Here's How Long That Leftover Salmon Will Keep In Your Fridge

A piece of cooked salmon
A piece of cooked salmon - Love_life/Getty Images

With all the talk about the high prices of groceries lately, we can all benefit from saving a bit of money and avoid wasting food at the same time, especially when it comes to expensive ingredients like fish. It's easy to know when a raw fillet of salmon is going bad, as there's a reference date right on the package. However, it's harder to tell with leftovers, because we don't know exactly how long the food is safe to eat. If you're eyeing a piece of cooked salmon that's been sitting in the fridge for a few days, you don't have to guess if it's still good. The USDA says that cooked fish is safe to eat for three to four days.

There are many reasons why cooked fish ends up getting wasted, but the biggest is simply not eating it before it goes bad. If you enjoy salmon, all you need to do to protect your grocery investment is label and date your food when it goes into the refrigerator, and have a recipe in mind to use up any leftovers.

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

Label Your Salmon When Storing It In The Fridge

Leftover salmon with plastic wrap
Leftover salmon with plastic wrap - Merrimon Crawford/Shutterstock

Our lives are made easier by the labels and dates on the food we buy from the grocery store -- we know exactly when a carton of milk or a container of yogurt is about to go bad. As soon as we cook food from the store, however, all expiration dates go out the window. We typically rely on visual or olfactory cues, or even our memory, to determine whether food is still safe to eat -- and these aren't always reliable indicators. Not only is it easy to forget when you grilled that piece of salmon or brought it home from a restaurant, but if you make a mistake and eat fish that's gone bad, you can get pretty sick.

Commercial restaurants, by law, but also by practice, label and date every bit of food they have in their coolers and freezers, and you should, too. Not only does labeling and dating leftovers give you an idea of when the food was cooked, so you know how long it's safe to eat, but it also gives you a visual cue to use it up before it goes bad. If you're really on the ball, you can also rotate food around in your fridge so that leftovers close to going bad are in front, where you're more likely to see them and be reminded to eat them, while fresher food is in the back.

Recipes To Use Up Leftover Salmon

Leftover salmon in a rice bowl
Leftover salmon in a rice bowl - Nina Firsova/Shutterstock

One of the biggest reasons why leftovers don't get eaten is because we're tired of them. If you had grilled salmon steaks for dinner one night, chances are you won't want to eat them again the next day. The key is to turn your leftovers into a completely different meal, which will also help you to use up what's been hanging around in the fridge. The good news is that leftover salmon is super versatile, even if it's been seasoned or flavored with herbs and spices.

If you find yourself packing up a few pieces of salmon after dinner one night, start brainstorming a few recipes to use them up in the next few days. Cold leftover salmon is delicious on top of a salad for lunch, or you can cook up a pot of sushi rice to make a tasty bowl. You could also mash the meat up and make salmon burgers or patties, or toss leftover salmon in the food processor with cream cheese and make a dip or spread.

So, the next time you bring home some salmon, make sure you have a marker and roll of tape or some food labels handy by the fridge. Always be sure to eat your cooked salmon within three to four days to avoid getting sick -- and you'll save some money, too.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.