How to Reheat Seafood Leftovers Safely
You don’t have to throw out leftover fish fillets or shellfish after dinner. You can safely reheat seafood for up to 4 days after it has been cooked. Seafood dishes with garlic or onions can taste even better the second time around. The only challenge to reheating seafood is that it can dry out or get a fishy smell. As long as you know a few tricks, you’ll never have to worry about preparing seafood leftovers.
Avoid Using the Microwave if You Can
Microwaves blast food with high temperatures that can overcook the outside and leave the middle cold. That is why meals like soup and rice dishes, that you can stir during the reheating process, turn out best.
Reheating a fish fillet in a microwave isn’t a good option because the quick heating method can dry it out making it taste tough or rubbery. Nuking seafood in the microwave can also give it an unpleasant fishy smell because of how it makes the fatty oils breakdown. This is especially true for hearty fish like leftover salmon or trout. Seafood with a lower fat content, like tilapia, scallops and shrimp, usually hold up better when they are reheated in a microwave.
If you have to reheat seafood in the microwave, make sure to always add a splash of water and leave it covered. Make sure to be careful when you remove the covering afterward so that you don’t get burned by the steam.
Reheat Leftover Seafood in the Oven
The best way to reheat any type of seafood is in the oven at a low temperature. Ovens radiate a steady amount of heat that evenly reheats food. Your seafood will smell just as good as the first night since the slow reheating process does not breakdown fatty oils like the microwave does.
To reheat seafood in the oven:
– Preheat the oven to 275°F.
– Place the leftover seafood on a lightly greased baking sheet or casserole dish, splash it with water, and cover it with foil.
– Put the fish in the preheated oven and let it heat up for 10 to 15 minutes. The internal temperature should be between 125°F and 130°F when it is done.
Or, Make a New Meal with It
Seafood dishes like shrimp and grits or gumbo can taste even better heated up the next day. Some fish, like leftover salmon, won’t hold up as well. These leftover can easily be re-imagined into another meal.
Hearty leftover fish like salmon and tuna often taste better cold. Many people enjoy putting large flakes of cold salmon in a salad or slicing it up over a bagel with cream cheese. You can cut up a cold tuna steak and mix it with mayonnaise, lemon juice and capers to make a delicious tuna salad sandwich. Other types of leftover seafood can be used in recipes for fish cakes, crab cakes, chowder and soup.
Now that you know the trick to preparing leftover seafood, don’t be afraid to make it a central part of your diet!
If you’re looking for more ideas on how to re-imagine your leftovers, stop by our seafood counter at City Fish Market and ask one of us! We’d love to share more of our tips and tricks with you.