How To Reheat Fried Fish To Make It Crispy?

Reheating fried fish can be a tricky task, as the goal is to retain its original crispy texture without drying it out. 

If you’ve got some leftover fried fish from a delicious meal the night before, you might be wondering how to heat it while still maintaining that perfect crunch. 

Let me tell you about the best methods you can follow to achieve just that. I will also be sharing tips and techniques that will help you enjoy delicious and crispy reheated fish in no time.

How to Reheat Fish to Make It Crispy?

Numerous reheating methods exist to retain the crispiness of fried fish without drying it out.

Air fryers, ovens, and toaster ovens are among the popular choices for reheating fried fish to restore the desired crunch.

You can also reheat the fish in a skillet on the stovetop, in the deep fryer, broiler, and grill for the perfect crisp.

Each reheating method has its pros and cons, and the best one for you depends on the tools you have available. 

Let us take up each method in detail

Reheating Fried Fish in Air Fryer (Best Method)

Using an air fryer is the best and healthy way to crisp and reheat the fried fish.

When reheating fried fish in the air fryer, the key is to ensure even heat distribution and provide enough space for the hot air to circulate. 

This will result in perfectly reheated and crispy fish, making it just as enjoyable as when it was first served.

Before you begin reheating, preheat your air fryer to the appropriate temperature, typically around 356°F (180°C), for five minutes. 

Preheating ensures that the hot air is distributed evenly throughout the cooking process.

Place your leftover fish fillets into the air fryer basket and ensure there is enough space between them. Brush or apply a little oil on the surface for a golden crisp texture.

Cook your fish for about six minutes, gently flipping them after three minutes of cooking time.

After the allotted time has passed, check your fish for doneness. If the fish is piping hot and crispy to your liking, remove it from the air fryer and enjoy. 

Otherwise, continue to cook for two-three more minutes, checking frequently to avoid overcooking.

Also read: How Long Can Cooked Fish Sit Out?

Reheating Fried Fish in Oven

Reheating fried fish in the oven is a great way to preserve its crispiness and flavor. 

To start, preheat your oven to 350° F – 375° F (180-190°C). 

While the oven is heating up, take the leftover fried fish out of the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes.

Next, prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil. This will help catch any crumbs or liquid drips during the reheating process. 

Place the fish on the lined baking sheet, ensuring that the pieces are evenly spaced for even reheating.

Once your oven reaches the temperature of 350-375°F (180-190°C), carefully place the baking sheet with the fish inside the oven, and reheat for approximately 10-12 minutes or until the fish is piping hot. 

It’s important to keep an eye on the fish, as overcooking can make it dry and lose its crispy texture.

When the fish is heated through, carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the fish cool for a few minutes before serving. 

This oven method not only helps maintain the crispiness of the fish but also preserves its taste, allowing you to enjoy your leftovers just as much as when they were freshly cooked.

Also read: How to Reheat Fried Shrimps in Air Fryer?

Reheating Fried Fish in Toaster Oven

Using a toaster oven to reheat fried fish is an excellent strategy for preserving its texture and flavor. 

To start, preheat your toaster oven to 356°F (180°C), as it will allow the fish to reheat evenly and retain its crispiness.

Place your leftover fried fish on a wire rack, if you have one, to allow for even heat distribution. 

In the absence of a wire rack, you can also use a toaster oven-safe dish lined with aluminum foil. Make sure the fish is not overcrowded to avoid any unnecessary sogginess.

Let the fish heat up in the toaster oven for 8-10 mins. keep an eye on the fish during the reheating process. The actual time may vary based on the fish’s thickness and type.

Once the fish appears crisp, remove it from the toaster oven and enjoy.

Also read: Can You Reheat Tea In Microwave?

Reheating Fried Fish in Skillet

Using a skillet to reheat fried fish is a great option to preserve the crispy texture and delicious flavor. To achieve the best results, follow these steps.

Begin by allowing the fried fish to sit at room temperature for 15-20 mins. This helps ensure even and efficient reheating when later placed in the skillet.

Next, choose an appropriate oil for the skillet. Both olive oil and vegetable oil are suitable options for this task. Pour a small amount of your chosen oil into the skillet, just enough to coat the bottom lightly.

Place the skillet on the stovetop and preheat it on low heat. Low heat is crucial to avoid overcooking or burning the fish during the reheating process. 

Once the oil has warmed up, place the room-temperature fish into the skillet, paying attention to keep the pieces from touching or overcrowding.

Gently flip the fish pieces occasionally to ensure even reheating and avoid burning. Ensure each side of the fish achieves that golden and crispy texture before removing it from the skillet.

Remember, the goal is to reheat the fried fish, not cook it further. 

Once you have successfully reheated the fish and achieved the desired texture, remove it from the skillet, allowing any excess oil to drain away. 

Place the fish on a serving plate and enjoy the similar crispiness as when it was freshly fried.

Also read: How To Reheat Fries in Air Fryer?

Reheating Fried Fish in Deep Fryer

Reheating fried fish using a deep fryer is a popular method to maintain its crispy texture and delicious taste. 

The process is relatively simple and efficient, ensuring that your fish remains enjoyable even after it has been stored in your refrigerator.

First, grab your deep-fryer and fill it with enough oil to submerge the fish. 

Keep in mind that you should use fresh oil rather than reusing any oil that’s already been heated, as it tends to break down and give the fish an unpleasant smell. 

Using clean oil will ensure that the fish’s flavor remains uncompromised.

Next, preheat the oil in your deep fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Proper oil temperature is crucial for achieving the crispy texture you’re looking for. 

An inaccurate or too-low oil temperature might result in the fish being overcooked or becoming too greasy. It’s a good idea to use a thermometer to ensure the oil reaches the desired temperature.

Before gently placing the fish into the hot oil, take it out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes. 

This brief rest helps the fish become more evenly heated, without affecting the fish’s quality.

Carefully lower your fish into the preheated oil and deep-fry it for just 1-2 minutes, since the goal is to reheat it, not to cook it further. 

Frying time may vary based on the thickness of the fish, but avoid overcooking it as that could lead to a dry and unappealing result.

Finally, use a slotted spoon to remove the fish from the deep fryer and let it drain on a paper towel for a moment. 

The paper towel will help absorb any excess oil, ensuring that your reheated fried fish retains its crispy and appetizing texture.

Also read: Why Does Frying Oil Burn Your Eyes?

Reheating Fried Fish in Broiler

To reheat fried fish using the broiler, first, preheat your oven to the broiler setting. 

While the oven is preheating, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil to avoid sticking and make clean-up easier. Place your fried fish on the foil-lined sheet, ensuring they are spaced evenly apart.

The broiler can create intense heat, so pay close attention to the temperature. Ideally, set your broiler to a medium temperature, between 350°F and 400°F (175°C – 205°C). 

This will strike a balance between reheating your fish quickly and preventing it from becoming overcooked or burnt.

To maintain the crispiness of the fish, you may want to lightly spray or brush a small amount of water onto the fried fish before placing it in the broiler. 

This will help keep the fish moist without making it soggy. Before you put your fish in the oven, check that the oven rack is in the middle position, as this will ensure the fish is exposed to the heat evenly.

Place the baking sheet with fish in the broiler for about 5 minutes, carefully monitoring the fish to avoid overcooking. If necessary, flip the fish halfway through to ensure even browning. 

The duration will vary depending on the thickness of your fish, so adjust the time accordingly.

Once you achieve the desired crispiness, remove the fish from the broiler and let it rest for a couple of minutes before serving. 

Also read: Difference Between Oven and Broiler

Reheating Fried Fish in Grill

Grilling is a great alternative if you don’t want to use your oven. Here’s how to effectively reheat your fried fish using a grill:

First, make sure your grill is clean and preheated. Heat your grill using a low heat setting. 

For optimal results, you can line your grill with aluminum foil to help minimize sticking and preserve the crispy coating on your fish.

Before placing your fish on the grill, brush it lightly with oil to help prevent it from sticking to the grill grates. You may also use a non-stick spray specially designed for grilling. 

Then, arrange your fish on the grill, making sure they are evenly spaced to ensure even cooking.

While grilling, keep a close eye on your fish to avoid overcooking or charring. 

Since the fish is already cooked, you’ll need to monitor its internal temperature carefully. 

Depending on the thickness and size of your fried fish pieces, reheating could take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes.

Remember to turn your fish pieces occasionally to ensure even reheating. 

Using a pair of heat-resistant tongs, gently flip each piece of fish, taking care not to break or damage the delicate exterior. Continue grilling until the fish is hot and crispy to your satisfaction.

Also read: How to Reheat Quiche in Air Fryer?

Can You Reheat Fried Fish in the Microwave?

Yes, you can reheat fried fish in the microwave, but it may not necessarily yield the crispy results you desire. 

Microwaving fish generally leads to a soggy mess due to the way microwaves heat food. 

The microwave’s uneven heating can affect the texture and flavor of the reheated fish, often causing your once-crispy dish to lose its crispiness.

When reheating fried fish in the microwave, condensation from the steam buildup can cause the batter or breading to become soft and soggy. 

To minimize this effect, place the fish on a microwave-safe plate and cover it with wax paper or a paper towel. Doing this will help absorb some of the excess moisture.

Heat your fish in the microwave for two to three minutes, or until it reaches your desired temperature. 

If the flavor and texture are important to you, consider reheating your fried fish using a different method, such as an oven or air fryer.

That being said, microwaving fried fish is a fast and convenient method for reheating it when you’re short on time. Disregarding the loss of crispiness, it will still be a hot and satisfying dish.

Also read: Can You Freeze Olives?

Can You Reheat Fried Fish in Steamer?

Yes, you can reheat fried fish in a steamer, but the fish will not be crispy

The steaming process uses water vapor to heat the fish, so while it will be heated evenly and thoroughly, it may lose its crispy texture. 

Steaming is a healthier option compared to other methods as it doesn’t require additional oil and helps retain the fish’s nutrients.

To reheat fried fish in a steamer, first, fill the base of your steamer with water, ensuring the level remains below the steamer basket. 

Allow the water to heat on medium-high until it begins to produce steam. 

Meanwhile, arrange your fried fish evenly on the steamer basket, leaving space between pieces to allow the steam to circulate.

Once the steamer is ready, place the basket with the fish into the steamer, cover it with a lid, and steam for around 5-7 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish. 

Be sure to check the fish after a few minutes to ensure it’s heated all the way through and adjust the steaming time accordingly.

Also read: How to Clean a Bamboo Steamer

Safety Tips for Reheating Frozen Fried Fish

Here are a few safety tips to ensure that your fish remains both appetizing and safe to eat.

First, your fried fish should be properly stored in the freezer. Use airtight containers or freezer-safe plastic bags to help prevent any potential contamination. 

When you’re ready to reheat your fish, begin by thawing it in the refrigerator. This method ensures that your fish thaws evenly and minimizes any risks associated with uneven temperatures.

Once your fish is thawed, use the oven/air fryer/toaster oven method to reheat frozen fried fish. 

How to Know If the Fried Fish Has Spoiled

Detecting spoiled fried fish involves paying close attention to a few telltale signs. 

By focusing on factors such as smell, discoloration, sliminess, and stickiness, you can save yourself from consuming a potentially unsafe dish.

One of the first things to consider is the smell of the fish. Spoiled fish tends to emit a strong, pungent odor that can be easily distinguishable from the smell of fresh fish. 

If you notice an off-putting smell, it’s best to discard the fish.

Discoloration of the fish can also be a clear indicator that it has spoiled. 

If you notice dark spots or uneven coloring on the surface, this suggests that the fish has either been poorly stored or has already started to degrade. 

Keep an eye out for any drastic changes in the color of your fried fish.

Another sign of spoilage in fried fish is sliminess or stickiness. If the fish’s texture feels slippery or slick to the touch, it could be an indication of bacterial growth. 

Be sure to thoroughly check the fish, both in appearance and in feel, before consuming it.

How to Store Leftover Fried Fish

Storing your leftover fried fish in the refrigerator is important to keep it safe for consumption. 

According to the USDA, cooked fish, including fried fish, can be safely stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. 

Refrigeration slows down bacterial growth but does not completely prevent it, so it’s important to consume your leftovers within this time frame.

However, if you plan to store your fish for a longer period, consider using your freezer instead. 

Wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap, or use a resealable freezer bag, and then place the bag in the airtight container. Your fish can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When storing your leftover fried fish in the refrigerator, follow these steps:

Cool it Down

Allow the fried fish to cool down to room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator.

Cooling it down prevents the growth of harmful bacteria that can occur when warm food is stored in the fridge.

Wrap or Cover

To maintain the crispiness of your fried fish, wrap it loosely in aluminum foil or place it in an airtight container with a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture.

This will prevent your fried fish from becoming soggy while it is stored in the refrigerator.

Store at the Right Temperature

Always keep your refrigerator temperature at or below 40°F (4.4°C) to ensure that your leftover fried fish remains safe to eat.

Recipes for Leftover Fried Fish

Leftover fried fish can be easily transformed into delicious meals with a few simple steps.

Now, let’s dive into some recipe ideas for your leftover fried fish:

Fish Tacos

One of the best ways to use your leftover fried fish is to make fish tacos. Simply shred the reheated fish with a fork and arrange it on small flour tortillas. 

Add desired toppings, such as avocado, cabbage slaw, lime, and your favorite salsa. You can also add a drizzle of tartar sauce for extra flavor.

Fish and Rice Bowl

Create a hearty bowl by combining reheated chunks of fried fish with some seasoned rice. 

Add your favorite vegetables like steamed broccoli or sautéed bell peppers, and drizzle with soy sauce or teriyaki sauce. Top it off with a sprinkle of sesame seeds for added crunch.

Fish Sandwich

Turn your leftover fried fish into a scrumptious sandwich by placing it between two slices of toasted bread. 

Spread some tartar sauce on the bread and add lettuce, tomatoes, and onions for a fresh and flavorful lunch option.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Here are some frequently asked questions about reheating fried fish to make it crispy.

Does the Fish Dry Out When Reheated?

Yes, the fish can dry out when reheated depending on the method and technique of reheating.

To prevent drying out, choose methods like the oven or air fryer, and pay attention to the reheating time. Baking or air frying for too long can dry out the fish.

Before reheating, ensure that your leftover fried fish is properly stored. Keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator, as this will help preserve the moisture.

How Many Times Can I Reheat Leftover Fried Fish?

In general, it is best to only reheat fried fish once. Reheating it multiple times can lead to a dry, unappetizing meal.

It may also pose health risks due to the bacterial growths that occur with each cooling and reheating process.

How Long Does Leftover Fried Fish Last at Room Temperature?

When it comes to storing leftover fried fish, it is important to handle it properly to ensure the best taste and avoid any potential health risks. 

At room temperature, leftover fried fish should not be kept for more than two hours. 

As a general rule, perishable foods like fish should not be kept at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F for extended periods, as this is the “danger zone” where bacteria grow rapidly.

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I’m Jueria and I am a regular contributor on In my articles, I share time-saving techniques, appliance wizardry, and health-friendly recipes to bring taste and wellness to your table. So raise a glass (or a spatula) with me, to good health and good food, made easy!