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Author Notes: This is not a recipe that I will cook on a weekday after getting home from work. It is more of a “cooking ritual” that my partner and I will occasionally undertake on a Saturday, most likely because we are expecting a bunch of friends for dinner. Despite the fact that the recipe itself is quite easy, it takes some labor to prepare the fish. Our guests (even the ones who don’t love sardines) highly appreciate this recipe, where the intense flavor of the fish is masked by a good dose of both dried and fresh herbs. —Evangelia
Serves 6-8 persons
Ingridients & Preparation of Sardines
- 700 grams fresh sardines, cleaned and chopped in tiny pieces, heads and bones discarded
- 2 cups ripe or whole canned tomatoes, chopped in small pieces
- 1 cup onions, coarsely grated
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, or maybe more
- The zest of an unwaxed lemon, thinly grated
- 3 teaspoons Greek oregano
- Extra flour
- Frying oil
- Sardines: the fresher they are, the better they will behave at cleaning. If you don’t like cleaning fish, maybe they can do it for you at your local market. We prefer to do the cleaning at home because we somehow feel that it helps us get to know our food better.
Preparation & Cooking
- Preparation: Once the fish is clean, put it in a bowl and use your hands to mix it with the rest of the ingredients
- You might need to adjust the quantity of flour, as the right propoortion depends on the liquids of the fish, onions, and tomatoes. The result should be ma more or less sticky mass
- The smaller the pieces of the chopped ingredients, the better they will blend together
- Let the mixture rest in the fridge for a couple of hours.
- Cooking: Roll a sardine ball with your hands, then roll it in flour to give it a good coating.
- Do the same with the rest of the cakes
- Pour 1/2 inch olive oil in a frying pan on medium. The oil should be hot, but not too hot
- Add the first portion of fritters (about 8) in the pan, turning them upside down until ready. This will take 4-5 minutes.
- When cooked, place them on kitchen paper to drain the oils and contiinue with the next portion.
- Season with fresh lemon and serve warm.