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How to Use Up Leftover Fish Without Causing a Stink

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Not all leftovers are on the identical stage. There are tiers. On the prime, you’ve bought your pasta sauces, your stews, your chili—the stuff that truly tastes higher after an evening within the fridge than it does straight off the range. Then you will have your mid-tier, which is most leftovers: mashed potatoes, steak, roasted greens, and so forth. These items style simply nice when reheated, however might have a bit TLC to essentially shine. Then you will have deep-fried issues (like French fries), which aren’t superb until reheated within the air fryer. And at last, you will have fish.

Maybe that is unfair. Leftover fish may be pleasant, however there’s an virtually PSYOP stage of hate towards the idea, because of so many co-workers who insist on bringing it to work and heating it up within the communal microwave. This direct warmth not solely dries out leftover fish filets, it could possibly oxidize the oils, creating the dreaded permeating-fish scent that’s the root of most inter-office conflicts. There are, nonetheless, alternate programs of motion you may take if you end up with leftover fish. (Irrespective of the way you select to repurpose it, be sure you accomplish that inside a day or two.)

Maintain it chilly

That is the simplest, most secure, lowest-effort possibility. Toss it with some extremely seasoned mayo and lemon juice and eat it on a sandwich, or flake the fish and serve it on prime of a salad, grain bowl, or a grain salad (which is only a grain bowl with further greens, I believe). Drizzle with a punchy French dressing. Eat it.

If you wish to “rework” or “reimagine” your leftover fish, you may make a bit rillettes (fancy pâté-like unfold with added fats). Most rillettes is made by confit-ing the meat in its personal fats, however fish lard isn’t an actual product, so bitter cream or crème fraîche are employed to present it a barely spreadable texture. I’ve shared this recipe for salmon unfold earlier than, however simply to recap, you will have:

  • 5 ounces leftover fish (salmon is very scrumptious)
  • 1/2 massive shallot, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vermouth
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche, bitter cream, or labneh
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • The juice of 1/4 of a small lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Sauté the shallot within the olive oil over medium warmth till translucent. Add the vermouth to the pan and let it cut back for about half a minute. Let the vermouth-enhanced shallots cool, then add them to the salmon, together with the remainder of the elements. Gently stir all the pieces to include, then chill for an hour within the fridge earlier than serving in your most interesting water crackers, in little endive cups, or in a extremely wonderful tea sandwich. (Oh, and if you wish to take it in a smoky course, simply add a drop or two of our good friend liquid smoke. It’s dishonest, nevertheless it’s the nice type of dishonest.)

Warmth it not directly

Maybe you’re not within the temper for a chilly lunch (or supper). That’s nice. You may reheat fish, you simply need to do it fastidiously, gently, and not directly.

As I discussed earlier, nuking already cooked fish within the microwave, or putting it in a sizzling pan, can dry it out and trigger the fat to oxidize, making a horrible, ultra-fishy aroma.

Fortunately, there are a number of methods you may work round this. First, you’re going to wish to resolve how you wish to eat the fish. I’m actually into rice bowls proper now, however pasta is one other good possibility, as is a mélange of greens. Flake the fish into small items—the smaller they’re, the extra shortly and evenly they may warmth. Place the fish in a bowl and set it apart.

Prepare dinner your pasta (and sauce), your rice, or your greens. You can even put together a easy pan sauce by lowering white wine with some garlicky browned butter. You simply want one thing sizzling to toss with the fish. As soon as your rice, pasta, greens, and/or sauce is piping sizzling, switch the recent meals to the bowl with the fish and toss all of it collectively. The residual warmth from the pasta/rice/greens/sauce will gently heat the fish, with none oxidized oil scent.


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