells okay before you eat it.
How to store uncooked rice noodles
Dried uncooked rice noodles will last almost indefinitely in the cupboard, but there will be a best before date on the packet that will give you an indication of how long they’ll be at their best quality. This can be anywhere from 6 months to a year.
How to store fresh rice noodles?
Fresh rice noodles are different to the refrigerated noodles you find in traditional supermarkets. These fresh rice noodles can be found in your local Asian supermarket and usually come in flat sheets allowing you to cut them to your desired thickness.
Fresh rice noodles don’t keep well and should be eaten as soon as possible after purchase. They can be kept for up to 4 hours at room temperature, but if you want to store them any longer than that, they should be refrigerated.
If you do need to store fresh rice noodles, they can be kept in the fridge for up to two days. But be aware that the cold temperatures can cause the noodles to become hard and brittle, so should be used as a last resort.
You can also freeze fresh rice noodles for up to two months, but again this will reduce the quality of the texture.
To soften fresh rice noodles that have become hard in the fridge, soak them in hot water or cover them with a wet paper towel and put them in the microwave for 30 seconds.
How to reheat rice noodles for best results
Rice noodles require very little cooking and are easy to overcook. When reheating them, you want to do so in a way that doesn’t cook them too much, or you’ll end up with mushy noodles (yuk!).
If you have a microwave, the fastest thing to do is to place the noodles in a microwave-safe container and cover it with either plastic wrap or a wet paper towel. Gently microwave the noodles until they’re heated through.
If you’re using a wet paper towel, the sheet should be placed directly on the noodles. If you’re using plastic wrap stretch it over the container. don’t forget to poke a few holes in it to let any steam out.
Reheating your noodles in the microwave this way will also help to revive noodles that have become a little hard or dry. If the noodles seem particularly dry, you can splash them with some water before covering them.
If you’re planning to use the noodles in a stir fry, then you can add the cold noodles to the pan a few minutes before the end to reheat them. Similarly, if you’re going to add the noodles to a soup or a broth, you can put the cold noodles straight into the hot liquid. This will be enough to warm them.
Don’t reheat cooked rice noodles more than once, once they’ve been reheated once they should be eaten or thrown away.
Can you freeze rice noodles?
Rice noodles can be frozen for up to two months, although freezing them might result in some loss of texture. It’s better to freeze plain noodles that have been soaked rather than cooked because cooked noodles will lose their texture faster.
For best results, put the rice noodles in a freezer-safe plastic bag and lay them flat. If you can, vacuum seal the bag, but if not, push as much air out as possible. You want to minimize air pockets because these can lead to ice crystals forming, which will leave you with soggy noodles when they melt.
If you only have Tupperware, lay a piece of plastic wrap on top of the rice noodles to minimize air contact.
To thaw the frozen rice noodles, put them in the fridge at least 4-5 hours before you want to use them and let them defrost. Once thawed, you can reheat them as you would regular rice noodles from the fridge. The thawed noodles can be stored for up to two days in the refrigerator before you’ll need to throw them away.
How long do rice noodles last?
Once cooked (soaked/hydrated), rice noodles can last up to 4 hours at room temperature. This can be extended to 3-4 days if you put the rice noodles in the fridge and up to 2 months if you keep them in the freezer.
Dry noodles can be kept at room temperature for up to a year, they’ll be safe to eat indefinitely but might start to lose some quality.
Fresh noodles are best consumed as soon as you can after making them. They’ll last up to 4 hours at room temperature, up to 3 days in the fridge, and two months in the freezer.
Can you prepare rice noodles in advance?
Yes, rice noodles can be stored and reheated so you can successfully prepare them in advance. Rice noodles will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days but the fresher they are the nicer the noodles will be, so I’d advise cooking them as close as possible to when you’re planning to use them.
If you know you’re going to reheat the rice noodles, cook them slightly al dente (for less time). There’ll be less risk of you overcooking them when you warm them up again.
How To Store Rice Noodles
- 1 portion rice noodles
- Leftover rice noodles that have already been soaked or cooked should be kept in a shallow airtight container, or a resealable plastic food bag, in the fridge.
- Make sure the rice noodles are dry and cool before you put them in the fridge. If the rice noodles are warm, this can cause condensation and the extra moisture will make the noodles soggy.
- Rice noodles shouldn’t be kept at room for any longer than 2 hours, so make sure to put them in the fridge or freezer within this time frame.
Freezing Rice Noodles
- Rice noodles can be frozen for up to two months, although freezing them might result in some loss of texture. It's better to freeze p
- For best results, put the rice noodles in a freezer-safe plastic bag and lay them flat. If you can, vacuum seal the bag, but if not, push as much air out as possible.
- To thaw the frozen rice noodles, put them in the fridge at least 4-5 hours before you want to use them and let them defrost. Once thawed, you can reheat them as you would regular rice noodles from the fridge.
- The thawed noodles can be stored for up to two days in the refrigerator before you'll need to throw them away.