Photo by © Grape

The Best Way to Store Cooked Rice

What do you do with rice leftover from a meal?

Do you throw it away? Leave it in the rice cooker? Put it in the fridge?

Did you know that there’s a proper way to store cooked rice?

Well, cooking is chemistry, so if you understand the science, you’ll find the solution.

Luckily for us, Zen-Noh, the National Federation of Agricultural Co-operative Associations in Japan, is here to save the day...and our rice.

On September 16, 2020, Zen-Noh updated their official Twitter account (@zennoh_food) with a helpful post about the best way to keep cooked rice tasty.


Many of us may think it obvious to store cooked rice in a Tupperware container or plastic wrap and then keep it in the fridge.

But according to Zen-Noh, when rice is refrigerated, the starch molecules break down, which results in dry, hard rice.

This is fine if you want to make risotto, Zen-Noh says (I would think fried rice is ok too!), but they offer a simple solution if you want to keep your rice moist and fluffy for your next meal.

How Should You Store Rice?

Follow these simple steps outlined by Zen-Noh:

Reproduced with permission from © Zen-Noh

Reproduced with permission from © Zen-Noh

After wrapping your cooked rice in plastic wrap, let it cool to room temperature.

Reproduced with permission from © Zen-Noh


Reproduced with permission from © Zen-Noh

Are you surprised that the answer is to freeze the rice until next time?

I had no idea this was a thing until recently when I started living with a Japanese guy. I was surprised to find bundles of rice in plastic wrap in the freezer. I guess he knows what’s up...

For a Visual Guide

Mitsubishi Electrics has also posted a helpful video on YouTube about saving rice. Even if you don’t understand Japanese, it’s easy enough to follow along. And the steps are the same as above.

Now that I know how the pros save their rice, I’ll be changing my own storage habits. Let’s see how much of a difference it makes, shall we?

By - Mujo.