Marie Rose Sauce with Battered Cod

Fry Sauce

About once a month, I’ll innocently be driving down the street and my car will mysteriously pull itself into a McDonalds and I suddenly find myself eating a Filet-O-Fish Sandwich. I don’t get fries, so the guilt level is minimal.

marie rose sauce with seafood

I’ve been wanting to make my own Filet-O-Fish at home so picked up a package of Safeway frozen cod filets, only to open them up to find two inch thick odd shaped chunks of fish. Most certainly would’t work for a sandwich. So I pulled out my Marie Rose Sauce with Battered Cod recipe and simply served it over some greens that were tossed with lemon juice and olive oil.

What is Marie Rose Sauce? I’ve had this recipe for years and have never asked myself that question until I sat down to write this up. Here’s what Wikipedia told me:

  • Frysauce Marie Rose sauce (known in some areas as cocktail sauce, seafood sauce, ketchyo, maychup, ketchanaise, tomayo, burger sauce, fancy sauce or dip) is a British condiment made from a blend of ketchup and mayonnaise, although it can have other ingredients as well. It is often used with seafood, and prawns in particular. Giles Coren said: “Prawn cocktail dripping with Marie Rose sauce is, probably, most symbolic of 70s cuisine. Despite popular belief, Russian dressing, although demonstrating many of the physical and chemical properties of Marie Rose, is a completely separate condiment and should be treated as such. In the United States, a similar sauce, fry sauce, is served with french fries. And in the United States and Canada, another similar sauce called Thousand Island dressing is served. Thousand Island dressing recipe reputedly originated from the Thousand Islands in Ontario, Canada.  (photo above from Wikipedia)

The recipe comes from Food and Wine Magazine. The cod filets are dusted with flour and then dipped in a batter of flour and water that’s been laced with some baking soda. It makes for a thick and luxurious pocket that browns up beautifully and seems to steam the fish inside for a flaky and moist end result.


This professional photograph comes from Food and Wine Magazine photographer Quentin Bacon. I enjoyed Googling him and browsing his website for some incredible food photography.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Marie Rose Sauce, With Battered Cod
Recipe type: Seafood
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco
  • 1¾ cups water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 quart vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 pounds skinless cod fillets, cut into 4-inch pieces
  1. In a bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the ketchup, lemon juice and Tabasco.
  2. Pour the water into a large bowl. Using a handheld electric mixer at low speed, beat in the 2 cups of flour, ½ teaspoon of salt and the baking soda. Strain the batter into another bowl.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat the oil to 360°. Line a rack with paper towels. Dust 5 pieces of cod with flour, then tap off the excess. Dip the cod in the batter, scraping the pieces lightly against the side of the bowl to remove excess batter, and add to the hot oil. Fry over moderate heat until golden and crisp, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fish to the rack. Repeat with the remaining fish and batter. Sprinkle with salt and serve at once with the sauce.

Marie Rose Sauce with battered Cod…It’s What’s for Dinner.

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  1. says

    Lea Ann, did I read right? McDonald’s???!!
    Love the first picture with the bowl. So pretty. I just made a very similar sauce (even made my own mayo) for a halibut dish the other night. Unfortunately no left overs to use for a post. My kids love battered fish, but I haven’t made it in a while. They would love this dish. Thanks!

    • says

      Did I say McDonalds???? yes. :) Kirsten, I just can’t resist their fish sandwiches. And about once a year I get a Big Mac. ahem. But to exonerate myself, I’m going to recreate it at home. As always thanks for stopping by and I do appreciate that little “scold”.

  2. Colleen says

    Recreating McD’s fish sandwich is on my things-I-want-to-do list, too. I have tried many frozen breaded fish but haven’t found any that come close. Please keep trying! Colleen

    • says

      I am going to keep trying. I thought I’d bread my own fish, probably with panko. Even tho McD’s doesn’t do that, that’s my plan. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment.

  3. says

    I must admit that I love those fish sandwiches too! That crispy fish, steamed bun, creamy tartar sauce and the off centered little piece of cheese that always annoys me just a bit, but not too much to pass them by. Love Rose Marie sauce too. Served with couple of boiled prawns on a bed of lettuce . . . pure yum.

  4. says

    Funny… I have been mixing ketchup and mayo together since I was about 7… who knew I was making Marie Rose sauce?? Love it!!!

  5. says

    I absolutely LOVE cod…my dad and I used to go up to Massachusetts every summer and go deep sea fishing for cod. Nothing beats when it is caught fresh out of the water. I never knew it was called Marie Rose sauce, you learn something new everyday!

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

    • says

      I need to buy it more often. So moist and flaky. I can’t imagine how good it tastes fresh. I had never heard of this sauce when I found the recipe at Food and Wine. Must be a regional thing. I wonder if it’s pronounced like the flower or the wine.

  6. says

    LOL about Micky Dee’s. I love those sandwiches, too. They’re perfect little fish sliders, right? When my eco-conscious grandson was about 4, he told me not to buy anything from McDonald’s because they make hamburgers from rain forests. Still, I make the little covert sandwich stop like you – about once a year. 😉

    P.S. I’m going to try this fish batter next time I make fish tacos – it sounds delcious.

    • says

      I’m thinking it would work on Fish Tacos. Did I mention that I sit in the car and eat that fish sandwich like a starved wild animal????? :) Did Liberal have a McDonalds? I can’t remember.

      • says

        Ha ha – I wolf mine in the car, too.
        Liberal had an A&W and a Sonic out near the drive-in. but no McD. The A&W was the “in-place” but I really loved Sonic burgers and still do.

        • says

          I like Sonic burgers too Vickie. I’ve been wanting to stop at an A&W for a Rootbeer. It’s been years. And of course I’d have to have a chili dog.

  7. says

    I rarely go to McDonald’s but the other day I was passing it and thought I have to have one of their sundaes…. I ordered a strawberry sundae and woofed it down within 5 minutes. Sometimes McDonald’s just does the trick.

    I have no doubt that McDonald’s filet o fish sandwich could not be compared to the battered fried cod filets you made- Beautiful.


    • says

      Thank you Velva. As long as I’m not there everyday, I don’t mind a McDonald’s visit every once in a while. and omg, I’m a sucker for those fries.

  8. says

    I get that same craving every year during Lent. Will have to give this a try with the haddock that my dear wife just bought. Thanks for sharing!

  9. says

    After many years of thinking I didn’t like cod, I tried it and decided I do like it – very much! I look forward to trying this recipe for cod and the Mary Rose sauce which I hadn’t heard of before. This would make a delicious filet-o-fish sandwich!

  10. says

    Love the first photo of the bowl and the sauce dripping down the side. Wow, what a great shot. Thanks for the explanation of the sauce. It’s amazing how many different names a sauce can go by.

    BTW, we get McD cravings too. Mostly my husband for the quarter pounder with cheese. Me, I miss their chicken strips that have magically disappared off of the menu. Probably because they tasted too much like the real thing :)

    • says

      Thanks for the compliment on that photo Sam. I didn’t get good pics of the fish, so decided to feature that one. I don’t think I’ve ever had the chicken strips. Probably cold never give up that fish sandwich thing to give them a try.

  11. says

    Ah, prawn sauce. After 4 years in England that’s what I know this by! Always enjoyed it. That guys photography is amazing, I see he copied your running egg shot 😉

    • says

      I’ll have to go back and look if Wikipedia included prawn sauce as a name. I agree with Karen. This sauce gets the award for the most names.

  12. says

    Alexis is fond of those fish sandwiches too, everyone has to have their guilty pleasures, right? Gotta try my own version of that marie rose sauce.

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