“ Brand: Young's / Type: Fish „
Many people are put off by fish because 'it smells fishy' or taste pungent. Fresh, properly done fish can be a real feast making you want to suck all the water out of North Sea just to have some more. It definitely should be an important ingredient of every diet as it is nutritious and provides elements not found in any other foods.
Not so much with frozen stuff or frozen supermarket stuff at least. It tends to be washed out of any nutrients or flavours if it ever had them. And that much I know, HOWEVER I'm recently not comfortable spending a lot on food and also I like parsley sauce, which inclined me - on my last trip to co-op (reviewed few days ago) - to pick a packet of young's 4 fish steaks in parsley. Picture of the fish looked appetising and 4 steaks for £1.58 (half price) in my head translated into a bargain. I would be visiting Young's HQ had I bought them at full price because I was about to get severely disappointed...
I decided to have my steaks with just reviewed sage and onion wedges and I regret I didn't reach for couscous instead because after boiling them in a bag for 20 minutes as recommended, I ended up with a bag of murky water with elements of green in it, which at least couscous would soak up and mask the fact that it barely had any flavour at all. Similarly the 'steaks' were very much resembling small pieces of cardboard put in water overnight to soften it up, both in terms of look and taste.
I'm not going to list nutrition facts here because it's very likely not worth mentioning.
Don't get me wrong - if you want to have an impression like you have eaten something that is fit for human consumption then you are just about going to get it but it's not going to be a culinary experience of any kind and I will think twice before I buy it if it's reduced to 9p.
I am not a big fan of those boil in the bag fish meals that have been popular for so many years, but when I saw Young's had brought their own version out I decided to buy a box to try despite them being rather more expensive than other brands at almost £3 for a box of four.
Although Young's are my favourite brand when it comes to frozen fish products, I found these to be a disappointment and of extremely low quality in my opinion.
The cod piece is very small and as usual with these 'fish in sauce' meals it's cut into a perfect rectangle shape, therefore looking far too neat to resemble fresh fish. After cooking it was surprisingly flavourless with the robust taste of cod barely making itself known through the sauce, and it definitely wasn't the sauce which overpowered the fish as the sauce is honestly like dishwater and couldn't overpower a marshmallow!
The first thing I hated about the sauce was the appearance of it. All at once it manages to be thin, gloopy and sticky - not a pleasant accompaniment to my fish! It has a rather grey colour and the flecks of parsley don't look terribly fresh and are more like bits of wilted spinach than vibrant chopped parsley.
I can't say it tastes amazingly like parsley sauce either, it has a very milky flavour that the herbs don't seem able to penetrate and it does absolutely nothing to enhance the flavour of the cod. I also found there was rather too much sauce for the very small piece of cod so that when I tipped it all out onto my plate the fish sat like an island in a sea of appalling looking parsley sauce.
There were no bones or skin attached to any part of the cod, although this was merely a 'thank heavens for small mercies' moment as I'm quite sure the odd bone would not have spoilt my enjoyment of this fish in the slightest as there was very little enjoyment to begin with. Indeed, perhaps choking on a fish bone would have been preferable to continuing to eat this awful meal!
In actual fact I didn't eat it all. Despite it's very small size, the blandness of the fish soon made me put down my fork and scrape the remainder of the cod into my cat's bowl. Luckily he enjoyed it because there are another three of these ridiculously small and flavourless cod steaks that I intend to cook for my three spoilt moggies tomorrow.
I have noticed that Young's seafood products seem to be monopolising the frozen fish cabinets in our local Tesco lately. There are promotions galore and very good deals on some of Young's products, I suppose because we tend to look at any product that is offering good value for money we are willing to give it a trial run.
So move over Captain Bird's eye and give the Young-sters a chance..
The packaging is attractive, the most succulent looking piece of cod that you could ever imagine coated in thick creamy parsley sauce with a liberal helping of peas and carrots sat at it's side.
Inside of the box Young's have promised that we have cod that has been caught in the waters of the Atlantic then hauled off to Grimsby, skinned and boned and then dressed with the finest parsley sauce made with double cream.
Open that recyclable cardboard box and there you have four little plastic packets, each of them contains an oblong portion of cod that is nestled in parsley sauce.
The individual packaging suits me down to the ground, I can use two and freeze two.
The product is boil in the bag so on goes the saucepan of water while the potatoes are finishing off in readiness for creaming and my peas are in the microwave waiting to be `pinged`.
After submerging two of the delicate little packs into the boiling hot water I turn my attention to other matters for the next twenty minutes and leave the fish to cook.
Now, as much as the boil in the bag is a wonderful idea it is hell when it comes to opening, the plastic bag is always scorching hot and you end up hopping around trying to relieve the bag of it's contents without getting third degree burns ( a bit of an exaggeration there)
Scissors are the best way forward, snip the top of the bag off and allow the fish and the sauce to slide out whole onto the warm plate.
On the plate my creamy potatoes and pinged peas await the presence of the cod steak in parsley sauce. As it slides out of the plastic packet and sits neatly beside the vegetables it has passed the first test. I can definitely smell cod but I am desperately trying to get a whiff of parsley. I love the smell of parsley so when I am forced to stick my nostril right up to the fish to inhale that glorious smell I feel slightly cheated.
My fish appears to be a decent colour and is flaky, as I push my fork into the fish it responds by breaking with ease. I don't know about you but I have found that sometimes fish can be like rubber.
Although the parsley sauce looks fine it doesn't have the depth of creaminess it appears to have on the packet, though the chopped parsley seems to be plentiful.
Any sauce has to be a good sauce to make the dish enjoyable, Young's parsley sauce is marginally on the thin side but I can identify the parsley, which I am chuffed about.
The cod is soft and tasty and if the sauce were that little bit richer it would have far more appeal.
Saying that when the sauce is forked up with the creamed potato it does take on a different light.
On my plate I have creamed potato and peas, the piece of cod in parsley sauce has long gone.
Each serving contains 103 calories so I would think if you were feeding it to anyone with a hearty appetite that you could well afford to give them two portions.
So what have we got? We have 560g of cod in parsley sauce for £3.99p that has been responsibly sourced. The cod is boneless and skinless and has less than 3% fat.
Each pouch of fish contains milk, gluten and wheat and 103 calories. The plastic pouch that the fish is put in is not recyclable so it must go in the waste bin.
My verdict? The product is tasty enough but would most certainly benefit from a thicker sauce.
One small portion may not be enough to feed a good appetite.
All things being equal Young's have turned out a decent enough piece of cod in parsley sauce.
Since Dave and I have been following the Slimming World eating plan we have been eating mostly meals cooked from scratch using lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Incidentally Dave has now lost 2 stone and I have lost 1 stone so it is working well, but there are times when I can't be bothered to cook so I try to keep one or two bits and pieces in the freezer for such occasions.
When we were in Asda I noticed Young's Cod Steaks in Sauce and decided that these would be a good standby to make a quick meal.
I bought Young's 4 Cod Steaks in Parsley Sauce for £3. They are also available in cheese sauce or butter sauce if you prefer, but for me if it's fish it has to be parsley sauce.
The fish in the picture on the front of the packet looked appetising. It looks white and firm and the sauce looks creamy and yummy.
Also on the front of the cardboard packet is a flash announcing that each serving only contains 102 calories. There are also the now very familiar little boxes giving the basic nutritional information with a more detailed list on the back of the packet.
When the time came to use the fish I opened the packet and removed two pieces ready to cook. Each piece of fish is sealed, with its sauce, in a plastic pouch and looked a lot smaller than I had expected, and also a not very appetising grey colour. I just put the colour down to the fact that they were frozen so I carried on regardless.
To cook the fish you need to half fill a saucepan with water, bring it to the boil and place the sealed bags into the water. Then the water needs to be brought back to the boil and the pan left uncovered whilst the fish cooks. This will take 20 minutes.
The fish can also be cooked in a microwave by putting the bag on a plate, piercing it and then microwaving for 5 minutes. I did try cooking the fish like this some years ago and it was a disaster so I always boil in the bag!
Whichever way you cook the fish you then need to cut the bag open and serve immediately.
Whilst I cooked the fish I also cooked a pile of vegetables. I then put the vegetables in a pasta bowl and placed the fish on the top so that the sauce would seep down over the vegetables.
I cut the bag open - a bit of a messy procedure as it is very hot at this point - and slid the fish out onto the vegetables. Getting the sauce out is difficult as you really need to squeeze the bag but it is so hot you burn your fingers!
The fish still looked a bit grey to me but we persevered and ate our meal. The fish was not as it had appeared on the front of the packet by a long way! It was obviously very poor quality and wasn't white and flaky but grey and chewy! The sauce wasn't creamy and yummy as I had expected but thin and watery although it tasted okay I suppose. All in all I'm afraid the whole experience wasn't very pleasant at all.
There was just enough in volume to make a decent meal for me with plenty of vegetables but Dave still felt hungry when he had finished his.
Looking at the ingredients there are no added colourings or preservatives so I suppose that is a point in its favour.
According to the information on the front of the packet each pouch contains 102 calories, 2.5g of sugar, 3.2g of fat and 1.2g of salt. If you look at the more detailed information on the back of the packet this is what you find.
These are the values per 100g and the whole packet is 560g so each portion would be 140g, therefore for a portion these values would need to be multiplied by 1.4.
Of which sugars 1.8g
Of which saturates 1.4g
In conclusion I won't be buying these again! They are too small, the quality is abysmal and there is too much salt added for my liking!