Take a peek into our cupboards and you’ll almost always find one or two tins of sardines on stock. It’s a very versatile fish and particularly frugal from a tin. However, a certain something is lost in translation; fresh sardines are among my favourite fish. Oily and packed with flavour, they may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Baked Fresh Sardines are a treat.
Fish can be an incredibly tricky food to incorporate into a frugal diet. Aside from mackerel – which is becoming more expensive – and other lesser known fish, most well-sourced fish is uncomfortably pricey. There are usually ways around expense, however, and using tinned fish is a good example of that. With three tins of sardines (£1.50) you can make up to 20 of these Sardine Fritters, which make a delicious and time effective meal.
Fish is something only very rarely eaten in our house. One reason for this is because it tends to be relatively expensive. However, one must remember that there are always cheap ways of eating most things (see my advice section). For instance, if one is looking for a fillet of succulent white fish, why not use coley instead of cod? There is always a reasonably priced alternative to that which is most in vogue. Trout is much cheaper than salmon and one must never forget the varieties that most don’t like the look of, such as gurnard. Remember, in the world of fish, it doesn’t have to look good to taste good; use the misplaced shallowness of other’s to your advantage.
This week is truly a week of firsts; so far you’ve witnessed my first fair weather soup and now you are being treated to my first mackerel recipe of the summer. Mackerel is probably the commonest fish found in British seas – they are so simple to catch once midsummer rolls in. I’ll admit that it isn’t yet mackerel season and that I didn’t catch this particular specimen myself, but mackerel is reasonably plentiful all year round if one has a boat. Indeed, this fish, which is more than enough for one hungry customer, cost exactly £1 and was of a rather fetching quality. In actual fact, as you might imagine, it played the main role in this lunch which turned out to be, unequivocally, the best fish dish I’ve ever eaten. You may call me big-headed, but I’m simply stating the facts. That reminds me, never buy “fresh” fish from Spanish supermarkets.
Seaside towns like Aberystwyth are known for their good quality chip shops, and what could be better than sitting on the lovely promenade, watching the sun set, eating a fillet of freshly battered cod? As such, when I eat oven chips and frozen fish fingers I always feel a little empty because although what’s in front of me may be cheap, it isn’t particularly tasty.
Hello! I'm Nick, frugal food enthusiast and curator of frugalfeeding, a food blog about eating good, well-sourced food as economically as possible.