A fried battered fish is a well-loved traditional British food staple! So, what is the best way to reheat battered fried fish? There are several ways you can reheat battered fried fish, and each method is unique as we’re going to discuss below.
We determine each method depending on how the preservation happened, the amount of coating on the fish, cooking appliances you have, and also how long the fish has stayed after the initial preparation.
I will discuss each method from refrying to microwaving and you can decide what is the best way to reheat battered fried fish.
Below are ways you can prepare your leftover battered fish, no matter what kitchen equipment you have!
How Long Can You Keep Cooked Fish?
Once you have cooked your fish, it is important to be aware how long you can safely keep and reheat battered fried fish. I would advise to cook your fish, allow it to cool completely then refrigerate.
If you keep your cooked fish in the fridge, you have a maximum of 3 days to reheat your fish before it will go bad.
Always bare your best before date in mind, on average, if cooked on the best before date, you have 2-3 days to consume the cooked fish.
People often ask me ‘how long does fish last’ and my advice is always stick to the sell by date and never eat cooked fish more than 3 days after it has been cooked.
Can You Freeze Cooked Fish
A common misconception is that you can’t freeze cooked fried fish, but you can! As long as you leave the fish to cool once cooked and put it in the freezer as soon as it’s completely cool, you can keep it in the freezer for up to 2 months!
1. Shallow Fry the Fish
Deep frying fish is suitable if it has not been out for too long, maybe a couple of hours. At this point, it is still in good shape and not crumbling. It is an excellent way to prepare your battered fish as it will retain the degree of the crispiness.
Also, ensure that the fish is not too moist. If it was in the refrigerator, give it time to thaw, then reheat it.
Butter can also do the trick. As the fish was already fried, put little oil. A few tablespoonfuls will do. Before putting the oil, ensure the pan is preheated for better results.
Bring your thawed fish and place it gently on the hot oil. Let it fry on one side for approximately five minutes.
Though it is advisable to be on the lookout for it not to stick on the pan. Turn it once it starts to take a deep brown look.
For better results, turn it twice, then serve. If you had chippy chips to go, you could use the same panto heat them and add a touch of flavour to them. Garnish with soy sauce to have a delicious fish leftover meal.
Remember, that if your batter comes away from the fish, there’s no going back. So, it’s always best to use a high quality non-stick pan to reduce the casualties!
I particularly like using a Tefal saute pan for something like this. It’ll also work wonders on pancake day!
2. Grill the Fish
Another way to reheat battered fried fish is by grilling it. There are many ways that you can grill it and also depends on how long the fish stayed and the preservation mode.
If it was in the refrigerator, give it time to defrost, so there is a little moisture which is good for the grilling process. Depending on how thick the batter coat is on the fish, you can choose to cover it with an aluminium foil.
Prepare the grill and ensure its clean then heat it. For a thin coat of batter, you can melt a spoonful of butter, brush vegetable, or olive oil on the surface of your fish.
Always use a silicone oil brush for this. It amazes me that people don’t use an oil brush! What are you people using? Hands?! Silicone brushes are excellent, silicone kitchen products should last a lifetime, too!
Then put it on the grill while being keen to avoid burning it. You can garnish it with lemon juice as it gets done and achieves a golden brown appearance.
If the battered fish has a thick batter coat or seems crumbly, then you need to wrap it in foil. After the thawing process, spread the melted butter or oil evenly on its surface.
A little oil will do, as the fish was probably already cooked in a a lot of oil.
Try making your fish more flavoursome by adding a bunch of chilli slices, chopped parsley and lemon slices with it before wrapping the foil. At times a double foil cover will do to prevent burning and it also promotes even heat spread.
Approximately forty-five minutes to an hour on low heat is enough for you to have a well-done battered fish.
If it is fillet, have it with buns as a fish burger. A sprinkle of soy sauce can improve its taste.
3. Use a Toaster Oven
You can also bank on a toaster oven as a worthy mode to reheat battered fried fish. If you have an oven, the better and you are sure of good results as the fish will be in almost the same state it was when fresh.
If you are not careful, the toaster oven can dry certain types of fish like haddock. Therefore, you need to be on the lookout unless you end up with woody results. An oven is also a good option for smaller fish pieces.
I’ve always had a toaster oven in addition to my standard oven. There’s certain foods it just does a better job of!
My Cuisinart toaster oven doubles as an air fryer too, which can be a great option for reheating fried battered fish!
To begin, set the oven temperature to 350 degrees for preheating purposes. Take this time to let your fish thaw if it’s from the fridge.
To garnish it, you can add a quarter cup of lemon juice or soy sauce. You can also dress it in a mixture of butter and spices to improve its taste, though go minimal on it as you already have some butter in the coating.
Afterward, line the baking sheet with aluminium foil and place your fish on the sheet.
Put the baking sheet in the oven and wait for ten to fifteen minutes and remove it. Let it cool for a while, then it is ready to eat.
4. Use a Steamer
The steamer is an excellent way of reheating your battered fish, but only if it is cold for some hours. The method is just for making it a bit hot to enjoy the flavours, most of which are noticeable when the fish is warm.
It is not advisable to try it with battered refrigerated fish, more so one that has spent decent time in the coolers.
There are two ways to go with it, where you can use an aluminium foil or just steam it as it is. The design of the steamer makes it fit for medium to slightly larger fish. It consists of a boiling pot with a sieved mid-lid that lets in the steam into a top chamber that is also lidded.
Of course, you can get some fancy models that plug in at the wall. But, I honestly don’t think there’s a big difference. Steam is steam. Don’t waste your money! A basic traditional pan steamer will last you a lifetime.
I’ve has this steamer since before I can remember…
If the fish has a thick coat, you can foil it and place it on the top chamber and fill the bottom chamber with water that you bring to boil.
It is advisable to let the water boil first before you put the fish. You can coat the fish with little butter before putting it into the foil and give it approximately five to eight minutes before removing it. The fish will be heated decently and good to eat.
For thin-crumbed fish, get a little experimental! Instead of water, use vegetable stock with rich spices such as garlic, ginger, and paprika. The aromatic steam from the boiling stock will add some flavour to the fish aside from warming it up.
Using a steamer also comes with the benefit of making the fish quite tender, especially if the coating was quite thick.
Never overdo it with the steaming process as the fish can easily break down if exposed to steam for a long time or the layer can be mushy.
5. Bake it in the Oven
You can also bake the battered fish in the oven to reheat it. Baking is suitable for large to medium pieces as smaller pieces can easily get burned.
Try thawing the fish if frozen as you preheat the oven to approximately 170°C. You then put the fish into the oven.
If it has a thin batter layer, put it as it is. Whereas if it thick-layered, covering it in aluminium foil is advisable.
Turn it every five minutes for the heat to spread evenly and prevent some parts from getting burned or under-heated. After ten minutes, you can remove it from the oven, and it’ll be ready.
Be keen as the heat from the stove can quickly char the fish and make your leftover unsuitable for eating.
6. Use The Microwave (if you have to)
Using the microwave would be the first option due to the simplicity in operating it. However, it comes with a lot of downsides and needs you to exercise care lest you end up with poor results.
One of the downsides is the smell that may emanate from microwaving the fish.
In most settings, it is not advisable to microwave seafood as the smell is too much and lingers in the microwave for long and may affect other foodstuffs that you may want to heat up using the equipment.
For fish that is cold and has stayed for a few hours, it may actually work with less unwanted effects.
Set the timer and wait. After use, leave it open for aeration. If uncovered, the fish may crumb down.
Sometimes, the crumb may be too mushy hence not as crispy as you may prefer.
Make sure you clean your microwave properly after using it to reheat your battered fish to get rid of the smell.
The type of microwave that you use won’t be too much of a factor, but I just like to show mine off! I always wanted a funky retro microwave that has the same power as a modern one… enter this gorgeous vintage-style, Nordic microwave!
7. Deep Fry it (please!)
Arguably the best option. It’s most likely the same method that was used to fry the fish in the first place.
The only concern is that you might risk making the fish oilier and more calorific than you’d intended to. But, if you’re asking me how to reheat leftover fried fish and chippy chips, chances are that ship has sailed already.
If you’re lucky enough to have a deep fat fryer at home (and I think everybody should), then I’d definitely go with this option to keep the fish crunchy.
I’d definitely recommend wrapping the re-fried fish in a little kitchen roll to drain some of the excess oil though.
You only need to submerge the fish in the oil for a minute or two, or you’ll end up with a sickly greasy bundle of batter.
If you’re yet to take the plunge and invest in a deep fat fryer, I have a Tefal deep fryer that costs less than a standard brand, and is restaurant quality.
I swear by it! If you’re completely new to it, make sure you’re careful and practice safety when deep frying.
Which is the Best Way to Reheat Battered Fish?
As seen above, there are many ways to go about it. The above are the common ways of reheating battered fried fish. Some modes are more reliable than others. The critical factor is the reheating equipment that you have at your disposal.
Of the pack, frying the fish once again either deep or shallow is the best way.
It is so because you get to retain the crispiness and most of the time the fish won’t crumble to pieces. A point to note, however, is that you need to use minimal oil as it was already fried.
You do not want a meal that is high in oil content. After deep-frying, allow the fish to cool on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
Use clarified butter when shallow frying to boost the taste. Grilling or skewering is also another suitable method of warming your fish. It is an option to look at if the fish is fresh; otherwise, it may stink and spoil the whole barbecue.
The smoke from the grilling helps in hardening the crumb and makes it crispier. For better results, you can coat it with a little butter or oil for that sizzling effect resulting in a golden brown colour. Turn it consistently for an even grill.
Use the steamer for a quick process if you want the fish to be tender. This method is suitable for fish that is not more than twelve hours old.
Aged fish can result in a nasty smell that is hard to withstand. The steam works perfectly more so if you have the fish wrapped well in foil.
Microwaving should be the last option. Due to the smell that can emanate from heating seafood, it is better not to do it in a public room like the office.
It can do well in your home though it is suitable for meals that are not more than 6 hours old from preparation. The longer it stays, the trickier it will be to use the microwave because the fish may also crumble easily.
Battered fish is one of the tastiest meals you can have, particularly if you accompany it with fried rice or chippy chips and a rich sauce like tartare on the side.
It is not uncommon to leave it for the next day with plans on feasting on its leftovers if you prepared more than enough for a single sitting. The problem, however, is that with fish and other seafood, you’ll be disappointed as they can quickly go rancid if you store poorly.
Hence, you need to have proper preservation modes before preparing it again for a nice meal. That calls for refrigeration in most cases. And later, you’ll need to reheat battered fried fish using one of my tried and tested methods.
Fried battered fish is one delicacy that you cannot have enough of, particularly if you like fish and seafood. The problem comes when you want to warm its leftovers. Having it cold puts you in the risk of diseases and may at times lead to stomach problems.
As such, you need to heat it. Unlike other meals, reheating battered fried fish can be quite a hurdle as it may crumble or be smelly during the process.
You can bank on the methods above to warm your fried fish depending on the equipment you have at hand.
Look at the preservation mode as it also determines how the warmed meal will be. Deep frying is the best way but be wary of the oil you use in the heating process.