Fetta- and dill-stuffed sardines fried in chilli flour

Fetta- and dill-stuffed sardines fried in chilli flour

By
From
Turquoise
Serves
4
Photographer
Lisa Cohen and William Meppem

Sardines are hugely popular in Turkey, eaten fried, stuffed, wrapped in vine leaves or grilled over charcoal. I always think that their oily texture and flavour needs to be subdued by strong accompanying flavours. Here I use salty fetta combined with chilli and herbs – it works a treat. Enjoy them as a starter with a glass or two of chilled rakı.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
8 sardines, filleted and butterflied
1/2 cup plain flour
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon hot paprika
50ml olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Fetta and dill stuffing

Quantity Ingredient
180g fetta, crumbled
1 long red pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated
1/2 teaspoon dried mint
2 tablespoons dill, finely chopped
2 tablespoons mint leaves, shredded
1 small red bullet chilli, seeded and finely diced

Method

  1. To make the stuffing, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mash with a fork to a smooth, homogeneous paste.
  2. Open out the sardine fillets and lie them skin-side down on your work surface. Make a 2 cm long incision along the natural seam, cutting right through the skin. This will stop the fish from bursting open when you fry it. Smear a tablespoon of the stuffing along one side of the fish. Close the fish and squeeze gently to seal. Repeat with the remaining sardines.
  3. Mix the flour and spices together. Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan. Season the sardines with salt and pepper, then dust them lightly with the seasoned flour. Fry the sardines, four at a time, over a medium heat for around a minute on each side, or until golden brown.
Tags:
Turquoise
Malouf
Greg
Lucy
Turkish
Turkey
Mediterranean
European
Middle Eastern
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