Sardines with Spicy Breadcrumbs

Sardines with Spicy Breadcrumbs

Though less is more when it comes to squeaky-fresh seafood and albariño, the wine is not too pristine to embrace a few migas, crisply fried spicy breadcrumbs that go so well with plump sardines. Have some in the freezer so you can clear up the remains of a good loaf in this typical Atlantic seaboard recipe.

Wine recommendation:

Albariño, naturally.

Serves 2-4 as a starter


  • 4 whole sardines, filleted (press flat and remove backbone, or sweet-talk your fishmonger)
  • 100g coarse breadcrumbs – save a crust to test the oil temperature
  • A generous pinch mild smoked paprika
  • A clove garlic, crushed
  • 1tbsp chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • A small egg
  • About 1ltr sunflower oil for deep frying


Heat the oil in a pan or deep fat fryer – there should be enough to submerge the fish.

Combine the breadcrumbs with the paprika, garlic and parsley, season to taste and lay flat on a large plate. Beat the egg and place in a wide, shallow bowl.

Trim the sardine fillets nicely and dust with flour, using a flour shaker. One by one dip them into the beaten egg then roll around in the crumbs until each is generously coated.

Once the oil is hot enough to brown a crust of bread fairly swiftly, lower the sardines into the pan. Fry for 3-5 minutes, until the crumbs are golden and crisp.

Drain on kitchen paper and serve with a dollop of lemon mayonnaise.

Janet Wynne Evans

November 2012

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