- 12 fresh sardines, scaled
- 4 tbsp Italian 00 plain flour
- 1 large egg, blended with 2tbsp milk
- 125g dried breadcrumbs
- About 2tbsp sunflower oil.
For the minted chilli butter:
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 3tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
- 2 spring onions or peeled shallots, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
- 1 small fresh red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
Cut the heads from the sardines and, using scissors, cut along the underside of the fish. Clean, gut and open out flat. Cut the backbone at the tail end and remove. Separate the two fillets on each so that you have 24 small pieces of fish. Wash the pieces and dry on some paper towel.
Coat the sardine pieces in flour, dip in the egg mixture, then coat with breadcrumbs. Cover and chill.
To make the minted chilli butter, put the butter, mint, spring onions or shallots, garlic, chilli and some pepper in a bowl and mix well. Place the butter on a pieces of cling film and roll into a log shape. Refrigerate.
Heat the oil and one third of the minted chilli butter in a large frying pan and cook the sardine fillets for 2 minutes on each side or until golden.
Serve the sardines topped with a slice of the remaining minted chilli butter.