My fish monger, Aloha in Westlands, had sardines. Actually, he often has fresh sardines but I rarely buy them. So, for a change I decided to make fry sardines with bread crumbs and Parmesan.
I asked the fish-monger to butterfly the sardines. It is simple and a job better done by him. He cuts off the head, open the sardine from the belly and remove all the entrails and the bones. You need about 4 sardines per portion. Please, cook fresh fish the same day you buy it, if the fish is frozen then rush to your house and stuff it in the freezer until ready to use. Quantity is for 2 portions.
- 8 butterflied sardines
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup of milk
- 1 cup of bread crumbs
- ½ Parmesan cheese – A good quality Parmesan is necessary for this dish
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Oil for frying.
- Have 3 plates ready
- 1 plate with flour
- 1 plate with the egg mix with the milk
- 1 plate with bread crumb, grated Parmesan, pepper and salt. Parmesan is salty so do not add too much salt
- Coat the sardines with the flour in plate 1 and shake off excess
- Dip in plate 2
- Coat the sardines in plate 3
- Let the breaded sardines rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. The cold sets the coating
- Fry fish until brown. Yep, the cheese will give it a dark color.
Tips – I served this dish with kachumbari and sometimes as an accompaniment to ratatouille. It is a nice, fast and easy to make summery dish. To stimulate your creativity add chili flakes to the bread crumbs, paprika for a rich dark color or corn meal to further enhance the crunch. You are not obligated to add Parmesan but it is a nice addition.