Tips & Techniques

Why You Should Stockpile Rice in Your Freezer

If you keep rice in your freezer, you're not far from a ailment-healing, feeling-wrought-from-the-holidays cure-all—aka nearly instant congee.

Congee is, at its core, a simple Chinese rice porridge that's typically eaten for breakfast, however it's good anytime of day. For superfast congee, user Edna shared that she throws about a cup of cooked, frozen rice in 5 cups of water and/or stock (use whatever ratio you like, adjusting the salt/seasoning as necessary) and boils it on high for 10 to 15 minutes until the rice is nearly falling apart and the whole thing's nice and thick. Using frozen rice cuts down the congee's cook time significantly, as most congees call for slowly simmering everything for 60 to 90 minutes.

Opt for white rice, either long or short grain, which works best for congee as it breaks down into that silky texture you're looking for. And you can use whatever stock you like, however a good-quality, homemade chicken stock will never be remiss.

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As for the toppings, you use what you have on hand (this is supposed to be superfast, after all!). Here are some suggestions:

Tell us: What ingredient or dish do you keep in your freezer for near-instant comfort?

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • erincpdx
  • Penelope
  • Gerald Dumas
    Gerald Dumas
  • Lucy
I fall in love with every sandwich I ever meet.


erincpdx November 29, 2017
I would like someone from @Food52 to reply to the idea that storing cooked rice in the freezer is dangerous, particularly given that this post was promoted in my emails from the site.
Gerald D. November 30, 2017
The site in General is simply a poor excuse for advertisements , the lack of basic food safety is across the all db of receipt is shocking if not outrageous. so call 'food blogger' wannabe editors revamped has cooks long has the picture look pretty it's good for the press . any real foodies go else where .
Penelope December 21, 2016
Ok that cracked me up!
Penelope December 21, 2016
Gerald, smug much?
Gerald D. December 21, 2016
depend if you freeze pasta or not.
Gerald D. December 21, 2016
Season greeting Lucy !
thanks for sharing you point of view and the fact that you have a bachelors degree also me all warm and fussy in this festive season , not sure what subject was your bachelor degree was in but it wasn't in making a counter argument that for sure, but if we to compare Christmas tree size I do hold 2 master and 4 bachelor degree all in food & services industry and can back it up with 35 years of work experience. I wish you all a merry xmas and hope that your culinary experience is a step up from frozen rice.
Gerald D. December 6, 2016
@Penelope ' Most foods need safe handeling to be frozen' agreed . Rice is most definitely not one of them. Comercial ready meal with rice or 'pre-cooked' go through checks and due deligence procedure at temperature & irradiation consumers grade equipment cannot reach/do even good old fashion pressure cooker. Freezing rice is _really_ poor craftmenship and most importantly a serious health hazzard feel free to check my facts with you local Health department .
Penelope December 5, 2016
Gerald if you go by that thinking you would never eat any food ever again. Most foods need safe handeling to be frozen, reheated and eaten. Instead of lambasting the writer maybe you could educate on safe food handeling. Most of the rice I cook takes 20-30 minutes to cook and that is not getting it to the silken state in this dish. That said, personal experience of making rice and freezing it for 40 years and NEVER having anyone get sick from my rice would indicate that with safe food handeling it is really ok to do.
Gerald D. December 4, 2016
Classic .. food writer without basic knowledge of food safety. key word here is ' Bacillus cereus ' . DO NOT FOLLOW THE ABOVE MISS GUIDED VIEW freezing rice bad idea no matter how you like/want to argue the mater. cooking rice from scratch take 12 mins .
Lucy December 18, 2016
You sir are incorrect. I do not know your background but I know mine and it is a bachelors degree. It is completely safe to freeze cooked rice. Also, Japanese housewives run their country's families by freezing leftovers immediately and there is never food-borne illness from that practice.
Lucy December 18, 2016
I should also add that you should refer to
Look up bacillus cereus there and you will find this is develops in contaminated food at room temperature. End of story.
Lucy December 18, 2016
Don't know how I got the extra is in there . Should read "this develops in"