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Can You Freeze Chow Mein?

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By Olivia Sheppard

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Chow Mein is a popular Chinese dish that you can either get from your local takeaway or make at home. You can enjoy it with a variety of extras such as chicken, duck and beef or keep it simple with some stir-fried vegetables. It is also a superb meal to make in bulk for meal prep.

Can You Freeze Chow Mein?

Yes, you can freeze chow mein for up to 3 months. When kept in an airtight container or bag, chow mein will not suffer in terms of flavour or texture when thawed from frozen.

Does Chow Mein Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Chow Mein? No

How to Freeze Chow Mein

Now that we know you can freeze Chow Mein, we need to know how to do this. You can freeze takeaway Chow Mein, but because you cannot be sure what is in it, it is always best to freeze food you have cooked yourself at home.

Follow the steps below to ensure the perfectly frozen Chow Mein that you can enjoy again:

  1. Allow to Cool
    Never freeze Chow Mein that is still hot or warm as this will create condensation in the container and cause there to be excess water when thawed. 
  2. Transfer to a Container or Bag
    Scoop your leftover Chow Mein into a freezer safe container or a high quality zip-lock bag. If you are using a bag, be sure to squeeze all the excess air out.
  3. Label and Date
    Write the date of freezing on a label and place it on the container or bag. This way you will know when it is good to eat until. 
  4. Freeze
    Lay flat in the freezer and keep for 2-3 months.

3 Tips for Freezing Chow Mein

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing chow mein to have the best results:

Specify the Type
If you are freezing various types of Chow Mein, e.g. Chicken Chow Mein and Vegetable Chow Mein, make sure you label exactly what is in each dish to avoid any confusion!

Freeze Chow Mein

Do Not Use Large Containers
If you are freezing your Chow Mein in a freezer-safe container, make sure that it is not too big. Ideally, you do not want to have too much air in the container. 

Do Not Freeze If It Has Been Left Out
If your leftover Chow Mein has been left out on the counter at room temperature for more than 2 hours, it is not a good idea to freeze. The longer food is left out at room temperature, the higher the likelihood of bacterial growth which could be dangerous. 

How Long Can You Freeze Chow Mein?

You can freeze Chow Mein for between 2-3 months, which is significantly longer than it can be stored in the fridge.

If you are going to eat your Chow Mein within a few days, then it is perhaps best to keep it in the fridge (It will keep for up to 4 days), but if this is a meal you plan to eat further in the future, freezing is the best option!

You Can Freeze Chow Mein for up to 3 Months

How Do You Defrost Chow Mein?

To thaw and reheat your Chow Mein is a really simple process. Take the bag or container of frozen Chow Mein out of the freezer and leave it in the fridge to defrost, preferably overnight.

Once the noodles are fully thawed, add to a hot pan with a small amount of oil. Sesame oil will give it a particularly nice flavour! Keep stirring the noodles to quickly and evenly reheat. 

If you are slightly rushed for time, you can also take your Chow Mein out of the freezer and leave it out on the countertop for a short amount of time to thaw.

Microwaving is also an approach you can take, of course. Spoon and spread the noodles onto a microwave-safe plate, sprinkle with water and then microwave on high for a couple of minutes.

It is important to note that microwaved Chow Mein will be slightly mushier than if it had been reheated in the pan and it is also safer to defrost the Chow Mein in the fridge.

Can You Refreeze Chow Mein?

No, you should not refreeze Chow Mein.

It will degrade in texture and flavour and it could also encourage bacterial growth. This is why portioning out your Chow Mein into individual containers is so helpful as it will help you reduce the need to refreeze and you will reduce food waste. 

Does Chow Mein Freeze Well?

Yes, Chow Mein is a great meal to keep in the freezer! Not only is it delicious, but it also freezes very well and extends the shelf life considerably.

When frozen correctly, the texture and flavour of the noodles will not suffer so next time you make this amazing Chinese dish at home, make an extra few portions and keep them in the freezer for a great meal in the future. 

If you’ve still got questions about freezing chow mein or noodles in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Chicken Chow Mein?

Yes, you can freeze chow mein that contains most meat products including chicken, pork and duck. Just be wary of freezing chow mein that contains shellfish such as prawns.

Can You Freeze Noodles from the Chinese?

Yes, you can freeze any dishes from the Chinese takeaway. It is vital that you do not allow it to sit on the worktop for an extended period of time. The moment it has cooled, it should be frozen.

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