reheating chinese food

How to Reheat Chinese Food: Tips for Tasty Results

In summary: There are three ways to reheat leftover Chinese food to keep it tasting delicious: (1) heating on a stove, (2) reheating in an oven, and (3) warming up in an air fryer.

Chinese food is indeed a very broad term that encompasses hundreds of delicacies with a distinctive Chinese flavor. 

What we most often think of are delicious noodles or rice prepared in a wok with the addition of vegetables. Of course, you also have meat in some dishes, but pasta or rice and vegetables are somehow the fundamentals.

You usually order them as take-out from a Chinese restaurant, and, if your nearby restaurant is anything like mine, you always have leftovers because the portions are large.

How to properly reheat leftover Chinese foods without getting a gooey mixture is what we bring you below. You can use these tips for reheating all noodles dishes, chicken dishes such as General Tso’s chicken, Peking Duck, fried rice, etc.. 

Heating Chinese Food On A Stove

Let’s clear up one thing right away. Reheating on the stove, and doing it in a wok, is the best way to warm up Chinese food leftovers. It works for every component of your dish, whether it has rice or pasta in it. 

It’s a quick, easy way to reheat which guarantees the food to be just as delicious as the first time.

Step 1: Heat the Wok and Add Some Oil

If you don’t have a wok, you can also use a larger baking pan. But the wok is really ideal because it heats up quickly and keeps a great temperature so the dish can be crispy and delicate. 

Reheating in a wok or in a pan won’t bring the same taste. Therefore, put the wok on the fire, add a little oil, and let it heat up.

Step 2: Add the Chinese Food to the Wok and Stir

Add Chinese food to the heated wok and continuously stir while heating. Lift the pasta a little into the air and swirl the food in the wok. This will help the dish retain its texture and be just as it was initially. 

If you wish, you can also add a little soy sauce to enhance the flavor and add juiciness. Heat for a few minutes until the dish is warmed well.

Reheating Chinese Food In An Oven

An oven is a good solution for reheating spring rolls, but for noodles, leftover rice and steamed vegetables, it just won’t be the best choice. The texture of the food will certainly change. This doesn’t mean it won’t be tasty, but it won’t be like the original. 

We really wouldn’t recommend reheating Chinese takeaway in the oven, but if you have no other choice and that’s the only solution, here’s what you need to do.

Step 1: Preheat the Oven to 325 °F

First, put the oven to heat up to medium heat. No matter how good an oven you have, it will take at least 5 or 10 minutes to reach the desired temperature. During which time, you can prepare food. Set the oven to 325 degrees F and let it heat up.

Step 2: Place your Chinese Leftovers in a Casserole and Cover

Put leftover Chinese food in a oven safe dish. Do not press the food too hard. Let it breathe a little, and so you will need to stir it occasionally. Cover the dish with aluminum foil. 

Step 3: Bake for 10 Minutes, but Stir Every Few Minutes

Put the food to bake. Occasionally, stir Chinese food every 3 to 4 minutes to heat it evenly. For the last 2 minutes of baking, you can remove the foil and put the food in the oven without it, to get a little crunchiness. 

The food should be ready in about 10 minutes, but check if it happens to take another two minutes to warm up fully. 

Warming Up Chinese Food In An Air Fryer

The air fryer will help you to heat up almost all types of Chinese food you have. Depending on whether you have dry food or one with sauce, you will adjust the heating method. 

The whole process is extremely simple and completed in a few minutes.

Step 1: Heat up theAir Fryer

To start, turn on the air fryer to preheat to 350 degrees F. This won’t take too long, so you have just enough time to prepare the leftover food in the basket.

Step 2: Place the Leftovers in a Basket

If you have dry and firm pieces like spring rolls, of course, you can just put them in the air fryer basket without any additional steps. 

But the grid basket will not be helpful for any juicy food, noodles, or rice from the wok. You have two options here. Or put the food in a baking pot that fits the air fryer’s size. 

Or line the inside of the basket with aluminum foil, thus creating a kind of pot. Make sure that the food does not come out.

Step 3: Cook for 3 Minutes

Before putting it in the air fryer, you can optionally add a little sauce if you feel it is necessary. Then mix everything well and put it in the air fryer for 2 minutes. 

Take out the basket and stir the food so that everything is heated evenly and the internal temperature is equally hot. 

Then return to additional heat for 1 minute or two if you want a slightly crispier surface.



When it comes to reheating leftover Chinese food, it is best to do it the way it was initially prepared – in a wok. With this heating method, you will hardly even notice the difference in taste and texture of your reheated food, and you can enjoy Chinese delicacies for a few days. An air fryer will also be a suitable method if you don’t have a wok nearby. The third option is a classical or toaster oven, but you will only opt for it if you don’t have any previous ways handy.

Up Next: The Best Way To Reheat Rice

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