Cook: To Fry Sprats. Omega 3 breakfast richness.
Start your day with a boost for your brain, with oils from real, sustainably caught fish, rather than a capsule.
My father’s family were Polish. My grandmother (Buba) often had herrings in her fridge, which my father and Grandfather (Zaida) ate with glee. Buba’s special fish dish, which was cooked every single time we were there, was gefilte fish. Did she cook it every day? – possibly we just happened to be there for special jewish festivals and Sabbath meals. Traditionally carp, pike, mullet or whitefish were ground to make a homogenous quenelle of delicious fishiness, slightly sweetened with carrot, then poached in stock.
I haven’t made gefilte fish myself, but one day last year, walked into the home of foodie/travel writer/friend extraordinaire Donna Wheeler, to be welcomed by that long lost homely aroma. It was such a happy shock – just walking through the front door, I threw my arms in the air and gushed “You’ve made gefilte fish!”. It brought immediate tears of nostalgia to my eyes.
It’s fascinating that different fish can have such unique aromas, and yet smell like the sea and a fresh breeze.
Kippers are a new discovery since my arrival in England. Herrings and rollmops so common over here, I wish I could buy them more often.
Sadly that’s not possible because, when buying preserved fish – kippers, smoked salmon, herrings, gefilte fish – they are now frequently loaded with added sulphites. So be aware, ask questions, check labels before you buy.
Sprats are sometimes preserved. But of course, not if you buy and cook them fresh. I bought half a kilo of these ocean-caught babies this morning after the school drop off.
According to The Guardian, Sprats are amongst the 10 best fish to buy in sustainability, health and safe fishing terms – the trifecta.
They are small fish, so will not contain high levels of mercury.
You can eat them bones and all, so you’ll get a calcium hit from this dish.
Best of all, they are amongst the oiliest fish – in The Guardian’s Top 3 Fish for Omega 3.
This traditional and super healthy breakfast will be so easy to prepare tomorrow morning. The whole family can enjoy with a squeeze of lemon and some baby spinach leaves. If you can’t do breakfast without bread, a slice of crisp-toasted gluten free sourdough will go along nicely.
“To Fry Sprats”
‘A good Southwold Recipe, sent by Mrs Loftus’ Good Things In England
Prep and Cooking Time: 5 minutes
- Fresh Sprats
- buckwheat flour, coconut flour or fine gluten free oatmeal
(leave out the coconut flour to make it FAILSAFE)
- Wash and dry the sprats.
- Dust all over with the flour or fine oatmeal
- Sprinkle the bottom of your frying pan with the salt and warm.
- Turn the heat up a little.
- Put in your Sprats and ‘fry them a nice brown’.
No need for oil, as the salt draws out the fish’s natural fats to cook themselves in. Perfect.
(I haven’t cooked them yet – they’re to be tomorrow’s breakfast, but I promise I’ll post a photo of the fried sprats in the next few days)
5 hours later…we couldn’t resist cooking them for dinner. Served up with steamed French Beans and Kale with mint and lemon juice, as well as homemade tartare (this is a cinch – I’ll send the recipe in an email, see below). Meanwhile, the Sprats! Wow! Yum, crispy, moist, salty. Of the sea. Melted away in our mouths. Eaten whole. All goodness and deliciousness.
If you want more historical goodness coming your way, Sign Up here to my emails.
Let me know what you think of today’s post! I enjoy your comments so much.