In two recent reviews I lamented the lack of a gluten-free battered fried fish that really appealed to me. The first was in our Hawthorne Fish House review, and then next was our Hugo’s review in Los Angeles. While both of these restaurants turn out really good quality food, they weren’t exactly what I was dreaming of. The Hawthorne Fish House fish ends up being kind of crispy and golden, but there isn’t much batter (it’s almost more like eating breaded fish) and there also isn’t much flavor. Hugo’s in LA had more flavor, but I also ended up feeling more like I was eating breaded fish.
I have two kinds of memories about eating fish and chips. The first kind of memory is eating fish and chips in an Irish pub in San Francisco’s Lower Haight. The fish are greasy and you almost feel sick because they’re so rich. You have no choice but to wash them down with a pint of McGinnis or some other beer. Aw yeah. The second kind of fish and chips memory I have is going to a tiny food cart in a touristy area and they hand you a steaming bunch of fish and chips wrapped up in newspaper. The grease from the fish turns the newspaper clear, and for some reason you notice that the paper is in Portuguese and has an article on soccer (with photos of soccer players.) So you go find a bench and eat your fish and chips and debate whether or not to pay $3 for the bottled water.
Inevitably, in both instances, there is a piece in the batch which is a thumb-sized piece of batter with no fish in it, and/or a piece that looks weird and maybe a little gross but you eat it anyway. The real downside to both these memories is that I’m sure fish cooked this way is just not good for you.
The Starfish Gluten Free Battered Cod is like the love-child of the Hawthorne Fish House and the unhealthy touristy battered fish, in that you don’t feel like you’re eating something horrifyingly unhealthy when you eat this fish, but you also get some of the real battered fish flavor and feeling. We cooked ours in the oven and we got excited pretty early because they smelled good.
The cod is nut free, soy free, milk free, egg free, and wheat free. It also has no transfats (yay!) Ingredients: Cod, Water, Yellow Corn Flour, Rice Flour, Modified Corn Starch, Salt, Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate), Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Canola Oil. The package states that the Canola oil is non-GMO. Sodium per serving is around 450 mg, which is a little on the heavy side. It’s nice to find processed food that has such a short list of ingredients.
Here’s what comes in the box. The fish looks great. It ended up being seven pieces. The box says it’s 10 ounces and that it has three servings. This ended up being the correct portion size for us.
Something that is really awesome about the Gluten Free Battered Cod is that the fish pieces are whole, instead of being glued-together fish product. When you break the fish apart, it comes apart along the grain of the fillet. The batter cooks up crispy. The fish is flaky and light. Our fish came out a little on the light side instead of being golden, but our oven is kind of strange like that. We ate it both alone and in sandwiches with some tartar sauce and cabbage, and it was excellent! It’s as close as we have found to the real thing, and it’s gluten free!
I’m kind of embarrassed to say that I didn’t get a photo of the final product. I’ll have to take photos the next time we make these and then post them. We don’t currently have info on what steps the manufacturer is taking to make sure there isn’t cross-contamination, but we have emailed them and will post the answer when we hear from them. A look at the Starfish website would indicate that they are concerned about quality. Starfish Gluten Free Battered Fish is available in Cod, Haddock, and Halibut. They are availbale to Whole Foods stores across the country.
We want to know: Have you tried the Starfish Gluten Free Battered Cod? We looked online for other reviews but only found press releases. Did you like them? Do you have a favorite fried fish? We’re still looking for awesome gluten free fish and chips in Portland Oregon. Let us know!
Times we have visited: 1 (So your experience may vary.)
Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Price compared to “regular”: Still researching