Sardines are an absolute winner in my book. They are cheap, plentiful, and lend themselves to almost any kind dish you can think of. They are also super healthy and good for you. In saying that though, these are crumbed then fried until golden and delicious. I like to butterfly them for this recipe, simply remove the head and pull any innards out that come away with it, slice up the underbelly, fan out, and remove the spine with the tail. Or you can ask your fishmonger to do it for you, and some even sell sardines already butterflied. Don’t freak out at all the tiny bones, they are entirely edible. From there it’s a simple dip into flour, egg, and crumbs before they hit the pan and are cooked in just a few minutes.
- fresh sardines, scales removed and butterflied
- a little plain flour
- 2 eggs, beaten and seasoned with salt, pepper, and finely chopped fresh parsley
- breadcrumbs, Panko are great for extra crunch
- oil for shallow frying
- to serve: lemon wedges or tartare sauce
1. Take the butterflied sardines and dust them in the flour, shaking off any excess. Dip into the egg wash, allowing any extra to drip off then coat well with crumbs, pressing them on well.
2. Heat the oil in a frypan to a high heat, and fry on each side for a few minutes until golden and crispy. Serve with a nice garden salad and fresh lemon wedges.