I’m always on the hunt for a killer frozen fish fillet, because I’m essentially always one the mission to recreate fast food fish sandwiches at home. Yeah, I know, Im weird.
This particular product landed in my shopping cart as a substituted item from a recent Walmart online order, the brand I wanted being out of stock, this is what arrived on my doorstep. It’s been a few years since I last tried this brand, so I was eager to refresh my memory.
The packaging for these fish fillets from Van De Kamp’s is promising. Terms like 100% whole fillets and wild caught adorn the front; golden battered fish, giving way to a flaky interior – front and center on the design.
Sadly, the final product doesn’t live up to the delicious looking packaging. While the batter does come out of the oven golden and slightly crisp, the interior of the fillet is a mushy, sludgy and slimy affair. The flaky fish, gleaming white on the box, doesn’t match the cooked reality; or at least it didn’t for me after several run throughs.
The taste wasn’t particularly terrible as such, but nor was it prominent in any fashion beyond the exterior coating. For me, it’s a pass on this one.
Van de Kamp’s Crispy Fish Fillets – what’s in the box?
Inside the cardboard packaging you’ll find ten fillets contained in a single plastic sack. Once you’ve opened this you can’t reseal it.
Van de Kamp’s Crispy Fish Fillets
Here are a few shots of the finished product, piping hot from the oven and a cross section of the fillet. After that, a couple of my favorite ways to eat a frozen fish fillet – essentially emulating a fast food fish sandwich with homemade tartar sauce and after that a healthier lavash wrap version.
Van de Kamp’s Crispy Fish Fillets cooking instructions, nutrition
When it comes to cooking, you have one effective option: roughly 25mins in the oven at 425F. While I’m usually impatient with oven cooking over microwave (which you can’t use here) cooking – I’m happy to use the oven here. After all, getting that fun crisp and crunch finish is usually impossible via the microwave.
How much are Van de Kamp’s Crispy Fish Fillets
I paid $4.97 for this box of ten fish fillets from Walmart in April 2019.
Other Van De Kamp’s products
Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC – Utah’s biggest and oldest online food magazine; I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune. I’ve worked extensively with multiple local publications from Visit Salt Lake to Salt Lake Magazine, not least helped to consult on national TV shows.
I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for the better part of fifteen years. I’m largely fueled by a critical obsession with rice, alliteration and the use of big words I don’t understand. I started Shop Smart to catalogue my adventures in the grocery store and kitchen. Follow along on Instagram too!
11 thoughts on “Review: Van de Kamp’s Crispy Fish Fillets”
These are the worst. Wish I had seen your review before purchasing them.
Thanks, though. At least I know I wasn’t imagining things.
Look, we all have different tastes! They still sell Necco wafers, don’t they? And Mountain Dew? And Dr. Pepper? And Pringles? Spaghetti out of a can? Instant rice? I wouldn’t buy half the products that are on the shelves of my large and well stocked nationally known supermarket.
However, when I bake these “fish filets” in the oven, and put them in a toasted bun, with my own tartar sauce (mayo, onions, dill pickles and pimento) they make a very good lunch. Just because YOU think they are awful, does NOT make them not good. I have seen this brand rated as “tops” in other competitions. For someone who has a yearning for a fish sandwich for lunch, they are very good!
By the way, I was raised in a state that is well known for its lakes and fish, and now reside in a state that is famous for its salmon and crab.
I have also flown to Alaska to fish. I have cleaned fish with scales. I have deboned small fish for babies. I have my own pole and know how to fish. And, fresh IS the best. However, this product serves a purpose (which is why they sell millions of units every year).
Absolutely CJ, this is just my opinion of course. We all have different tastes and that is fab. I too crave a fish sandwich quite often, if you ever see the product I’d recommend the Trident ultimate Fish Stick, its really quite great:
These are horrible. All’s they are is deep fried batter. Couldn’t find any fish. I had cooked two. They along with the rest in the box went in the garbage.
Definitely not my favorite either Vicki!
I totally agree! Didn’t find any fish, just greasy deep fried batter, crispy on the outside, mush on the inside. The remaining “filets” to the garbage.
Total crap. The fish sticks are nothing but a Sliver of mush that is breaded. They are about a third or less than the picture on the box. The fillets are maybe a quarter inch of something. They too are about one third the size of the fillet pictured on the box. There is twice as much breading than fish. The “fish”, is something grey and slimy. Not white like the package. I have no idea how they cut this so called “fish” to even bread it. I spent 10.00 total buying this crap to try it out. One box of the sticks and one box of the fillets. I should have learned my lesson after buying the sticks but thought maybe the fillets might be better. I don’t like to waste food and have eaten crap in the past because I paid for it. This I had to throw out. I have no idea why the food administration would allow this. I normally don’t write reviews because I figure I just won’t buy the product again, but this is down right robbery.
I agree with everyone else. Mushy, slimy, and just nasty on the inside, but almost too crispy and crunchy on the outside after cooking it exactly like the instructions say. I couldn’t even tell if they were cooked all the way because it was just mush, even though I nearly burned the outside.
Why doesn’t Van de Camps make fish kabobs anymore?
I just paid over $7 for 10 fillets. It was so mushy it was like eating fish pudding.Horrible and inedible. They should return my money and in turn I’ll return their fish or whatever it was.
The rest of mine are going to the raccoons. Nothing like they used to be.