It's a cold, hard fact: some foods are better as leftovers than others. But if you're someone who previously thought seafood doesn't heat up well as leftovers, it's time to think again.
That's not to say that this belief isn't understandable. Most seafood is more delicate than other meats, putting it at greater risk for becoming overcooked (and less delicious) when it's reheated. However, that's not a reason for your seafood leftovers to go to waste — you simply need a better repurposing strategy.
Here are our best tips for turning seafood leftovers into second-chance meals that are so good, you'll be willing to eat a smaller portion next time just to ensure there's enough leftover.
Make a chowder
One surefire way to repurpose next-day seafood is in a chowder. Seafood chowders are versatile and comforting, but they also offer a great opportunity to impart new flavor and keep your chosen protein from drying out. Ideal with leftover white fish, like cod or halibut, you can also make a seafood bisque with leftover crab and shellfish.
Cook up some cakes
Perhaps the most popular way to use leftover seafood is the famous crab cake — but this method doesn't have to be limited to just crab meat! You can also make seafood cakes out of shrimp, salmon and other fish. Just make sure not to rely too heavily on filler and still let your seafood be the star of the show.
Stir together a stir fry
Since seafood heats up quickly, you can cook together the other vegetables in your stir fry first, then add your leftover seafood at the last second for a quick heat-through. This works especially well with shrimp, which hold together best in a dish like a stir fry or fried rice.
Throw it on a taco
It's no secret that we're big fans of the seafood taco around here (also the seafood burrito, seafood quesadilla, seafood nachos...the possibilities are endless) and leftovers lend themselves well to this format as well. Mix up your toppings, slightly warm your protein and you're ready to go.
All of this said, there's no reason you can't enjoy carefully reheated seafood in exactly the same format you had it in the day before. Either warm slowly on the stovetop or in the oven, or reduce the power on your microwave to avoid overcooking. Not willing to risk it? Try your leftovers cold — you might be surprised!
Of course, before you can enjoy leftovers, you have to enjoy the main event. Stock up on your favorites today.