Recipe courtesy of Juliana Malfitano

Fried Sardines with Spicy Dipping Sauce and Fried Herbs

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 25 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Spicy Dipping Sauce:

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

1/4 cup chopped Calabrian chiles or other red chiles

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 lime, juiced

Freshly ground black pepper

Fried Sardines:

12 fresh sardines

1/2 cup flour

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 eggs

1 cup breadcrumbs

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed

1/2 cup capers, drained and dried

1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves

Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. For the sauce: In a food processor, combine the sour cream, yogurt, chiles, honey, parsley, salt, lime juice and black pepper, and process until blended and mostly smooth. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  2. For the sardines: Rinse the sardines and pat dry. Place the flour in a bowl and season it with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon water. Place the breadcrumbs in another bowl. Add 2 to 3 sardines to the flour and toss until lightly coated. Shake off the excess flour. Dip the sardines in the egg mixture, then in the breadcrumbs to coat. Place the breaded sardines on a wire rack. Repeat this process for the remaining sardines.
  4. Heat 1/2 cup of the oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. In batches, fry the sardines in one layer, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and fry on the other side until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Place the fried sardines on paper towels and season with salt. Repeat for the remaining sardines, adding more oil to the pan if needed.
  5. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Fry the capers and parsley until crisped, about 1 minute.
  6. Plate the sardines and top with some of the chile sauce and fried capers and parsley. Serve with the remaining chile sauce on the side and some lemon wedges.
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