Reduced-Fat Oven-Fried Fish with Tartar Sauce
How do you crisp oven-fried fish without the fat? We battled mushy fish and soggy coatings to find out.
Why This Recipe Works
While developing our Reduced-Fat Oven-Fried Fish with Tartar Sauce recipe, we quickly discovered that delicate, flaky fish like cod or haddock release far too much liquid during cooking, which prevented the crumbs from crisping. Firm, meaty halibut held its shape and stayed comparatively dry. Adding a strong barrier of tartar sauce, spices, egg whites, and flour helped seal in liquid, keeping the crumb coating crisp. Applying bread crumbs only on top of the fish maintained the iconic crunch, but saved calories and eliminated the problem of a mushy coating on the bottom. Replacing classic tartar sauce with a mixture of low-fat mayonnaise, pickles, shallots, capers, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice cut calories and fat but didn’t skimp on flavor. In total, traditional recipes have 660 calories, 51 grams of fat, and 5.5 grams of saturated fat per serving (two 3-ounce fillets and one 3-tablespoon serving of tartar sauce). Our changes brought the numbers down to 260 calories, 7.5 grams of fat, and only half a gram of saturated fat.
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