Product: Sophie’s Kitchen Breaded Vegan Fish Filets – $5.99+
Hold the phone.
That, my dearest friends, is not a typo. Not at all. And to blame for this discovery is none other than grocery store heaven, Jungle Jim’s in Cincinnati, Ohio. Because it was as I was perusing the freezer section that this box jumped up and flagged me down.
Oh…it has been done before. Yves put out a Shrimp Scampi that I tried years ago…and couldn’t eat. It was disgusting. But this…this looked absolutely mouthwatering on the box. Which, I know is the entire point of marketing said items…but…really…
And since going vegetarian and then gluten-free…breaded fish filets with…I don’t know…maybe some hand cut fries…they were just a dream. A memory. A figment of my past.
NOT ANYMORE! You better believe upon spotting this box it made it’s way into my shopping basket, to the register, and then to my freezer. And for quite a few incidents, I had plans to cook them up for dinner for my roommate and I. But then…found something else to do. Something that wouldn’t require writing up a review. So, instead, I choose one of my busiest weeks to give these a try. But why not? I busted these precious little filets out in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. It was time for some oven-baked fish and chips. Good ol’ Irish fare if I do say so myself.
And I do.
So…after slicing up (by hand…no mandolin slicer here) some fingerling potatoes into shoestring fries, I got those working in the oven and pulled out this box from the freezer.
Sophie’s Kitchen. Apparently, Sophie’s Kitchen has a wide variety of vegan seafood options out there, most of which are also gluten-free. So, if this was actually edible…maybe even delicious…then perhaps I could indulge a little more. I’ve found two stores in the area that carry Sophie’s Kitchen products…and of which at least half in the freezer are gluten-free and vegan. YAY!!
These were actually really simple to prepare. Place filets on baking sheet. Put in oven set for 375°F. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the filets are a golden brown on top. Nothing could be easier. And I couldn’t believe when I took two of the four patties in the package out…how much they truly resembled fish filets. Very reminiscent of my seafood days.
I can tell you this as well…they smelled amazing as they baked up in the oven too. It was amazing. I was actually anticipating eating these. It was the first time since the Yves incident that something vegan seafood-ish actually appealed to me.
After 15 minutes, the filets were a beautiful golden color, so I removed them from the oven, along with my shoestring fries. I plated each item on two plates, one for myself, and one for my roomie, and dinner was served. She took the first bite…and I couldn’t tell what she made of the actual filet itself. So, I took my own bite.
It’s…different. Stringy at times. The taste is really good, but the texture is…well…it reminded both my roommate and I of those cheap fish sticks you eat growing up as a kid, not really noticing the odd texture because, they’re fish sticks…they’re fun…and you can drown them in ketchup. That’s what these reminded us of. And yes…we ate them with ketchup.
Needless to say, I wasn’t exactly jumping up and down with delight over these…but they weren’t bad either. If you can get past the texture of it, then you’re golden. Flavor-wise…these are awesome. No strange fishy flavor. The breading is light, and the “fish” is basically TVP (textured vegetable protein)…which is something I’ve wanted to try now for awhile. These filets are also composed of canola oil, potato starch, organic agave nectar, sea salt, rice flakes, turmeric, white pepper, ginger, powdered cellulose and konjac powder. It actually is more appetizing than it sounds.
Nutritionally speaking, one filet will only set you back 180 calories and 8 grams of fat. Each filet packs an 8 gram protein punch and serves up 3 grams of fiber. These are also very low in sodium and totally cholesterol free. You can’t argue with those numbers.
Sophie’s Kitchen totally is ruling the vegan seafood market. Trust me. While these did have an odd texture, it was actually very nice to sit down for a meal of “fish” and chips for St. Patrick’s Day. I even made it again for dinner tonight. So, as you can see, it wasn’t overly offensive. The seasoning helps and the texture isn’t bad…it’s just…different. Stringy rather than flaky like seafood.
But…I could totally look past that.
I give major props to Sophie’s Kitchen for stepping into a niche that definitely needed some help. I can promise you this…they were successful in filling it. I hope to seek out more of their gluten-free and vegan products very soon.