Vacuum sealing and freezing cooked rice dishes?

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Joined Dec 8, 2015
Hello,

I'm eyeing a rice recipe for a make-ahead side that I'll cook, vacuum seal (Foodsaver) and then freeze. Do people do such things? Does the freezing ruin the texture of the cooked rice? I'm thinking of refreigerating the finished product for an hour or two and then breaking up the rice as much as possible before freezing so the rice doesn't clump together into one block when freezing.
This may not be necessary, though, if the reheating process breaks up the rice again.

Ideally I'd like to create my own version of those "microwave in bag" rice/veggie medleys that Birds' Eye and Green Giant offer; I'd just take the bag out of the freezer and drop the bag in some boiling water to re-heat it, or throw the bag in the microwave. Below I've included the ingredients and the gist of the recipe.

Thanks!

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-1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
-1 small onion
-1 1/2 cups Basmati rice
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1/2 tsp ground turmeric
-1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
-2 1/4 cups water
-1/4 cup currants
-1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1) Saute onion with salt and oil until softened, then add rice, garlic, turmeric and cinnamon and cook until grain edges begin to turn translucent.
2) Stir in water and bring to simmer. Simmer gently until rice is tender and water is absorbed.
3) Off heat, sprinkle currants over pilaf. Cover, laying clean dish towel underneath lid, and let pilaf sit for 10 minutes. Add almonds to pilaf and fluff gently with fork to combine.
 
10
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Joined Jul 7, 2017
Freezing has a negative effect on most foods, but we are talking about rice here. As long as you don't over cook the original batch then it should reconstitute just fine in the microwave.
 
4,475
417
Joined Jun 27, 2012
...re the almonds and currants... IME the (almonds and currants) add ins would freshen the dish if you added them after thawing the rice and before nuking.... try toasting the almonds to bring more texture and flavor as well...

mimi
 

phatch

Moderator
Staff member
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Joined Mar 29, 2002
If you're worried about the rice getting all smashed together under the vacuum pressure, you could freeze it first in a covered container and then vacuum seal it out of the container in the bag. A little more work but could protect the product more.
 
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Joined Jul 11, 2017
Lots and lots of oil and fat is the only things I freeze and they must be immersed in my humble opinion. The only thing we freeze is our culinary herbs blended in oil then we let them freeze for about 5 hours and then we pull them and put about 1/16th of an inch of oil on top to keep the air out and the oils (essential and otherwise) in. We also freeze our sausage in ground form and it works well with high fat meats like pork butt if you season it well it actually marries a bit more and tastes better after freezing and thawing.
 
4,475
417
Joined Jun 27, 2012
You do have to take extra steps with some foods.
Freezing causes moisture to crystalize and those sharp edges break thru the cell wall, allowing moisture to seep out causing dehydration and collapse of the product integrity (freezer "burn").
(I wrote that entire sentence without taking a breath lol.)

I agree with W&F...some things are better after freezing and thawing.
Leaves cooked Pintos perfect to refry without added oil.
My meatloaf is legendary ... I make one to serve and one to freeze for later.
Added binders in the extra one to hold everything together so it doesn't fall apart when thawed and sliced for sandwiches (also legendary ;-)

mimi
 
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