EDITOR’S NOTE: As of 2019 these fillets are now being sold under the new Aldi private label, Fremont Fish Market. They otherwise appear to be the same product, though.
Sometime in the spring, grocers and restaurants suddenly explode with fish, to say nothing of the whole fish fry phenomenon. The reason is Lent, a practice in some segments of Christianity (including, but not limited to, Catholicism) that includes forgoing meat — animals who live on land — on Fridays.
Aldi has the faithful covered, in both the cold and frozen sections. Some are Regular Buys, but the grocer also brings a few Special Buys into the fray. Like this one.
Sea Queen Beer Battered Fish Fillets come out of the frozen Special Buy section. The ones we spotted were in a pouch-style packaging, in a pack of 10 fillets. The leading ingredients include pollock fillets, rice flour, canola oil, water, wheat flour … and beer.
The pack only includes one method of cooking: conventional oven. (Sorry, deep fryer owners.) The instructions call for preheating the oven to 425 degrees, placing the frozen fish on a shallow baking pan, and baking for 14 minutes. Then, you turn over the fillets and bake them for an additional 9-11 minutes, or until golden brown. The instructions add that the fillets should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
A couple of tips. One, since the total cook time, not including preheating, is 23-25 minutes — and since there are no alternative cooking options — you’ll need to leave yourself a bit of time to make these. Two, consider lining your baking surface with foil; the breading is a bit of a chore to clean off a pan and foil makes it much easier.
As a general rule, I expect beer battered foods to be better than their normal battered counterparts, and I have to say, I was not disappointed. These are excellent, especially when paired with tartar sauce. The batter is crispy and flaky, with a great taste, and the fish inside is tender and also flaky. My only regret is that I didn’t have chips to go with them.
If you’re on a Lenten diet — and even if you’re not — the Sea Queen Beer Battered Fish Fillets are a very good option for an entree. Just make sure you leave a little time to cook them. Definitely recommended.