Reheating day old fish and chips - workable?

Is there a way to do this without it turning out thoroughly gross? If so, what is the best way to do it? Oven, microwave, or what?

Note that I do not have the shop put salt and vinegar on for me, so that is not an issue. I would normally be taking the food home and eating off a plate, with my own condiments.

To explain the issue: I am living on my own in England now, I do enjoy good fish and chips, and there is a pretty good chippy not too far away from me. The portions, however, are ridiculously huge, I think especially (though not only) if I order my preferred type of fish, plaice. I have experienced this at other chippies too, so it is not just this place. A single piece of fish, and the chips to go with it, is easily enough for two very good sized meals. I can, and often do, eat a big meal, but this is just ridiculous. It seems to be a meal for a couple, or even a small family, not a single person. The last time I had it, I got very overfull, hating to waste it, but still could not finish. I feel guilty throwing away large amounts of good food, and anyway, it is a big waste of money.

(And no, they do not offer a smaller portion size. The chippy near the last place I used to live did, if you knew what to ask for, but this one does not seem to. They offer larger options!)

My problem would be solved if I could just cut the piece of fish in half, and divide the chips, put it all in the fridge (or not, if anyone thinks it better not to), and reheat it for a second meal the next day. However, I am concerned that the reheated stuff would be disgusting, especially as I would necessarily be cutting through the batter, so the fish itself would no longer be sealed in during reheating. Does anyone have any experience of doing something like this that enables them to reassure me otherwise, and can anyone offer any tips as how best to go about it?

I am also curious as to whether anyone can offer any insights into why portions seem to be so huge now. I do not remember them being so big when I was younger. Possibly things have somehow changed during the decades I spent in the USA. (Also, perhaps huge portions are just a regional matter and they would not be so huge in other parts of the country. However, it is certainly not just this one chippy round here being overgenerous.)

The best you can do is reheat in the oven, or refry in a deep fryer. I only had Fish&Chips in England once and it was a huge portion. Fish&Chips were the mainstay of my restaurant and we offered small and large sizes. In order to satisfy every customer’s idea of the proper size we would have had to have at least a dozen different sizes.

Toaster oven or oven. It won’t be as good as fresh.

Portion size has to do with restaurant costs and customer psychology.

Customers perceive that they’re paying for the food. If you get twice as much food, you think you’re getting a good deal, generally.

But the reality of the restaurant biz is that you’re paying for labor and rent just as much as food. They only have so many seats and restaurants are labor-intensive. Many restaurants keep food costs to as little as 25% of your bill, but their net profits at the end of the day are rarely more than 10%. So… 65% of the costs are things other than food (labor and rent being the biggest two).

So the restaurant thinks to itself: We have $3 food cost for a $10 dish, with $6 in allocated labor and rent. If we serve a double portion, what happens? $6 food cost, but we don’t incur much more in labor and nothing in rent, so we only go from $9 cost to $12. If we charge $15 for the fish, our profit per customer goes from $1 to $3, a 300% increase in net profits!

The customer thinks: If I used to pay $10 for one fish and now I pay $15 for two fish, that’s like saving 25%!

And the waitstaff thinks: I can only serve 20 customers in an hour. If they’re tipping 15% of $200 (20 $10 portion), I get $30. If they’re tipping 15% on $300 (20 $15 portions), I get $45. That’s a 50% raise!

Obviously, the rewards on this are something of a bell curve. There’s a sweet spot that maximizes profit. A casual glance at portion sizes tells you where that sweet spot is. (Of course, there’s a little cart and horse thinking here too. Do we eat more because we’re served more, or are we served more because we want it? Still, the numbers work out either way.)

Oh, as for reheating the fish:

First, store the fish wrapped in something absorbent: paper towel or newsprint. This wicks away both excess oil and moisture.

Second, reheat in the oven at a relatively low temperature that’s still above boiling - 250 or 300 F would be fine.

Thanks. I will give it a try.

Do not put fish or chips in a microwave, you will render them inedible.

And, with fish, you will render your house unlivable with the stench.

This is all quite true. The only thing I’d add is that there is a limit to what people will pay for a meal. Within that limit there is still a concentration on delivering the most food for the dollar for the reasons you mentioned. Restaurants now feature many more dishes based on lower cost foods to stay within that limit. That amounts to more chicken dishes, more steak tips instead of steak, anything that allows a larger meal while keeping the food costs down. 25% food costs are hard to reach outside of the high end restaurants, and those are usually paying high rent and other costs for them are high in general. In addition there are many restaurants that can’t turn a profit on food sales alone and rely on sales of alcohol to get by.

The fish can still taste good, but I have never found a way to salvage leftover French Fries.

Put your fish and chips in a ziplock baggie. Then another zip lock baggie. Make sure your seal is good on both and you’ve removed as much air as you can. Now heat a largish pan of water and put the bagged fish in it. This will heat up your fish without exposing it to drying air or the gut wrenching stench of microwaved fish. I do this at work, too, by putting the baggies in an insulated cup and filling the cup with the heated water from the coffee machine.

We use the toaster oven. It may not be good as fresh, but it’s crispy.

Ditch the idea of eating it as the same meal again the next day. Eat as much as you want the night you get it, including all the batter from the entire piece of fish (or sling the batter you don’t want to eat).

Next day, make a fish pie by flaking the fish into a white/mustard/cheese sauce in a pie dish and topping with whole, chopped or mashed up chips. Heat in the oven at 180 for as long as it takes - bear in mind the fish and sauce will already be hot, since you just made it fresh, so you just need to heat the potato. Doctor the filling (and for that matter topping) in any way you see fit, and trust me, you will find this MUCH better than trying to reheat yesterday’s supper as it is.

The pie idea sounds good. I was gonna suggest something slightly similar–crumbling the fish in a pan and heating it up on the stove, to serve with eggs, maybe, or with hash browns or something. I don’t know if the chips could be pan-heated the same way, but I’ve done things like this with leftover fish before and it’s been all right.

Or just eat it cold for breakfast with some strong black coffee, if you’re hardcore.

As tasty as the pie sounds, Mr. Te-ah-cah-keh, it sounds like a bit of trouble. I’d rather just open the foil and toss it into the toaster oven. :wink:


Historical note: Fish and chips (or at least the fried fish part) was invented by Jews for the express purpose of being fried on Friday and eaten cold on the Sabbath, when cooking and even lighting a fire is forbidden.

If I wasn’t trying to get out of cooking, I wouldn’t be buying fish and chips from teh chip shop in the first place.

I do cook for myself most days, and the fresh or frozen or canned ingredients are always going to be much cheaper than fish and chips from the chip shop.

Is that really true? I must say I am a bit surprised. I should have thought the other way around if anything. However, if you are right, I would certainly consider just reheating the fish in the oven, but having it with frozen chips cooked in my deep fryer. Doing new chips that way is easy and cheap enough to make it worth my while. (I don’t want to reheat the fish in the deep fryer, though. It would mean changing the oil much more frequently, which would be a major pain. I use the fryer for chips only.)

This seems utterly ridiculous, and even on the face of it according to that statement would have been invented by the Portuguese.
Actually, the Romans had fried fish, usually in olive oil, not only at home, but in the little cooked food establishments most Romans would use.
They didn’t have chips.

And, of course, fried fish was a common item in mediaeval England, as it probably was in most cultures: there are so so many ways to cook a fish. And back then we were Catholic, with compulsory Fish Only Fridays.

I just don’t see the problem with reheating the fish in a toaster oven till nice and hot. The chips, or fries - the same thing. I bought fish tonight and there was a shitload of fries. Put them in a container into the freezer to be warmed up in a hot oven and served sometime in the near future, with burgers or whatever. I’m not living with goor-mays here. All fries are good fries to them.