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.
Though not religious, my grandparents have always been ‘fish on a Friday’ sort of people. While this traditional approach doesn’t necessarily resonate with me, the idea of consuming fish once a week is certainly attractive. I won’t bore you with the details here, but seafood is generally relatively rich in vitamins and minerals. In particular, oily fish like sardines or mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can improve your general health and wellbeing. Of course, fish is also fairly delicious so this recipe is something of a win-win situation.
Sardine Fritters are a fantastic way to make use of tinned fish. Quick and flavoursome, these small fritters are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and make a fantastic side-dish or main course. Indeed, they make a fantastic filling for wraps and are arguably even better on their own served alongside a wedge of lime and dipping-pot of aioli or mayonnaise.
• 3 tins of sardines in oil or brine (120g or 84g drained per tin)
• 2 eggs
• 2 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
• 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
• 2 tbsp sesame seeds
• ½ tsp chilli flakes
• 5 tbsp white breadcrumbs
• a twist of black pepper
• cheap oil for frying
1. Drain and transfer the sardines to a large mixing bowl. Break the fish up with a fork, beat in the eggs and tip in the remaining ingredients (not the oil).
2. Heat around an inch of flavourless oil – sunflower works well – in a wok or frying pan until hot enough (test this by frying some breadcrumbs). Fry the fritters in balls of roughly an inch in diameter until golden brown.
Cost: As mentioned in the first paragraph, tins or sardines are incredibly cheap at a maximum of around 50p each. This means that you should be able to recreate this recipe for no more than about £2.30 – a wonderful price for a flavoursome and simple meal.