Rice noodles take seconds to cook, but that doesn’t help you when you want to take some to work for lunch.
Or when you accidentally cook too much so have loads leftover.
So what’s the best way to store rice noodles?
Rice noodles are always best served fresh, but you can keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Rinse plain rice noodles in cold water and then toss them in oil (optional) before storing them to prevent sticking. Skip this step if the rice noodles are already in a sauce.
Note: vermicelli noodles and pho noodles are types of rice noodles, so everything in this article applies to them too.
I’ve tried and tested all the tips and tricks in this article, so I’m speaking from experience rather than just guessing!
I cooked up a batch of rice noodles and then tried storing, freezing, and reheating them in a few different ways.
Only the best options made it into this article.
How to store leftover rice noodles
Follow these steps to store cooked or soaked rice noodles:
- Make sure the noodles are cooled to room temperature.
- Rinse the noodles in cold water and toss them in oil (oil is optional).
- Place the noodles in a shallow airtight container or a resealable plastic food bag.
- Rice noodles will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge.
- 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 temperature 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.
Keep reading to find out how best to store your rice noodles if they aren’t plain.
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:
- Rinse the rice noodles with cold water
- Toss the rice noodles in oil
- Portion the noodles out and keep individuals portions separate (you can use the cross cross technique, or use separate containers)
Washing the noodles gets rid of excess starch on the outside, which 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.
Tossing the noodles in oil provides a protective layer around the noodles and of course makes them less sticky!
I like to use sesame oil because of its flavor. Peanut oil, olive oil or sunflower oil are also great options.
Keep individual portions 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 (neat right?!).
How to store rice noodles cooked in a broth (pho noodles)
If your noodles are mixed in with a broth, follow these steps to store them:
- Separating the noodles from the soup before you store them.
- Leave the noodles to air dry for a 30-60 minutes before storing.
- Reheat the broth and noodles separately to give your noodles the best chance of surviving.
If you don’t separate the noodles from the broth, they’ll absorb lots of 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 in this situation; just have a sealed container to hand and keep it in the fridge.
You can then cook fresh rice noodles to order.
How to store rice noodles cooked in a sauce
If your noodles are in a sauce, wait for them to cool before putting them in an airtight container.
The rice noodles will absorb moisture from the sauce and the quality of the noodles will deteriorate pretty quickly. Aim to eat the noodles within 2 days.
How to store dry rice noodles (uncooked)
Dry, uncooked rice noodles will last almost indefinitely in the cupboard, but there will be a best before date on the packet that will indicate 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 any longer than that and you’ll need to refrigerate them.
Fresh rice noodles will last for up to two days in the fridge.
But be aware that the cold temperatures can cause the noodles to become hard and brittle, so the fridge 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 and mess with 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 separate fresh rice noodles
To separate fresh rice noodles that are stuck together, place them in a colaner and a sieve and pour hot water over then for 30-60 seconds.
Shake the noodles gently and they should start to separate.
You can also drop the noodles in a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds and then drain.
Related: Does Mochi Need To Be Refrigerated
How to reheat rice noodles
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!).
Reheating rice noodles in the microwave
The fastest thing to do is to place the rice noodles in a microwave-safe container, sprinkle them with water and then cover the noodles with a wet paper towel or some plastic wrap. Microwave the noodles in 30 second intervals until hot.
Reheating your noodles in the microwave will help to revive noodles that have become a little hard or dry.
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 rice noodles by frying them
If you’re planning to use the noodles in a stir fry, then add the cold noodles to the pan a few minutes before the end to reheat them.
You can also reheat plain noodles in a skillet. Heat some oil on high heat and add the noodles once its shimmering. Toss in the pan for 2-3 minutes, adding some water to steam if required.
Reheating rice noodles in hot water or broth
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.
Or put the noodles in a colander and pout hot water over them for 30-60 seconds.
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?
You can freeze rice noodles 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 or noodles in a sauce will become mushy.
Freeze the noodles in a heavy-duty freezer bag.
How to freeze rice noodles:
- Cool the rice noodles to room temperature.
- Toss them in oil so they’re easier to separate once thawed
- Put the rice noodles in a freezer-safe plastic bag and lay them flat.
- Remove as much air from the bag as possible (using a vacuum sealer is best).
- Freeze the noodles for up to 2 months.
You want to minimize air pockets because these can lead to ice crystals forming, which will leave you with soggy noodles.
To remove the air from the freezer bag without a vacuum sealer, I suck it out with a straw or dunk the bag in a bowl of cold water to force the air out.
If you only have Tupperware, lay a piece of plastic wrap on top of the rice noodles to get rid of the air gap.
How to thaw frozen rice noodles
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.
If you’re in a hurry you can also submerge a freezer bag of rice noodles in a cold water bath,
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 2 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.
|Cooked||2 hours||3-4 days||2 months|
|Fresh||4 hours||2-3 days||2 months|
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).
Then there’ll be less risk of you overcooking them when you warm them up again.
How To Store, Freeze, And Reheat Rice Noodles
- 1 portion rice noodles
Storing 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.
Reheating Rice Noodles
- Cover the rice noodles with a damp paper towel and microwave in 30 second intervals.
- Submerge the rice noodles in a hot broth to reheat them.
- Fry the rice noodles in a skillet on high heat with some flavored oil.