• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Holly Moore

McDonald's Filet-O-Fish

116 posts in this topic

Holly, I live half a block from a McDonalds, so I'll stop by soon and get the answers to these crucial questions.

Who doesn't? :raz::laugh:


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Holly, I live half a block from a McDonalds, so I'll stop by soon and get the answers to these crucial questions.

Who doesn't? :raz::laugh:

Do you have a Starbucks across the street from said McDonalds?

I do.. :cool:


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not a fan of tartar sauce.  Should I order one sans sauce to try it out?  If I could get cocktail sauce on it instead, I would be all set.

What's the point? You gotta have the true experience or none at all.

I join those now suddenly craving deep fat fried fish.


I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I join those now suddenly craving deep fat fried fish.

To quote docsconz, "Who doesn't?"

I personally prefer the Burger King "Big Fish" f/k/a "The Whaler" to the Filet-o-Fish (at least the regular Filet-o-Fish, the Deluxe Filet-o-Fish - with lettuce and a better bun - wasn't bad).

Interesting factoid, according to Wikipedia, is that in non-English speaking countries, the Filet-o-Fish is called FishMac, McFish or Fish Filet. I am skeptical, however, of the Wikipedia claim that a Filet-o-Fish or McFish or whatever has only 400 calories. Every one that I've ever been served always had at least 400 calories of "tartar sauce" on board.

FWIW, the Wikipedia site states that "The Filet-O-Fish contains a breaded fish patty made mostly from pollock and/or hoki[citation needed], half a slice of processed cheese and tartar sauce, on a steamed bun."

I think another name for "Hoki" is whiting, if so, I'm not surprised that it has replaced cod in the Filet-o-fish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I join those now suddenly craving deep fat fried fish.

To quote docsconz, "Who doesn't?"

Interesting factoid, according to Wikipedia, is that in non-English speaking countries, the Filet-o-Fish is called FishMac, McFish or Fish Filet. I am skeptical, however, of the Wikipedia claim that a Filet-o-Fish or McFish or whatever has only 400 calories. Every one that I've ever been served always had at least 400 calories of "tartar sauce" on board.

You are right. Wikipedia is wrong. The whole sandwich has 380 calories.

That's according to McDoanld's own website

http://app.mcdonalds.com/bagamcmeal?process=item&itemID=5926

Of course, that assumes a sandwich with the proper amount of sauce (which is 90 calories of that 380).

Edit to add:

As far as the fish goes, here is what the McDonalds website says about that

Our Filet-O-Fish sandwich is made from white fish from the cold, deep waters of the Pacific Ocean and Bering, Baltic and North Seas. We take pride in the fact that the quality standards we use when preparing fish far surpass federal requirements.

http://www.mcdonalds.com/usa/eat/quality0/meat.html


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I first arrived back in Japan in 2004, McD's was still making the filet-o-fish to order. Within the last year or two, however, I've noticed that the FoF is made the same way their burgers are made. And the buns just get heated in the microwave along with the rest of the sandwich.

At least they still fry the apple pies in Japan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the rare occasions that I eat at McDonalds or Burger King in order to secure a freshly made product I order it with changes from the norm. If I'm ordering a burger at McD's I specify without ketchup. At Burger King I ask for it "off the Broiler" thus ensuring that it hasn't been standiing around. Its well worth the extra minute or two wait.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right--porkpa beat me to it. You order the Filet-O-Fish sans cheese--that way they have to make it fresh. And who wants cheese on their fish anyway?

Add me to the list of those who as a child exclusively ordered FOF. What a discriminating bunch we are!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For McDonald's, at least, ordering a burger with no ketchup doesn't get you a fresh burger. Just mean it comes out of the universal holding bin to be built just for you.

For me, at least, McDonald's replacing the Wolf Grill and the round bun dressing table with clam shell grills and an assembly line is akin to Starbuck's getting rid of their manual espresso machines. Takes all the soul out of their products.


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

Twitter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's good to know that other people don't mind/like the Filet-o-Fish. :smile: It's one of the only ways I survive being pushed into a fast-food-eating situation when traveling (usually traveling upstate). My boyfriend claims it's supposed to be the least healthy of all of their food (supposedly he heard that somewhere), but looking at the nutrition info... it's not the best by any means, but it's certainly not the worst. And I think that it being an actual piece of fish, and not composed of ground [insert animal meat here], I try to think of it as a bit less sketchy..


"I know it's the bugs, that's what cheese is. Gone off milk with bugs and mould - that's why it tastes so good. Cows and bugs together have a good deal going down."

- Gareth Blackstock (Lenny Henry), Chef!

eG Ethics Signatory

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's good to know that other people don't mind/like the Filet-o-Fish. :smile:  It's one of the only ways I survive being pushed into a fast-food-eating situation when traveling (usually traveling upstate). My boyfriend claims it's supposed to be the least healthy of all of their food (supposedly he heard that somewhere), but looking at the nutrition info... it's not the best by any means, but it's certainly not the worst. And I think that it being an actual piece of fish, and not composed of ground [insert animal meat here], I try to think of it as a bit less sketchy..

next time you find yourself in a McDonalds, order a salad. I suggest the southwestern salad (if it's on the menu. That one vanished from the menu at a McDonalds in L.A., but it's still here at my local McDonalds in Dallas). They aren't a half bad alternative.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For McDonald's, at least, ordering a burger with no ketchup doesn't get you a fresh burger.  Just mean it comes out of the universal holding bin to be built just for you.

That may be true for burgers, but I can attest that this strategy does reliably yield a dangerously hot, bursting-with-scalding-oil Filet-O-Fish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Successful as the Filet-o-Fish has become, it was not Ray Kroc's first choice for a Lenten menu. That honour belongs to the Hula Burger, which consisted of a pineapple slice on a bun. Great for vegetarians, sure, but during the subsequent McDonald's bake-off, the Filet-o-Fish outsold the Hula Burger by a multiple of about five-to-one.

I haven't seen pineapple on the McDonald's menu since. :hmmm:


There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a test product - ham sandwich. Sliced .Hormel Cure 81 ham topped with a grilled pineapple slice. Can't remember if it ever made it out of the lab, but was a good combination. I think we also looked at presliced ham.

A positive point for ham, at the time, was that it could be finished off in a microwave. Not the case with roast beef.


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

Twitter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Successful as the Filet-o-Fish has become, it was not Ray Kroc's first choice for a Lenten menu.  That honour belongs to the Hula Burger, which consisted of a pineapple slice on a bun.  Great for vegetarians, sure, but during the subsequent McDonald's bake-off, the Filet-o-Fish outsold the Hula Burger by a multiple of about five-to-one.

...

The really weird thing about this was that apparently the grilled pineapple slice was also garnished w/all the regular burger accoutrements--cheese, pickle, salad. Yuck!


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2.  Is McDonald's still steaming the buns or are they toasted or caramelized?

I just had one (for the first time in years---I wonder how many this thread has sold) and it was not toasted or caramelized in any way. The neon color of the cheese was a bit disturbing, since I think it is even more neon than normal processed cheese, but overall it is a good sandwich. I thought the amount of tartar sauce was perfect, and if it is fully canned now they must have figured out a way to do it right because I thought it was pretty good as far as store-bought tartar sauce is concerned.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another Fillet-O-Fish sold, thanks to this thread. It was enough of an experience to post about on my blog, here if you're interested. It's too long to reprint here so I'll sum it up quickly: not nearly as good as I remember. And I think Prasantrin is right, at least in Japan, that the the FOF is not made to order. Too bad, because I have very fond memories of the sandwich.

This is a fascinating thread though, so I won't hold a grudge...


My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To follow up on my threats to go have a Fish sammie, I did indeed go pick one up on the way to work the other day.

Fish was well breaded and crispy. Bun was a bit steamed, not just cold off the counter. Definitely just a half slice of cheese under the fish as well as a decent smear of tartar on top. No discernable onions in the tartar sauce, just pickle relish or well chopped pickles.

It was exactly as I remembered it. I hadn't had one in longer than I care to admit I've been alive. It was tasty. :smile:


Edited by KatieLoeb (log)

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have joined in, too.

I have eaten very little McD's. I had my first and last Big Mac in 1977.

I do occasionally have breakfast at one in a small town I visit because theirs is the best in town which tells you something about the food in this place.

Yesterday I was shopping near one so decided to have the Filet-o-Fish. I can't complain. The fish was crispy, the bun soft and warm, cheese melted, and the tartar sauce rather bland.

If I have to have lunch at McDonald's I would probably order it again.


Edited by BarbaraY (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
next time you find yourself in a McDonalds, order a salad. I suggest the southwestern salad (if it's on the menu. That one vanished from the menu at a McDonalds in L.A., but it's still here at my local McDonalds in Dallas).   They aren't a half bad alternative.

Just came across this article. Apparently the Big Mac is a healthier alternative to the Crispy Bacon Ranch Salad. Not that anyone goes there for health, but I thought it was pretty funny.

And yes, this thread made me order a fillet o fish as well. My issue with McDonalds is not so much the initial flavour, but the flavour that stays with you four hours later.


Edited by jsmith (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A few questions for anyone now working in a McDonald's or who has worked in one within the fast few years.

1.  Does McDonald's prefry and hold the fish filets in a universal holding cabinet like they do their burgers?  Or, are they still batch fried as needed?

2.  Is McDonald's still steaming the buns or are they toasted or caramelized?

3.  Does the tartar sauce arrive at the McDonald's totally premixed or is the process similar to the old way - mayonnaise base, relish, fresh chopped onion combined and prepared daily?

I just had the chance to speak to the manager of one of our local McDonalds, Holly. He tells me the fish can be pre-fried with a hold time of 20 minutes. He also said the buns are steamed to order and the tartar sauce is now a premixed product. I forgot to ask if the still have the caulking guns for the tartar sauce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I should make a list, next to my shopping list on the whiteboard, on the fridge, and call it "Egullet Made Me Do It" because count one more craving inspired from this thread. I asked the old man, the other day if we could hit up McDonald's this weekend sometime during our errands, since I wanted a Filet-O-Fish. He just rolls his eyes, anymore.

I haven't gone to McD's yet, though, we hardly ever eat there. The other night, though, we found ourselves at Wendy's, and they're having a fish sandwich for Lent too, apparently. It's a cod fillet breaded with "panko" which wasn't of course. It was still extremely good. It comes with lettuce (which I left off, hot lettuce is gross) and tartar sauce. The fish itself was firm, nicely flavored, didn't seem "chopped and formed" and had a great sandy crispy breadcrumby crunch. No awesome Filet-O-Fish, for sure, but it was darn good in its own right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.