Mastering the Art of Reheating Fried Fish: Techniques and Tips

How to reheat fried fish: A Comprehensive Guide
Fried fish is a delicious and popular dish that can be enjoyed on many occasions. However, if you have leftovers or want to reheat fried fish for any reason, it is important to know the proper techniques to ensure that it retains its flavor and texture. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore different methods of reheating fried fish, including refrying, using an air fryer, and using an oven.

Why reheating fried fish can be a challenge

Reheating fried fish can be challenging because the unique characteristics of the batter and coating can be easily compromised, resulting in a loss of texture and flavor. Fried foods are known for their irresistible crunch, which is achieved by the evaporation of moisture in the batter, leaving a crispy outer coating. The presence of starches and seasonings in the batter also contributes to the crunchy texture.

The best way to store fried fish

Before exploring reheating methods, it is important to know how to properly store fried fish to preserve its quality. If you do not plan to consume the leftovers within 2-3 days, freezing is the best option. Alternatively, if you plan to consume the fish within the next day or two, refrigeration is recommended.

Method 1: Reheating fried fish in hot oil

Reheating fried fish in hot oil is a popular way to reheat fish while preserving its texture and flavor. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Heat neutral oil, such as canola, to about 280°F.
  2. Add the fried fish pieces to the oil, taking care not to overcrowd the pot.
  3. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, turning every 3-4 minutes.
  4. Occasionally use a spoon to drizzle hot oil onto the surface of the fish.
  5. When the fish is crisp and firm, remove from the oil and place on layered paper towels to drain off excess oil.

This method is the easiest and quickest way to reheat fried fish, but it is important to note that refrying adds extra calories to the dish.

Method 2: Reheat fried fish in an air fryer

Air fryers are a healthier alternative to frying because they use the circulation of hot air to cook food. Here’s how to use an air fryer to reheat fried fish:

  1. Preheat the fryer to a temperature between 280-350°F.
  2. For chilled fish, place in the fryer and heat for 10-12 minutes or until warm on all sides.
  3. If fish pieces are large, increase cooking time to 12-15 minutes.
  4. To ensure doneness, check the internal temperature, which should be between 280-350°F.
  5. When reheating frozen fish, thaw it in the microwave before placing it in the fryer. Microwaving frozen fish helps prevent bacterial growth.
  6. After thawing, reheat fish at 280-350°F for 10-12 minutes.

Using an air fryer allows for even reheating while maintaining the original texture and crunch of the fried fish.

Method 3: Reheating Fried Fish in the Oven

If you don’t have an air fryer, you can use an oven to reheat fried fish. Here’s how:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350-400°F for 15 minutes.
  2. Place the fried fish on a baking sheet or wire rack.
  3. Turn the fish occasionally to ensure even heating on all sides.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 280-350°F and continue reheating for 10-12 minutes or until fish is sizzling.
  5. Remove fish from oven and serve.

Reheating fried fish in the oven requires a little more attention to ensure that all sides are heated evenly, but it can still result in a deliciously reheated dish.

Tips for reheating fried fish

To achieve the best results when reheating fried fish, follow these tips:

  1. Avoid overcrowding: Whether using an air fryer or an oven, be careful not to overcrowd the cooking area. This will ensure that each piece of fish receives adequate heat and maintains its texture.
  2. Check for doneness: Use an instant-read thermometer or cut a piece of fish in half to check that it is still warm in the center before serving.
  3. Be careful with frozen fish: Thaw frozen fish before reheating to prevent excess water and moisture from affecting texture. Microwave thawing is recommended to minimize bacterial growth.
  4. Consider the type of batter: Different types of batter, such as tempura batter, flour batter, or marinade-only fish, may require slightly different reheating methods. Adjust cooking time and temperature accordingly.
  5. Pour off excess oil: After reheating, place the fish on paper towels to absorb any excess oil before serving.


Reheating fried fish can be a challenge, but with the right techniques you can enjoy a delicious and crispy dish. Whether you reheat the fish in hot oil, use an air fryer, or rely on the oven, following the proper steps will help you achieve the best results. Remember to store the fried fish properly and consider the type of batter when reheating. By using these methods and tips, you can enjoy the flavors of fried fish even when reheating leftovers. Enjoy your reheated fish in all its crispy goodness!


Can I reheat fried fish in the microwave?

While it is technically possible to reheat fried fish in the microwave, it is not recommended. The microwave tends to make the fish soggy and can result in a loss of texture and flavor.

How long can I keep leftover fried fish?

Leftover fried fish can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. If you need to store it for a longer period of time, freezing is the best option and it can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.

Can I reheat frozen broiled fish directly in the oven or air fryer?

It is not recommended to reheat frozen broiled fish directly in an oven or air fryer. Allow the fish to thaw, either in the refrigerator or using the defrost function of your microwave, before reheating using the method of your choice.

What is the best oil to use for refrying fried fish?

Neutral oils such as canola, vegetable, or peanut oil are ideal for refrying fried fish. These oils have a high smoking point and a mild flavor that won’t overpower the flavor of the fish.

How do I know if my reheated fried fish is safe to eat?

To ensure that the reheated fried fish is safe to eat, use a cooking thermometer to check that the internal temperature reaches 145°F (63°C). This temperature will ensure that any harmful bacteria in the fish will be killed, making it safe to eat.

Can I reheat fish that has been tempura battered?

Yes, you can reheat fish that was previously tempura battered. The same reheating methods mentioned in the article can be used for tempura-battered fish. Just watch the cooking time to avoid overcooking and to maintain the delicate crispness of the batter.