Cook This: McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish, Hacked Just in Time For Lent

April 2, 2017

Nothing heralds the return of Lent more than McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish (or Jollibee’s Tuna Pie, but that’s a different story) If getting your forehead anointed with ash or the blistering heat isn’t enough to get the message across, posters plastered around the fast food joint does well to remind that maybe you should get fish this Friday instead of a sinfully juicy slab of beef. Tempting, I know, but hold off the visit to your butcher and steer towards the fishmonger instead to make your own filet-0-fish at home.

Most of the ingredients used in this recipe calls for a short visit to your grocery, with the exception of the fish. The Alaskan Pollock or Hoki are the exact fishes used by the chain, but locally, these fish come covered in breading. As an alternative, we use gindara fillet which you can find at any grocery. The locally available alternative is fattier than the pollock and hoki, gindara breaks down easily compared to the two and doesn’t have the meaty, compact texture of the originals, but the differences are minute when the sandwich is eaten as a whole.

Cooking this recipe shouldn’t be difficult for anyone who has dipped their hands into breading. If you haven’t, remember to keep one hand dry to keep the process less messy, otherwise you’ll have clumps of soggy breadcrumbs clinging onto your fingers. Other than the breading process, the rest of the process is easy. When serving, the cheese slice is sliced in half as this is how McDonald’s traditionally serves the sandwich, but feel free to slap on the whole slice. (Or munch on the remaining half, no one will know.) Quit being scared of what goes into your favorite fast food and get cooking for a wholesome alternative where you know what’s going into your sandwich.

Filet-o-Fish Hack

Yield: 2 portions
Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Ingredients: Breadcrumbs

  • ¼ loaf white bread, crust trimmed off and cubed into 1 inch pieces

Ingredients: McDonald’s Mayonnaise

  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp dill pickles, minced finely
  • 1 tbsp pickle brine
  • ¼ tsp white sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt

Ingredients: Fish

  • 2 cups canola oil
  • 200g whitefish fillets, boneless and cut into 2 pcs
  • ½ cups flour
  • ¼ tsp salt

Ingredients: batter

  • 2 tbsp masa harina
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp paprika


  • 2 pcs soft burger buns
  • 1 pc cheese slice, cut in half


  1. To make breadcrumbs, place white bread in a food processor and pulse until the bread is broken down and has the texture of store-bought breadcrumbs. Place in container and store in fridge. You can store any leftover crumbs in freezer, this will keep for 6 months.
  2. To make batter, mix all ingredients together and whisk until completely smooth. Set aside.
  3. To make the mayonnaise sauce, mix all the ingredients and set aside in fridge.
  4. Set up a crumbing station by placing flour in a shallow bowl and mix with ¼ tsp salt, place the batter beside it and the breadcrumbs beside the batter. Dry the fish fillets with a paper towel and dredge in salted flour, dip in the batter and coat with the breadcrumbs. Place fridge in fridge until ready to cook.
  5. Place oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Heat up until hot. You can test the oil by dropping a few crumbs into the pan. If they bubble and fry then oil is ready to fry in.
  6. Shallow fry fish in oil until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain over paper towels.
  7. Cut 2 buns in half and steam in microwave for 10 seconds.
  8. Place half a slice of cheese the bottom of each steamed bun and top with some fried fish. Spoon a dollop of the mayonnaise sauce on top of fish and top with other slice of bun.
Bernice Escobar SEE AUTHOR Bernice Escobar

Bernice loves to get nerdy about food and making people hungry. In her free time, she attempts to play with her anti-social cat and fantasizes about all things sweet.

3 comments in this post SHOW

3 responses to “Cook This: McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish, Hacked Just in Time For Lent”

  1. Dez says:

    I have never seen masa harina in the supermarkets I’ve gone to. Where did you get yours?

    • Patricia Baes says:

      Hi Dez! You can find the Bob’s Red Mill brand of masa harina at Healthy Options 🙂

    • tanglad says:

      Marca Leon’s finely ground cornmeal is a great locally-produced substitute for that. Makes extra crunchy coating & super affordable, too. It’s available at some Wonderbake branches.

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