The annual sardine run is finally here and the south of Durban’s shores are currently filled with sparkly goodness- the sardines.
Thousands of ecstatic beach goers were spotted on eManzimtoti Beach to grab a handful of fish when the shoals of sardines were brought ashore by seine netters on Sunday.
The much-anticipated annual sardine run saw shoals of the fish moving up to Port Edward, but then turning and moving back south, before turning around and reaching eManzimtoti and sending the South Coast into a frenzy.
So now that you have your sardines, what should you cook with them?
Here are some of our tried and tested sardine recipes over the years.
Chef Kevin Joseph’s Natal Curried Sardines
Natal Curried Sardines
1kg fresh sardines gutted and scaled
150g onion finely chopped
120ml sunflower oil
350g grated tomato
100ml fish stock/water
5 green chillies
10ml lemon juice
50g tamarind soaked in water and drained
60g crushed garlic
20g crushed ginger
5g fenugreek powder
20g fenugreek seeds
15g jeera powder
10g dhania powder
50ml soya sauce
15g turmeric powder
80g mixed fish Masala
20g fresh curry leaves
15 sprigs of fresh dhania
Heat oil, add the onions and fenugreek seeds and cook until translucent.
Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, jeera and dhania powder and cook until fragrant.
Add fish masala and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add stock/water if required. Add the tomato, and cook until a sauce consistency is achieved.
Pour in the lemon juice, soya and tamarind paste and simmer for 5 minutes.
Top the sauce with the sardines and the curry leaves and cook for 8 minutes. Season with salt.
Finish curry with the fenugreek powder and the coriander
Simple Grilled Sardines
8 fresh sardines, cleaned and scaled
Salt and pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed and very finely sliced
2 tablespoons chopped parsley, for garnish
Prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire or stovetop grill pan, or light the broiler.
Season sardines inside and out with salt and pepper and paint both sides lightly with olive oil
Lay sardines on the grill and cook them on one side for about 2 minutes, until nicely browned. (Sardines rarely stick to the grill.) Carefully flip sardines and cook for about 2 minutes more, until just done.
Transfer each portion to individual plates. Put the sliced fennel in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Dress with about 2 tablespoons olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Place a pile of dressed fennel evenly on each plate.
Serve with lemon wedges and a sprinkle of parsley.
Chef Alfons Rathje Lemon Parmesan Sardine Pasta
Salt and pepper
1 packet spaghetti
4 tbsp olive oil
½ cup breadcrumbs
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp capers, drained
Fresh parsley, chopped
⅓ Cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add some salt.
Cook the spaghetti according to package directions until just tender.
Drain and reserve some of the cooking liquid.
Bring another skillet to medium heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil in the skillet.
When the oil is hot, add in the breadcrumbs and stir frequently until golden and fragrant (3-4 minutes).
Remove to a plate.
Add the last 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan and add the chopped onion.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir until softened.
Turn the heat on the onions to medium high and add in the zest of 1 lemon, juice of 1 lemon, capers and sardines.
Cook, stirring occasionally until heated through. (About 2 minutes)
Add the drained pasta to the sardine mixture and toss well to combine.
Add ½ cup chopped parsley and some of the reserved pasta cooking water (if needed) to moisten.
Stir in the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.
Garnish individual plates with a wedge of lemon and more parsley if desired.