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30 January 2012 @ 10:14 pm
Pacific Sardines for a Quick and Affordable Lunch  
While running through the Ferry Building Farmers Market this weekend, we stopped into the San Francisco Fish Company inside the building since really have been trying to eat more fish. The issue with fish though can be that many varieties are expensive. We were happy to see that they had fresh sardines available since we’d been wanting to use them somehow for a while. The best part was that four whole sardines were only $3.20. We’ve bought cups of coffee that cost more.

Many people only know of sardines out of cans or the occasional feeling like one while jammed into a muni train. Yet fresh sardines are not only a flavorful and healthy additions to your diet (lots of omega-3s), but Pacific Sardines are considered a “Best Choice” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch. So you can not only eat them for your health, but also knowing you’re doing the right thing by the ocean.

fried sardines

The hardest part of preparing them is cleaning them. Unlike many fish, fresh sardines come whole with heads and innards still intact. The bodies are delicate and it requires a gentle but deliberate hand. Twist off the heads, pull out the internal organs and then push the body open and and remove the spine and any pin bones. They also need to be used the same day you buy them since they will go bad very quickly. If you can't stomach the process, ask your fish monger if they can do it for you. Depending on how you want to cook them will depend on how you clean them. A quick grilling over hot coals means you can leave the heads on. Many chefs toss them in a light batter and deep-fry them. We’ve even seen them roasted and served on top of mixed greens.

This day though, we opted to toss the filets in cornmeal that we had seasoned with salt and old bay. We fried them off in some canola oil for about 1-2 minutes per side and then seasoned them with salt and pepper. We garnished the fried filets with Meyer lemon and dill and happily munch on them while enjoying an unseasonably warm and sunny weather outside. Not bad for a San Francisco winter Saturday afternoon.

This artiucle also appears at http://www.examiner.com/food-in-san-francisco/pacific-sardines-for-a-quick-and-affordable-lunch
mort_83: JCmort_83 on February 1st, 2012 02:37 am (UTC)
Oh, I loves me some sardines. Those look delicious!