Something I Ate: Seafood with Sauces

fish_tartar_500After Ivar’s sent some samples of tartar sauce and cocktail sauce, my partner and I decided to speed over to the seafood section to prepare food for sauce tasting.

First up was fish, sans chips. Fresh, wild-caught cod deep-fried with a panko coating would be the perfect way to test the tartar sauce. My partner dove in as I readied a lemon squeeze, and she quickly screamed out a warning: “No lemon, no lemon.”

Turns out this was a new Zesty Lemon Tartar Sauce, already packed with enough citrus punch. More disconcerting, though, is that it was missing enough of the cucumbers, capers, or other relish-like elements that I crave in adding texture to tartar sauce. Plus, it lacked bite that horseradish would provide. This tasted more like a lemony mayonnaise.

King crab would be a simple way to sample the cocktail sauce, which I soon realized was the new Spicy Ginger Lime Cocktail Sauce. The ginger was prominent and interesting, though not necessary for me. Lime makes sense, and luckily was less prominent than the lemon was in the tartar sauce. As for spicy, that simply wasn’t happening.

Both the tartar sauce and the cocktail sauce would benefit from a bit more horseradish. In fact, after seeing that water and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are the two leading ingredients in the cocktail sauce, I’d recommend making your own (which would likely mean making your own ketchup, unless you find one without corn sugar HFCS). Note that the “Original Recipe” cocktail sauce doesn’t designate its corn syrup as high fructose (you can ponder that), but it does contain MSG, if that’s a concern for you.

Ivar’s is a Seattle institution, much-beloved for many valid reasons. These two sauces serve as a reminder for me to eat more seafood, but also remind me that I prefer to personally prepare the foods that are normally found in the inside aisles of a supermarket.

First published on TheSunbreak.com on October 1, 2010.

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