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Home >> AGEMONO - DEEP-FRIED Recipes

DEEP-FRIED SARDINES

INGREDIENTS :

4 fresh sardines, 2 stalks of celery, 16 shiso leaves, 1 medium green pepper, some chrysanthemum, 2 cups of cornstarch, 5 cups of
oil, some salt.

SEASONINGS:
2 tsp lemon juice, 2 tsp mirin, 2 tsp sake, 2 tsp salt.

PREPARATION :

1. Rinse sardines in running water for a few minutes; Cut off the fins with a pair of kitchen scissors; Hold the sardines firmly by the tail and scrape off the scales with a fish scaler from the tails to the heads; Rinse the sardines in running water for a while; Slit open the belly from the tail to the head, starting at the site of anal fin; Gently pull out the innards; Rinse the cavity thoroughly; Pat dry with kitchen paper; Cut off the heads; Cut open the sardines out like a book with the skin side uppermost; Press down firmly wiht your fingers right along the length of the backbone; Turn the sardines over and gently pull the backbone away from the flesh; Remove any fine bones with a pair of tweezers; Rinse in running water briefly; Pat dry with kitchen paper; Marinate in seasonings for 45 minutes.
2. Pull off the hard vein of celery from the leaves to the bottom; Rinse and drain; Cut the stems into strips with the length similar to the the width of the sardines.
3. Rinse shiso leaves; Pat dry with kitchen paper.
4. Soak chrysanthemum in water with some salt for 15 minutes; Lift the chrysanthemum up; Rinse gently and briefly; Drain.
5. Rinse, seed and cut a green pepper into strips with the same length as the celery.
6. Pour 2 cups of cornstarch in a shallow plate.
7. Lay the sardines from the step 1 on a cutting board with the skin facing the board; Put 2 shiso leaves on top of each sardines; Put the green pepper on top of the shiso leaves; Arrange some celery strips on the top of the shiso leaves right next to the green pepper; Roll up toward tail; Secure with toothpicks.
8. Pour 5 cups of oil into a deep heavy-based skillet.
9. Bring the oil in the skillet to the boil over a high heat; Evenly coat each sardine roll with a layer of the cornstarch; Turn to a low heat; Carefully slide in the sardine rolls one by one; Deep-fry over a low heat for 3 minutes; Turn the rolls over with a pair of tongs; Deep-fry over a low heat for 3 minutes; Turn the rolls over with the tongs; Turn to a high heat; Deep-fry over a high heat for 30 seconds; Turn the rolls over with the tongs; Deep-fry over a high heat for 30 seconds; Lift the rolls up immediately; Drain on kitchen paper; Add the remaining shiso leaves one by one to the oil; Deep-fry over a high heat till crispy; Lift the leaves up; Drain on kitchen paper; Turn off the heat.
10. Arrange the rolls on top of the deep-fried leaves on serving plates; Garnish with the chrysanthemum; Serve immediately.