Well well, A Man is going to be pleased not to be at home tonight!
He’s at his work Christmas do, and is staying at a colleague’s for the night, so I have the house to myself. What better excuse to cook a mountain of little fishies? I had some sprats in the freezer, so had them with a nice salad for my tea and may possibly have made the house smell like fish… Oh well, he won’t be home till tomorrow night!
Sprats are small oily fish with a fairly mild flavour. They’re sustainable and almost criminally cheap when in season. You can eat them whole; head, bones and all but I filleted these ones as I had so many that it seemed a shame to fill myself up on the jumpy bits. I think next time I’d probably grill them rather than fry, as they’re oily enough that the flour would turn to batter whilst the oil cooked out, but they still tasted very good – you’d especially like it if you’re a fan of whitebait. No photo of the cooked sprats – they looked more presentable when raw 🙂 This was a really quick meal to cook – the time was in filleting the fish, which (as I’ve stated) is far from necessary, and only took around 20 minutes anyway. Great news for someone who’s spent 7 hours sitting behind a cash desk today!
If you’re interested in eating fish sustainably, have a gander as the FishFight website.
Sprats and Salad
- Cut the heads off the sprats if desired, and remove the guts through a slit along the belly. If you have the time and inclination, you can also remove the spine.
- Season a plate of flour (I used salt, pepper and tarragon) and coat the sprats in the flour.
- Make up a salad before you cook the fish as they don’t take very long. I had lettuce, cucumber, pepper and the leftover braised red cabbage which was brilliant to cut through the oily fish.
- Heat up some oil and fry the sprats in batches, or cook under a medium grill, until the fish is cooked and the batter has crisped up.
- Serve with the salad and something to dip them in (I had leftover dips from the weekend – sour cream + chive and onion + garlic dips worked very well.