Do you like stir-fried dishes and wonder if you can freeze them to keep them for longer? Yes, you can! But there are a few details that you should pay attention to. Let’s find them out!
Stir fry dishes are very popular and appreciated because all you need is to fry a few vegetables on a pan that you can combine with some meat pieces and serve them in a wrap or near a side dish like noodles or rice.
Because of that, many of us may consider making the stir fry dishes in a larger quantity and trying to freeze them as you can combine them later.
Yes, you can buy the stir fry mixtures directly from the stores and cook the exact amount you need. If you made the stir fry mixture from scratch at home, it the most probably is that you will remain with some leftovers that you will not eat in one or two sittings. So, can you freeze stir fry leftovers?
Let’s find out!
Can You Freeze Stir Fry?
Yes, you can freeze stir fry for up to 6 months depending on what ingredients you used in the stir fry mixture and if you will keep them in air-tight containers or freezing bags.
Quick Note: Make sure that you wait until the stir fry completely cools down, then move them into air-tight containers or freezing bags with a freezing label on them with the freezing date and expiration date.
Pro Tip: Make sure that you will cut the stir fry ingredients into similar-sized pieces so that after you take them from the freezer they will defrost at the same time.
Does It Freeze Well?
For the best results, it is recommended to freeze the stir fry ingredients separately as they have a different thawing time and after defrosting you will get better results if you will freeze them separately without sacrificing the taste and texture of the stir fry dishes.
Can You Make the Chicken Stir Fry Ahead of Time?
Yes, you can prepare all the ingredients ahead of time and combine them after defrosting them. Just make sure that you will not freeze all of them together as you may get a mushy composition after thawing.
How to Freeze Stir Fry Vegetables?
If you cook a large amount of stir fry mixture, you can easily move them into the freezer and keep them for up to 6 months depending on what ingredients you just stir fry.
So, if you decide to freeze your stir fry ingredients, wait until they cool down completely. After that, move them to an air-tight container or a freezing bag.
Pro Tip: If you have a large amount of stir fry mixture that you will eat in a few sittings, consider dividing them before freezing into servings as it is not recommended to refreeze stir fry vegetables or stir fry meat.
After you divide the stir fry ingredients into servings, squeeze and remove all the air excesses from the freezing bags and stick a freezing label on them. Write down on stickers the date when you freeze and the expiration that will be up to 6 months from now.
Pro Tip: You may consider slightly undercooking the stir fry vegetables as after defrosting, you can put them a little on the pan and fry for a few extra minutes. In that way, you will cook them until the end and they will taste as if you just cooked them fresh.
Also, it is worth mentioning that if you stir-fry the vegetables with a lot of sauce, consider keeping the sauce from stir fry separately because after you will defrost the stir-fry vegetables, if they have too much sauce, they may become mushy and you will not like their texture.
How to Freeze Stir Fry Meat?
Follow the exact steps like when you plan to freeze the stir fry vegetables. The only difference will be that after freezing, you will need to defrost the stir fry chicken or other meat in the fridge to keep the meat texture and flavor.
Can You Freeze a Mixture of Stir Fry Veggies and Chicken?
If this stir fry mixture contains a lot of sauce, you risk getting a mushy texture after defrosting. Because of that, it is recommended to stir fry the veggies and chicken separately and to combine them only after thawing.
If you still plan to freeze everything together, then consider eating the stir fry veggies with chicken in less than 2 months and to let them defrost slowly in the fridge overnight.
The same situation is when you are trying to freeze the stir fry noodles with chicken and veggies. If you freeze this mixture, consider consuming it in less than 2 months to take from the dish the best texture and flavor before it will start to degrade.
Can You Freeze the Stir Fry Sauce?
Yes. If you want the best result from your stir fry mixture after you defrost it, I would recommend freezing the stir fry sauce alone and to add over the stir fry vegetables and meat only after it will thaw completely.
For How Long Can You Freeze It?
Stir Fry Vegetables
After you stir-fry the vegetables, you can keep them frozen for up to 6 months depending on the vegetables that you fried. The more water the vegetables, the shorter the freezing time will be.
Stir Fry Chicken or Other Meat
If you plan to freeze the stir fry chicken or other meat, they will keep good to eat for up to 6 months also. But after the third month, the meat will start to slowly lose its texture and flavor. Because of that, if it is important to keep the maximum texture and flavor of the meat, consider eating them less than 3 months before it will start to degrade.
Stir Fry Tofu
Yes, you can freeze the stir-fried tofu. If it was properly stored, you can keep it for up to 6 months in the fridge. However, I recommend consuming it in the first 3 months because, after the third month, the stir-fried tofu will start to slowly lose its texture and flavor.
How to Defrost It?
In order to keep the texture of the vegetables and the meat, it is recommended to thaw the stir fry mixture gently and slowly. For the best results, it is recommended to take the frozen stir fry mixture from the freezer and move it into the fridge. Leave it overnight in the fridge to thaw slowly.
Pro Tip: If you put the frozen stir fry on the top shelf of the fridge, the stir fry mixture will defrost quicker as on the top shelf of the fridge the temperature of the air is higher.
Try to avoid cooking the frozen stir fry directly from the frozen as there will be a high difference in temperature between the cold ingredients and the hot pan. As a result, the stir fry mixture will become soggy and unpleasant to eat.
Attention! If you freeze the stir fry chicken or other meat, don’t leave them on the countertop to thaw at room temperature. As the thawing period will be long, there is a high chance that the bacteria will start growing before the stir fry meat will defrost.
Can You Refreeze It?
It is not recommended to refreeze multiple times the stir fry vegetables or meat as the dish may become mushy, it will lose its texture, and taste and there is a high risk of growing bacteria when you will defrost and freeze the stir fry dishes a few times.
How to Reheat the Frozen Stir Fry?
Personally, I prefer reheating them on the pan on the stove as I can mix the frozen stir fry sauce with veggies and chicken meat and I can control every period of time how my dish goes. If I see that it changes its color or when it starts to overcook, I take them from the stove.
How to Know if Stir Fry Goes Bad?
Pay attention to the appearance of the stir fry mixture, did you notice any color difference? Try to smell the stir fry mixture and make sure that it smells pleasant. If the visual part and smell remain the same, to make sure, you can take a small bite and check the taste of the ingredients. If everything is ok, you can serve the stir-fry vegetables or meat.
If you freeze the stir fry ingredients separately, you can get great results from freezing the stir fry mixtures without almost any difference in taste. Just make sure you will not freeze the combined stir fry veggies with noodles or meat and you will be good.