“ Brand: Birds Eye / Type: Fish „
Roaming round Asda one night looking for inspiration as to what to put in the freezer I spotted these at only a pound a box. Picking them up and seeing that they were a Birds Eye product I assumed that they were cod so got them for a tea one night for me and my bestmate/flatmate.
The box is cardboard and light and dark blue with a photograph of the battered fish on the front and we are told that it is Birds Eye 2 Fish Fillets In Crispy Batter and that it is 100% fillet and there is an at a glance nutritional chart displayed and we are told that they are free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. On the back of the box other information listed includes ingredients and allergy advice, there is a full nutritional chart given as well as cooking instructions listed and contact details for Birds Eye are given. The box is informative enough though I did find it interesting that I had to look at the small print on the box to find out what fish this contained as it wasn't listed in the ingredient list and we are just told that it is fish fillet!
What you get is two small and rather thin looking fish fillets covered in a light beige batter. To cook them they take around 25 minutes in the oven and in that time they cook well, the batter goes a golden colour and puffs up slightly and doesn't appear or taste greasy.
Now we are not told 100% what fish this is. In the small print we are told that our fillets could contain Alaska Pollock, Saithe, Hoki, Hake, Cod, Haddock or Basa, depending on the catch so basically you don't know which of those fishes you are eating and of course you could buy a box if these and enjoy them and they be cod one week and the next it could be Saithe (which I have never heard of before eating this review!) so basically what you get is pot luck. Sorry I'm not keen on that and I like to know what I'm consuming!
So I can't write about the fish itself as I have no real clue to what it was. However it was a thick and a white fish, moist and no bits and no bones were within it at all. It tasted like cod to me and smelt not too fishy and was simply nice enough. The batter was well seasoned and light and the whole things was nice nice enough if not rather plain in flavour.
It cooked well in the time given on the box, it looked nice though wasn't big portions and the batter wasn't all that thick and I can't say I or my flatmate would buy this again to be truthful because we both prefer to know what we are putting in our bellies!
Nutritional Information Per Fillet:
Available in all good supermarkets etc priced at about £1.50 a box but more often than not are on offer at a pound a box (in places such as Asda and Tesco).
I'm a massive fan of fish and chips but have never found a frozen fish fillet which lives up to my high expectation. I absolutely adore Birds Eye fish fingers in crispy batter so when I saw that Birds Eye had brought out a new product which was a pack of 2 fish fillets in crispy batter I was prepared to give them a try, the fact they were half price so only cost me £1 helped to persuade me too.
You cant tell what type of fish is inside the batter, the box tells me it could be Pollock, saithe, hoki, hake, cod, haddock or basa depending on what is in season. This did put me off a bit as I like to know what I am eating.
Upon taking the fish out of the box I noticed that each fillet had a really knobbly texture with bubbly batter covering the fish. I put them on the tray and put them into the oven for 25 minutes turning once during the cooking time. The fish released quite a bit of fat onto the cooking tray and the batter looked nice and puffy and crispy. The fish fillet has only 235 calories per portion but has a high fat content with 13g of fat per portion so it is certainly healthier than a battered fish from the chippy.
I served my fish with some oven chips and peas and a nice big dollop of tartare sauce. The batter is lovely, it doesn't taste like chip shop batter as it is a bit harder to cut through but it has a lovely crunch and is far superior to what you would normally find from a frozen product. The fish itself is nice and tender but not particularly flavoursome, I couldn't tell what species of fish it was but I'm certain it was not cod or haddock. The fish did flake nicely and was nice and plump and it was nice to see a whole fish fillet instead of reformed fish flakes but it wasn't brilliant.
What really put me off this fish was the fact that there was a kind of floury paste in between the fish and the batter, no doubt this had been used to make the batter stick to the fish but it has a wet texture and leaves a bit of a bitter aftertaste. This is the thing that puts me off frozen battered fish products generally as they all seem to have this layer.
The Birds Eye fish fillets in crispy batter are a reasonable quality product, certainly better than many fish in batter that are sold. They were not nearly as tasty as the Birds Eye cod fish fingers in crispy batter due to the lower quality fish and the gluey substance between the fish and batter. My quest to find the perfect frozen fish in batter was not fulfilled by this product but I will keep trying.