Food cools more quickly when fresh air can circulate around it, so do not leave it to cool in its hot cooking vessel covered with a tightly fitting lid. Transfer the food to a cold dish and cover it loosely with a clean tea towel until cold, or put a large upturned bowl over it. If you want to stop it drying out or prevent a skin from forming, put wet greaseproof paper, which is thin enough not to hinder cooling, flat on the surface of the food. Do not wrap hot food in plastic wrap, as this can leave spaces between the food and the plastic which create pockets of hot air where the climate is ideal for bacteria to breed.
Cool casseroles and large pans of food fast by standing the container in a bowl of ice or cold water or stand it in the sink with the cold tap running to keep it cool. Place cooled food into the refrigerator as soon as possible.
** Asian Cooking