Ah, I love fried sardines! For me, they are a beautiful childhood memory, when my father used to go fishing in Jesolo on a boat and come back with plenty of fish. This dish reminds me of polystyrene boxes full of sardines, my mother who gutted them thoroughly and put most of them in transparent jars covered with coarse salt and fried the remaining ones on the same evening, a unique delicacy! In our Country, sardines are cooked in different ways: fried, grilled, baked, stirred in a pan with tomatoes or a beccafico, a Sicilian tradition.
Fried sardines are a quick and easy dish that will surely taste good!
- 1 kg fresh sardines
- 100 gr “00” flour
- 30 grams cornflour
- 1 litre peanut oil
- salt q.s.
- freshly ground black pepper
Time: 30 minutes
Gutting the sardines may seem complicated, but this operation just takes a few simple steps. To do so, use only your hands to avoid ruining the very delicate meat of the sardines.
Let’s start from the head: holding it between your thumb and forefinger, bend it firmly; if you pull gently, you will be able to gut the sardine. With one finger, press the inner part and unfold it up to the tail, then remove the central spine releasing the fillets. Then, wash the sardines in cold water, being careful not to damage the meat. Let them drain and lay them on a paper towel. Now, they are ready to be cooked.
Put the peanut oil in a pan with high sides and bring it to a boil. Meanwhile, add the two flours (I use also cornflour to make breading of the sardines even more crunchy) and abundantly flour the sardines on both sides. Fry the sardines by putting them in the pan, a few at a time, fry for two or three minutes until they are golden, take them out of the pan with a skimmer and put them on a paper towel. Sprinkle the sardines with salt and pepper and serve hot with a glass of good white wine.