Thursday, April 2, 2009

Fried Sardines with Horta

Sardines were the cheapest fish in Japan when I was a kid. Yet, they are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, calcium and protein. My mother prepared sardine sashimi, sardine tempera, sardine teriyaki and grilled, broiled, and backed, etc, to try my sisters and me to eat this nutritious food. However, I did not like them. I remember each time when I see them on our dinner table I was immediately disappointed and lost my appetite. After more then a decade of not living in Japan I miss sardines very much. Especially now through the early summer when sardines are in season I want badly this fish. Then I found the ones in Whole Foods Market. They were from Portugal this morning. If the eyes of a fish are transparent and its gills are red, the fish is fresh. So I observed them very carefully. They were not super fresh but considering of coming all the way from Portugal, it was reasonably fresh. Therefore, my husband and I decided to try 4 pieces of the sardines. Later we deeply regretted. Yes, we were very sorry not to buy more of these tasty fishes! I simply fried the fishes with salt, freshly ground black pepper and oregano and sprinkled lemon juice. This dish with horta reminds me beautiful summer days in Greece. I ate the sardines’ bones and heads. My mother won’t believe me eating like this!
4 sardines
½ cup all-purpose flour
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Remove guts, gills and scales and wash the sardines well.
2. Season with salt, pepper and oregano. Dredge the sardines in the flour and coat well.
3. Heat the olive oil in a fry pan and fry the sardines until they become brown.
4. Transfer to plates and sprinkle the lemon juice. Serve with horta!

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