With so many varieties and ways to serve it, rice is a staple in many households. However, it can be a bit tedious and time-consuming to cook it each time you need rice, especially if you don't have a rice cooker. Save yourself time by cooking a large batch of rice all at once and freezing it in usable portions. This way, whenever you need cooked rice in a hurry, you can grab it from the freezer and quickly nuke it in the microwave to reheat.
Prepare and Cook
Frozen cooked rice can last in the freezer for up to six months, so you can make a lot at once and not have to worry about cooking rice again for a while. You can freeze any type of rice you prefer, such as white, brown, yellow and wild rice, along with similar grains such as couscous. If you are using a rice cooker, follow the recommended instructions on the rice packaging, as well as your rice cooker. The commonly used ratio for basic white rice is 1 to 1 1/2 cups rice for every 2 cups of water. To prepare rice on the stove, bring the rice and water to a boil, then reduce to low and cover, allowing the rice to absorb the water as it cooks until it is soft and fluffy, roughly 15 to 25 minutes.
Portion and Bag
Spread the cooked rice out onto a slightly wet sheet pan to cool down enough so that you can handle it. Wetting the sheet pan helps to prevent the rice from sticking together. Use moistened measuring cups to measure out the rice into usable portions based on how much you think you'll want to use at a time. Place the the rice portions in quart- or gallon-sized resealable freezer bags. Spread the rice out in the bag with your hands so the bags are flattened, and squeeze as much air out as you can. You can save room in your freezer by storing the bags flat.
Freeze and Store
Place the freezer bags of rice on a sheet pan. You can stack the rice on the sheet pan if necessary, but only make two-layer stacks so that all the rice can freeze quickly and evenly. Place the filled sheet pan in the freezer for about two hours, or until the rice is frozen solid. You can then place each bag of frozen rice into another resealable bag to further protect the rice from the freezer air. Label them with the date and return them to the freezer. Rice can last in the freezer for three to six months. For best quality, however, use it within three months.
Reheat and Eat
When you are ready to use the rice, remove as many bags as you need from the freezer and transfer the frozen rice from the bag to a microwave-safe container. You do not need to thaw the rice first. Add a tablespoon or two of water to the rice to re-moisten it. Cover the rice partially with the lid of the container and reheat the rice in the microwave in one-minute intervals, stirring in between for even reheating, until the rice is heated through. Let the rice stand for two minutes before fluffing and serving.
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