What To Do With That Leftover Oil From Your Canned Fish

Canned tuna in oil
Canned tuna in oil - Ilia Nesolenyi/Shutterstock

When you open up a can or jar of oil-packed fish, such as tuna or anchovies, the first thing you do is drain the oil into the sink, right? Wrong. Save that oil! You can reuse it as a flavor booster in many recipes, including tuna pasta salad, French salade niçoise, or any other dish could use a kick of savory, fishy flavor.

Foods preserved in oil naturally infuse the oil with their own flavors. If you fill a jar with garlic cloves and cover them in oil, you'd eventually end up with garlic oil. The same goes for fish. The oil in a can of tuna, salmon, or sardines will taste like tuna, salmon, or sardines, respectively. Strain the oil from these canned fish into a separate jar for storage in the fridge, or use it right away. Just don't pour it down the drain -– not when you could be making even better food instead. You'll cut down on food waste and get more use out of each tin of fish for your dollar, to boot.

Read more: 12 Underrated Types Of Fish You Should Try At Least Once

Save That Fish-Infused Oil For Tons Of Possibilities

Chef making tuna salad
Chef making tuna salad - Bloomberg/Getty Images

You can use the oil that came with your canned fish to add fat and flavor to any recipe. If a recipe for salad, pasta, or another dish calls for olive oil, you can use the salty and savory olive oil that was used to store anchovies. Disclaimer: Use your judgment, obviously. You probably won't like an anchovy olive oil cake.

A more conventional use of the savory oil would be pasta salad. When you open up the can of olive oil-packed tuna for that pasta, tuna, and sweet pea salad, reserve the oil instead of draining it. Drizzle it on top of the bowl of finished salad. You'll get all the deliciousness of an olive oil garnish, plus some extra tuna flavor.

This trick works even better for salads made of leafy greens. When you make your vinaigrette, use your acidic component (such as vinegar or lemon juice) as usual. But instead of breaking out the EVOO to use as your source of fat in the dressing, use the oil you saved from your canned fish. If you're making a salad that includes fish anyway — like salade niçoise — this is a no-brainer.

More Tips For Using For Tasty, Fishy Oil

Can of anchovies
Can of anchovies - Krblokhin/Getty Images

You can use any oil that comes in a can of fish for these purposes, whether it's from a dollar store product or imported Italian canned seafood. Of course, the latter will probably taste better than the former. Canned (or jarred) salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, or any other fish all come with their own flavor-packed oil. Just make sure to taste-test it before using. The flavor of tuna oil will be relatively mild compared to the salty funk of anchovy oil, so each has to be used in different quantities and will suit different recipes.

If you're not using all of the fish oil right away, you can save it in a separate jar, but not for long. Assume that little pieces of fish have been left behind in the oil, and treat it like any other opened can of fish. The safest way to store opened canned tuna is in the refrigerator for a maximum of four days (via the U.S. Department of Agriculture). The same goes for the oil. Hopefully, you'll find an excuse to eat a flavor-packed salad before then.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.