Ever have one of those days where you get up feeling like a battered fish nugget? Like waking up from the twilight zone, where you ask yourself, "what happened? where am I? what am I doing? who am I?" Perhaps the night before, you were out swimming with your fish friends and having a good ole time. And then you wake up after a night of intense fun or several nights, or a week, or three years - don't know how much time as passed exactly except that it has passed - hardly recognizable, battered, and ready to be eaten. Like when you finally consciously realize what stands before you, perhaps in a not-so-sunshiny kind of way.
Like Walter White in Breaking Bad, which I finally finished (although A would dispute that I actually watched it with full attention. Without spoilers and whatnot because I am totally that person who needs to know what happens to get me through the scary parts. Sad but unfortunately true). Walter White is most definitely a battered fish nugget, particularly when he faces who he really is. Have I lost you yet?
Let me get back to the subject of fish nuggets. Fish nuggets have kind of a nostalgic feel for me, kind of like pizza bagels, pizza rolls, basically any bulk frozen food you can get from Costco and heat up at a moment's notice. While I was still young and unable to fend for myself, whenever we were hungry and needed to fend for ourselves, we were told to pop a few of these in the toaster oven. Those particular fish sticks happened to remind me of the biweekly offerings at the school cafeteria. Notice I said nostalgic but not fond. :P
Anyhoo. Our friend J had these in her freezer, so we said why not? Alaskan pollock. Probably a white meat fish that hopefully doesn't come out too fishy. I suppose you can make just about any food palatable after battering and frying it.
Actually these weren't bad at all. I think the lack of crispness was more due to user error rather than actual product. If we had been motivated enough to flip these halfway through baking, they would have crisped up even more. These were nice and meaty and indeed not too fishy thanks to the pollack. They really did stick a fillet in there, which you can see in each piece. These were definitely more fish than batter, which is what I desire in a fish nugget. There's nothing worse than battered or fried fish that turns out to be more batter than fish. And these were pretty good and certainly much better than anything I had during my childhood. Certainly better than that McDs "fillet o' fish."
So I guess being a battered fish nugget isn't necessarily a bad thing - if it turns out there's some real substance under that batter. So yes, when life makes you a battered fish nugget, embrace it. Crisp up. Life gets better. Or worse. But if it gets worse, find yourself some reliable chips. And maybe a zesty dipping sauce. By that I mean friends and community. A battered fish nugget can only carry on as its battered self for so long. Bring on the fish 'n chips.
$3.99 for a 16oz package. Not bad to keep in your freezer.
TL;DR: Trader Joe's Battered Fish Nuggets. Battered but not beaten. Deliciously meaty but not overly fishy. 7 out of 10.