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Can You Freeze Congee?

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By Olivia Sheppard

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Congee is a versatile meal, originating from Asia, that can be a way to make use of leftovers, a quick dish on a busy night or a special celebration food.

Traditionally, congee uses glutinous or short-grained rice to create a porridge with few discernible rice kernels, but it also can use long-grained or jasmine rice for a thinner porridge with rice kernels remaining intact. It can be so easy to make a large batch of congee…

Can You Freeze Congee?

Yes, you can freeze congee for up to 3 months. It should be frozen in portions in either Tupperware containers or good-quality freezer bags to ensure it is kept airtight.

Does Congee Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Congee? No

How to Freeze Congee

Whether your congee is plain, sweet or savoury, the good news is that you can freeze it regardless! Congee makes for a great nutritious meal that can be eaten at any time of day.

Some families like to make a large batch of congee and freeze the rest so that you have easy to use meals, whenever needed. Here’s how to ensure you get the best frozen congee.:

  1. Cook Congee
    Make your congee according to your favourite recipe, making it sweet, meat-based or vegetable-based. 
  2. Allow to Cool
    It is essential that you allow your congee to cool fully before you freeze it. Placing anything warm into a freezer will cause the temperature to drop and could affect other foods. 
  3. Portion Out
    Portion your congee into smaller, individual portions. This will prevent any food waste. 
  4. Scoop Into Containers
    Now you can spoon your portions of congee into sturdy, freezer-safe containers. Seal the lid tightly, making sure the containers are airtight. 
  5. Label
    Write on the containers or on labels what is inside and the date of freezing for future reference. 
  6. Freeze
    Place the containers of congee into the freezer and store for up to 3 months. 

3 Tips for Freezing Congee

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

Spread Out on a Baking Tray
When cooling your congee, you may want to spread it out on a baking tray so that it can cool quicker. If it is kept in a deep saucepan, it will take a lot longer to cool.  

Beware of the Ingredients
If you are using items such as meat or vegetables in your congee, be aware of how this may affect the freezing process and how long they can be safely kept frozen. 

Leave Space for Expansion
Do not fill the containers completely, always leave a small amount of space towards the top so that the congee has room to expand without damaging the container. 

How Long Can You Freeze Congee?

Congee will safely last in the freezer for up to 3 months, though the ingredients within the congee may affect this. For example, using meat may shorten the shelf life in the freezer.

This is still longer than it would last in the fridge, so freezing is a good option if you are wanting to preserve the congee for a while.   

You Can Freeze Congee for up to 3 Months

How Do You Defrost Congee?

When it comes to thawing your congee, you have a few options. You can first thaw the congee in the fridge overnight; just take the container out of the freezer, place on a plate and then leave it in the fridge overnight to thaw completely. 

Secondly, you could use the thaw or defrosting setting on your microwave. Place the container into the microwave and thaw for 1-2 minutes. Keep stirring occasionally to ensure the congee is defrosted thoroughly.

Finally, you could submerge the container of congee in a bath of warm water and allow it to thaw slowly.

You will need to change the water every now and then as the frozen congee will cool the water down, which will then impact how well it can defrost the congee.

Can You Refreeze Congee?

No, you cannot refreeze congee as this would potentially damage the texture and taste of the congee too much. Freezing in individual portions is far better as you will only need to defrost the portions you want, meaning less food waste. 

Does Congee Freeze Well?

Yes, congee freezes very well and it will store for quite a while longer than if it were to be kept in the fridge.

It is a delicious, nutritious and versatile meal, so freezing multiple portions will allow you to have an easy meal to hand whenever you need it. There is no special process for freezing or defrosting, making it very time efficient!

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