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How To Reheat Fried Fish: 5 Methods & Tips for Storing Leftovers

Maybe you got a little too excited about Taco Tuesday and fried up a few too many filets, or maybe your London Fog theme night didn’t go over so well. 

You may be thinking to yourself, “Can I reheat fried fish?”

Maybe you loaded up on appetizers at the restaurant and didn’t save room for your entree. 

Whatever the reason, you now have leftovers. What to do, what to do. How can you make cooked fish work a second time?

Some methods of reheating fried fish leave you with some soggy seafood slop, but the right storing and reheating methods will let your fried fish live to see another day. 

Whether you’re serving up classic fish and chips or fish tacos, fried fish is the centerpiece and can make or break the meal. 

Fried fish is one of those leftover dishes that sounds promising, but sometimes hard to pull off.

Table Of Contents

How long will leftover fried fish last?

When you’re dealing with fish, freshness is key. In short, leftover fried fish should be consumed within three days of when it was cooked. 

For optimal taste, the very next day is best. 

Storing leftover fried fish properly will also help in ensuring it doesn’t turn into a soggy mess when you reheat it. Here’s how you should store it:

  1. If it is still hot, allow it to cool completely. Putting hot or even warm fish in a container can create condensation that will dampen your fish’s crispy coating. Once this coating takes on too much moisture, there will be no salvaging the crispness it once had. 
  2. Try to wipe or scrape off any remaining sauces from the fish. Again, this extra moisture will compromise the crunch of your fried fish.
  3. Place the leftover fish in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. You can store it in a meat drawer if you have one, but the airtight container will keep any other flavors or aromas from tampering with your fish.

Since you’ve expertly stored your leftover fried fish, reheating will be simple. You just have to select your method.

1. How to reheat fried fish in the microwave

Microwaving fried fish is the fastest way to reheat it. However, you may sacrifice some of the crispy fried layer for the convenience of doing it quickly. You may not be able to get your leftover fish back to its first time of crispy goodness.

Plus, that fishy smell tends to permeate, so you might not want to try this in an office environment.

If you want to reheat your fried fish in a flash, follow these steps.

Step 1

Transfer the leftover fried fish from the airtight storage container to a paper-towel lined microwave-safe container or dish.

Make sure any aluminum foil has been removed.

Step 2

Turn the microwave to the low heat setting, and start by heating the fish for 30 seconds.

Step 3

Remove the fish from the microwave, flip it to the other side, and heat it again for another 15 seconds. You just don’t want leftover seafood to cook for a long time in the microwave.

Flipping the fish will ensure it’s heated evenly throughout the filet.

Step 4

Repeat steps 2 and 3, checking the fish and flipping it every 30 seconds until it is hot enough (about 145F) and heated evenly through.

Chow down on your leftovers!

2. How to reheat fried fish in an air fryer

Their air fryer is a great option for reheating fried fish because it is fast and will also maintain the crispness of the fish. 

The following steps will leave you with excellent air fryer reheated fried fish.

Step 1

Transfer the leftover fried fish to the air fryer basket. Again, make sure there is no sauce or foil remaining on the fish. 

You can, however, spray with a bit of extra virgin olive oil.

Step 2

Cook on a medium-high heat, between 325 to 350F for about 6 minutes. 

You do not need to preheat the air fryer first.

Step 3

Pause and flip the fish halfway through to make sure the fish is heated evenly through. 

This will also prevent one side from being crispy and the other side from being soggy.

After 6 minutes your leftover fried fish will be ready to serve and enjoy!

3. How to reheat fried fish in the oven

Though reheating fried fish takes a bit longer in the oven, it’s a winning method because it heats the fish evenly without the need to flip it, and it won’t produce soggy fish when all is said and done. 

Reheating fried fish in a conventional oven or toaster oven can be done in these simple steps.

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350F. While the oven is preheating, go ahead and take your leftover fish out of the refrigerator so the temperature can level out a bit.

Step 2

Line an oven-safe dish or rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place your leftover fried fish on the foil.

Step 3

Place the fish in the preheated oven and allow it to reheat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature is about 145F.

Step 4

Remove the fish from the oven.

Serve it up!

4. How to reheat fried fish in a skillet

If you’d like to be a bit more hands-on while reheating leftover fried fish, you may want to try using the skillet or a frying pan.

Reheating fried fish in the skillet offers about the speed of a microwave and the crispness of the oven. It’s a good option for reheating fried fish the quick way.

You can reheat fried fish in the skillet by following these steps.

Step 1

Heat a splash of extra virgin olive oil in an appropriately sized skillet over medium-high to high heat for one or two minutes.

Step 2

Place the leftover fried fish in the skillet and cook for two to three minutes. 

Flip the fish about every 30 seconds to reheat it evenly without burning.

Step 3

When the fish reaches an internal temperature of 145F remove it from the heat.

You’re ready to eat!

5. How to reheat fried fish in a deep fryer

Reheating fried fish in a deep fryer can be done in these steps.

Step 1

Heat the oil in the deep fryer to 350F.

Step 2

Place the leftover fish in the rack, and lower it into the hot oil. Reheat for around 2 to 4 minutes.

Step 3

Remove the fish from the fryer and place on a paper towel lined plate (to absorb excess oil).

Serve and devour!

How to reheat frozen fried fish

If you chose to freeze your leftover fried fish, you may be wondering if you can reheat it. 

The answer is yes! While you can use any of these methods, the best way to reheat frozen fried fish is the oven method. 

However, the directions differ slightly from reheating refrigerated fried fish.

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Do NOT defrost the frozen fish or let it sit out to come to room temperature while the oven preheats. This will lead to a soggy coating and limp fish.

Step 2

Place the frozen fish on an aluminum foil lined baking tray or dish.

Step 3

Heat in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the fish reaches an internal temperature of 145F.

Enjoy!

What is the best way to reheat fried fish?

There are many options for reheating fried fish, but because of the delicate nature of the food and its potential for becoming soggy, some ways provide better results. 

Overall, reheating fried fish in the oven is considered one of the best methods of dry heat to prepare the leftovers due to the quality of the fish that’s preserved and the convenience of using an appliance that’s in virtually all kitchens.

However, if you happen to have a deep fryer, there is nothing better than deep fried fish, whether they’re leftovers or not. 

See #5 for how to reheat fried fish in a deep fryer!

The bottom line

Turns out, fried fish is as delicious as it is versatile. I mean, fried food is kind of amazing no matter what, but when reheated properly, you can get good results and get even more value from dinner the first night.

Many types of fish can be reheated after being kept cold and stored properly with as little moisture as possible.

Lemon wedges also make a nice squeeze of fresh lemon juice to liven up leftover fish fillets of all kinds.

From storage to shelf life to method, you now have the 411 on leftover fried fish. 

In case you don’t have tartar sauce on hand, here’s our recipe for how to make it to go with your reheated leftover fried fish!

Now go make the most of those next-day filets!

How To Reheat Fried Fish In An Air Fryer

How To Reheat Fried Fish In An Air Fryer

An air fryer is one of the fast and effective ways to crisp up your leftover fried fish the next day!

Ingredients

  • Leftover fried fish
  • Air fryer
  • Cooking spray or oil and pastry brush
  • Tongs

Instructions

  1. Dab or wipe off any sauce that’s on the fish. 
  2. Transfer the leftover fried fish to the air fryer basket. 
  3. Make sure there’s no foil or paper stuck to the fish.
  4. Spray with cooking spray or use a pastry brush to add a bit of oil to the fish.
  5. Heat on a medium-high heat, between 325F to 350F for about 4 minutes. 
  6. Pause and use tongs to flip the fish halfway through to make sure the fish is heated evenly on both sides.
  7. Heat for another two minutes. 
  8. Serve and enjoy!

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