How Long Does Chinese Food Last in the Fridge (Explained in Detail)

By admin | Food

Sep 18

Because Chinese food contains a lot of oil and seasonings, it requires a different preservation period and technique than other foods. Furthermore, leaving leftovers in the refrigerator too long will lead to the deterioration of food and be harmful to health. 

So, if you have Chinese food in your refrigerator, you may ask that “how long does Chinese food last in the fridge?” Continue reading, all information regarding that matter will be provided, along with some valuable tips.


How Long Does Chinese Food Last in the Fridge?

Generally, Chinese food, like other leftovers, can last in the fridge for three to four days at temperatures ranging from 1.7° to 3.3° Celsius. During these four days, the meal remains edible and delicious. Furthermore, in the freezer, Chinese food can last for 4- 6 months. 

Indeed, after four days, the leftover Chinese food will not be as fresh, greasy, salty, delicate, or spicy as it once was. Instead, you may begin to taste the bland, bitter flavor while the color gradually darkens.

In addition, the more extensive container you pack your Chinese leftovers, the more space bacteria have to thrive. As a result, the spoiling pace is considerably faster.

According to the USDA, the typical temperature range for optimal refrigeration is 32 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit. Thus, the shelf-life of your Chinese will be shortened if the storage temperature does not fall within the range.

The USDA also recommends labeling temperatures ranging from 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit as The Danger Zone. This temperature range encourages bacterial development. Spoilage is typically a quality concern in its early stages and does not result in sickness. However, the food progressively becomes a hazard.

3 Signs to Know Your Chinese Food Are Getting Worse


Usually, Chinese food is well seasoned so that you can smell its powerful and delicious smell from a long distance away. Indeed, most Chinese food has an enticing aroma. As a result, when the Chinese food begins to degrade, the strange odor indicates spoilage.



The color is another sign to indicate the freshness or spoilage of Chinese food. For example, your stir-fried lettuce is usually a light, brilliant green hue. However, after a few days in the fridge, the strip begins to turn brown, and the leaves curl up. Or the kung pao chicken, which is ordinarily red but is now brownish. In these situations, the food has gotten discolored. And that’s when you know your Chinese meal is starting to get worse.


If there is a strange odor or discoloration in the food, people may consider it a mistake in the cooking process and ignore it. However, if mold appears in the dish, no one can stand it any longer. Therefore, that food should be thrown away into the garbage can.

The mold is fairly visible. You could detect it straight away if you notice some odd, tiny white spores covering the food. And if those stains appear, please throw it away since it is no longer salvageable. It begins to poison!

Mold produces poisonous chemicals called mycotoxins. Depending on the amount ingested, the length of exposure, and the individual’s age and condition, they might cause illness and even death. In detail, acute toxicity includes gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea and acute liver damage.

How to Reheat Chinese Food

In general, many individuals would toss away their Chinese leftovers. However, there is another option for what to do with the leftover Chinese food: reheat it. Here are three standard methods:

  • The most popular method of cooking Chinese food is to “wok” it. First, heat the oil until seeing the bubbles submerge when dipping the chopsticks to the pan. Then, add the food and use the spatula to stir it. When it’s hot enough, take out the food and wait to enjoy it. 
  • Another way to reheat your Chinese leftovers is using the microwave. Because of its flexibility and low cost, the microwave can be found in almost all families. Yet, remember to find a microwave-safe plate to put your food on and microwave it. Then, adjust the mode to medium heat and wait for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the meal. 
  • Finally, the oven is also a great option to reheat Chinese food sitting in the fridge for a while. This one is similar to a microwave, but the oven has one benefit that the microwave does not: it can “cook” the food. In addition, you need to set to the high temperature in 5 to 7 minutes.


Bonus Tips: How to Preserve Chinese Food in the Fridge as Long as Possible

However, did you know that if you keep Chinese leftovers correctly and sensibly, you can extend the freshness of the food for a longer time? Here are some tips you should keep in your mind:

  • Refrigerate the Chinese food after 2 hours of prepare it. When you take out enough food, put any leftover Chinese in the fridge right away. Because you should heat your food only one time, it needs to be thrown away if some food remains.
  • Make sure it’s at room temperature and entirely cover the food before you refrigerate it. Indeed, if you let it uncovered, microorganisms will spoil it. Furthermore, by covering your Chinese food, you prevent the smell and flavor of other dishes from contaminating it.
  • Always store your Chinese food in an airtight container. Also, create small batches to ensure that cooling is rapid and consistent. 


Although some people disagree with keeping leftovers in the refrigerator, this method optimizes preserving and avoiding food waste. However, remember to check your food before you eat it. In summary, this article provides a detailed answer to the problem: “how long does Chinese food last in the fridge?” along with many related insights. Hence, don’t hesitate to share this valuable knowledge with your friends!