Jambalaya is a spicy and incredibly delicious dish which is generally made up of chicken, sausages, shrimp, and rice.
I made jambalaya a few days back. It was super delicious and yummy! It was a tasty dinner for the guest one night. But 3 cups of Jambalaya still left.
Now, I want to freeze it for consuming on the trip after some days.
There is a question in my mind that can you freeze Jambalaya and will it get gummy while reheating after freezing?
After researching for a long time, I got to know, Yes, you definitely can freeze jambalaya. But you should store it precisely in the double bagged freezer. Remove the air as much as possible while packed in a bag.
How Long Can You Keep Jambalaya in the Fridge?
You can store Jambalaya in the refrigerator packed with the airtight container. But you should consume it by 3 to 4 days.
While taking out from the fridge you need to reheat before consuming. Reheating Jambalaya is a quite tricky task. Because it can easily turn mushy while reheating.
So, reheat the Jambalaya in frying pan as it helps to retain its texture. For reheating, add vegetable oil and leftover jambalaya. Stir it intermittently.
Don’t cook shrimp for a long time as it can get tougher and chewy in texture.
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How Long Can You Keep Jambalaya in the Freezer?
You can keep Jambalaya in the freezer for months. But reheating is again difficult from the frozen stage as the rice gets total mushy after reheating.
If you are going to freeze Jambalaya freeze it without adding rice. It is best the way to cook rice fresh when you are going to serve. So that you will not end up with mushy Jambalaya.
Some are experiencing mushy rice after thawing or reheating of frozen Jambalaya or some folk doesn’t experience it at all. It totally depends upon how you cooked rice. If rice cooked optimally, you will not end up with a mushy texture of rice.
How to Freeze Jambalaya?
If you freeze Jambalaya in the right way, it lasts for longer in a freezer. For freezing Jambalaya,
- you need to store it in the double bagged freezer.
- Remove the air in the bag by vacuum as much possible.
- If you compressed freezer bag with a vacuum seal, there will be no problem with storing it for longer. It can last for months or two when it freezes properly. But after that freezer burn process will start. So, it is advisable to consume within a month or two after freezing it.
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How to Reheat Jambalaya?
Reheating Jambalaya is a quite tricky task because reheating rice dishes is much challenging. Though you can reheat perfectly by following ways:
An easy way to reheat Jambalaya is reheating in a microwave. Shrimp should be removed before reheating as it gets flabby.
- Transfer the Jambalaya in microwave safe bowl.
- Cover it with plastic wrap.
- Reheat until steam come out or for 30 seconds. For a large batch of jambalaya reheat for longer.
- Once reheating finishes, serve it hot.
If you don’t have a microwave, you can reheat Jambalaya in the oven. Generally reheating in oven needs a longer time than reheating in a microwave.
You may end up dried jambalaya too. So, you can sprinkle broth or water to get a nice texture. But don’t add too much as the rice could be soggy.
- Preheat the oven up to 325-degrees F.
- Transfer the Jambalaya in an oven-safe dish. You can also use a heavy enameled dish for reheating in the oven.
- Cover the dish fully with aluminum foil or tight heavy dish.
- Reheat for 20-30 minutes. (depends upon the quantity of Jambalaya).
- Once the reheating process has been completed, remove from oven and serve hot.
Caution: You should reheat rice dishes properly, otherwise there will be a possibility of food poisoning. Because Bacillus cereus bacteria can found in cooked rice. So, reheat the rice precisely ensuring bacteria is fully demolished.
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Additional Tips for Jambalaya
- Choosing the right pot is the key element for making Jambalaya. Properly seasoned cast iron pot is best to use for cooking Jambalaya. It helps for retaining heat during the whole cooking process. The cast iron pot also helps for infusing great flavor in your dish.
- Before going to freeze Jambalaya, make sure there is plenty amount of liquid. If there is not much liquid before freezing, try to add while reheating.
- When you are going to make Jambalaya, you can cook rice in a separate container and then add up Jambalaya in it. It helps to solve the freezing problem and rice will not absorb all the juice.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can You Freeze Jambalaya with Shrimp?
If you made Jambalaya with shrimp in a big batch and want to freeze it, then remove the shrimp before freezing and eat them. If you freeze Jambalaya with shrimp, the texture of shrimp gets poor after freezing. Shrimp gets flabby and spongy.
2. What to serve with jambalaya?
You can make dinner with jambalaya as it is very easy to prepare a dish. It is an extensive nature dish, so hard to pair with other side dishes. It cannot go with rice or pasta. But you have few options of side dishes like cornbread, okra, chard. You can also pair it with collard greens which is a quick and easy dish.
3. What is the difference between Jambalaya and gumbo?
Jambalaya is basically a rice dish like a paella. Gumbo is a roux-thickened stew. Usually, it contains sea-food, poultry, or sausages. You can find many variations in the ingredients of gumbo.
The difference between these two dishes is lies in, the addition of rice in the process of cooking. Generally, gumbo is served with rice and the jambalaya is cooked with rice.
4. What is the difference between Paella and Jambalaya?
Paella and Jambalaya are two similar dishes but origin is different. Paella is Spanish and Jambalaya is Cajun.
Paella is rice dish which is cooked with meat, seafood, and spices. Saffron is the key spice of this dish. It is cooked in a distinct paella pan. This pan is large in diameter but not too deep.
Whereas Jambalaya is rice dish cooked with meat, liquid broth, fresh vegetables, and spices.
The major difference between these two dishes is of meat and spices. Jambalaya contains lesser spices than paella.
Typically, Jambalaya includes meat like chicken, sausage, Tasso, etc. It doesn’t include seafood, though you can make it sea-food.
Watch the following video that shows how to make delicious Jambalaya.
Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: Jon West