“ Brand: Young's / Type: Fish „
Looking for a Friday night easy meal that wasn't as expensive as a takeaway, I picked up some Youngs haddock fillets in a crispy batter thinking that they might be a passable alternative to fish and chips, and at £3 for 4 large fillets, it would certainly work out a lot cheaper. With a large logo advertising this as Britain's number 1 battered fish, I was certainly looking forward to trying it.
I've experienced eating fish pies from this company before so I know that they use good quality fish and I was also impressed to see a sustainability programme being explained on the rear of the box.
Health wise, they claim to now have less than 3% saturated fat, a reduction of 40% from 2009, so it certainly should be a healthier option than the chipshop too. Each 125g fillet contains 243 Kcals, which didn't sound too bad.
When frozen, they certainly looked the part, the batter was a light golden colour, and thick enough to not be able to see the white fish underneath. Cooking was a simple matter of putting the fillets on a tray and putting them in the oven at gas mark 8 for 25 minutes. That is probably where I made a mistake with these, as on the box it says to do them on a wire rack in a deep tray.
Half way cooking I took the fillets out and turned them, and they were starting to go a good colour, but they were still rather soggy at this stage so I actually left them a bit longer than the recommended 25 minutes to give them plenty of time to crisp up.
When I came to take them out of the oven, the first disappointment came as I picked up the tray and a sea of grease flowed over the edge of the tray, onto the bottom of the oven and the kitchen floor. Once I had cleaned that all up, I went to put the fish on the plates.
The top of the fish was certainly a lovely golden colour, but when I went to pick one up with a fish slice, the batter on the bottom of the tray was still greasy and soggy, and had stuck to the tray in a number of places so I had to scrape at it to remove it from the tray losing most of the batter off the bottom in the process. What a disappointment.
The taste test went a lot better. The top of the fillet had a fluffy batter that was indeed reminiscent of a well cooked fish which has stood long enough for oil to drain from at the chip shop. (I am a bit picky here after an eighteen month stretch working full time in a chip shop while also studying at university.) The bottom of the fillet was indeed greasy tasting, and not as nice.
The actual fish was white, had meaty flesh, and was a good piece of fish. No qualms there, as it was indeed a nice fresh piece of haddock.
The plates were left clear apart from a smear of ketchup, so I am pretty sure that they all enjoyed it, especially as there was very little on the floor underneath my 3 year old.
As to whether I would buy them again, I haven't as yet, but I think I would as overall it was a much healthier quick meal than the chip shop and was easy to cook and serve. What I do know is I would definitely make sure to cook them so the grease could drain away next time, as a large amount did come out of them.