This is a labour of love but it is worth it. It also helps if the sun is shining and you are sharing ‘al fresco’ so this recipe is for two as a starter.


4 Fresh sardines, gutted, de-headed
1 Egg beaten
25g Parmesan cheese. grated
25g Breadcrumbs
1 tbsp Fresh herbs, chopped
25g Seasoned plain flour
1 Red Chilli,deseeded and finely sliced
Oil for frying


Butterfly the sardines by laying the fish cut side down. Press along the backbone with your thumb then turn the fish over gently removing the bone cutting at the tail keeping the tail intact with the fillet. 
Mix together the breadcrumbs, cheese, herbs and chilli then spread out on a plate, the flour onto another plate and the egg in a shallow bowl. 
Dip the fish in the flour, then the egg followed by the crumb mixture coating completely.
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the coated fish for 2 minutes each side in a frying pan or 3 or 4 minutes in a deep fat fryer.
Shake, drain on absorbent paper and serve at once with a lemon wedges.


Sometimes the tiny bones are difficult to remove. In which case use tweezers to remove any small bones that may be left behind. 

Leave the chilli seeds in for a real kick.

P.S To all males. If she doesn’t fall in love with you after this then you may have to think of moving on.