Fried sardines with a spicy pickled cucumber and red onion salad

Fried sardines with a spicy pickled cucumber and red onion salad

By
From
Leiths How to Cook
Serves
4
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
8-12 sardines
1 tablespoon red or yellow curry paste
1/2 tablespoon water
oil, for deep-frying

For the salad

Quantity Ingredient
2 cucumbers
1 teaspoon salt
150ml rice wine vinegar
30-40g palm sugar, (or brown sugar)
1 red onion
1 red chilli
handful coriander leaves
handful mint leaves

For the garnish

Quantity Ingredient
4 spring onions
2 cm piece fresh root ginger

Method

  1. To make the salad, peel and halve the cucumbers lengthways. Deseed them, using a teaspoon, and slice them on the diagonal into thin 3–4 mm slices. Put the cucumber slices in a colander set over a bowl, add the salt and toss well. Leave for about 1 hour to degorge.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the dressing, whisk together the rice wine vinegar and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Halve, peel and finely slice the red onion. Halve, deseed and finely slice the chilli. Set aside.
  3. To make the garnish, trim and finely slice the spring onions on the diagonal; peel the ginger and cut into julienne.
  4. Descale and gut the sardines, then bone them, removing the heads. In a large bowl, mix the curry paste with the ½ tablespoon water. Gently toss the sardines in the curry paste to coat as evenly as possible.
  5. Drain the cucumbers and squeeze gently to remove excess moisture, without breaking them up. Place in a large plastic food bag and add the dressing, along with the red onion and half the chilli. Make sure all the vegetables are coated in the dressing. Set aside for up to 1 hour. Heat the oven to 120°C.
  6. To fry the sardines, one-third fill a large, deep, heavy saucepan with oil and heat to 190°C, or until a small piece of bread sizzles and browns in 40 seconds. Deep-fry the fish 2 or 3 at a time until cooked, 4–6 minutes, depending on size. Remove with a slotted spoon to a tray lined with kitchen paper, to drain. Keep warm in the low oven, with the door ajar, while you deep-fry the rest.
  7. Add the coriander and mint leaves to the cucumber salad. Plate the sardines and sprinkle over the spring onions, ginger and remaining chilli. Serve with the salad.
Tags:
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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