I was recently in an impulse-buying mood at my local supermarket when I came across a box of Young’s Traditional British, Crispy battered, Cod Fillet & Chips in the frozen seafood section. It was on sale for under $4 and I’ve never heard of this brand before. Seemed like a pretty low-risk option for an easy fish dinner. A real British fish and chips dinner from my freezer…for four bucks? Challenge accepted.
About Young’s Seafood
According to their website, Young’s is the UK’s largest specialist seafood brand, with origins back to 1805. For 50 years Young’s has been located in the world famous fishing port of Grimsby. As part of the Company’s commitment to sustainable seafood and responsible processing, Young’s created Fish For Life in 2006. This program manages the entire Young’s supply and production chain: from working with their fishermen and their communities to spearheading a reduction in their use of plastic packaging.
Young’s Cod Fillet & Chips Packaging
For a Yank from New England, the box looked very “British” compared to the boxes of Gorton’s and Van de Kamps in the frozen seafood section. The back of the box talks about the history of the Young’s brand, which spans over two centuries. It also talks a bit about the Fish For Life Program along with the nutritional and cooking instructions. The two surprises for me were the long cooking time (22 minutes) and that this meal-for-one was under 600 calories.
Young’s Cod Fillet & Chips: The Product
The beer battered fillet of cod is of good size for a single portion and frozen solid as a rock – which is a good thing. It also is not wrapped, just loose in the cardboard box. The chips were sealed in a plastic pouch to keep the two ingredients separate. First impression was that it looked like good quality fish, although it’s hard to tell with the batter, and the chips were cut thick as you’d expect in British fish and chips.
Cooking Young’s Cod Fillet & Chips
Not only does Young’s take a bit longer than what I’m used to (22 minutes), the fish and chips require a wire rack. I had to improvise with a small broiler rack and some aluminum foil poked with holes. I preheated the oven to 450F and then cooked the fish and chips for 22 minutes. What I found interesting is that it did not smell much when cooking, but when I opened up the oven to check it smelled a little like fresh fish and chips.
Young’s Cod Fillet & Chips is pretty good, with a nice clean tasting piece of fish and the beer batter is not overloaded with spices. It tasted more like real fish and chips than a fish stick product masquerading as such. I’m not sure it was a real fillet of cod, the texture was closer to minced fish, but either way it had a good cod flavor. I didn’t have malt vinegar so I used just a bit of lemon juice and the batter still stayed crispy. Cooking on the wire rack not only helped the fish stay crispy, but the fries (I mean chips) were as crunchy on the outside as they were fluffy on the inside. They were good with mayonnaise but the chips would’ve soaked up malt vinegar like a sponge and that sounds just heavenly.
I’m very happy I tried this product, I felt it was good quality, for a great price. My only regret is that I didn’t buy 2 boxes, because I was still hungry after. If you like frozen value-added seafood and want something slightly different than the usual box of breaded fish sticks or fillets, give Young’s a try. I’m looking forward to trying more of their products in the future.