Tempura Sardines with a Sweet Chilli Dressing

There's more than a touch of fusion about this clever, zesty, moreish treatment of sardines by the Tanner Brothers
By James Tanner
Tempura Sardines with a Sweet Chilli Dressing
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2 as a snack, 4 as a dinner party starter
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 200 g sardine fillets
  • flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • vegetable oil, for deep frying

For the tempura batter:

  • 150 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 8 ice cubes
  • 150 ml sparkling water
  • sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing:

  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 bunch of spring onions, chopped


1. Coat the sardines in seasoned flour.

2. Heat the oil in a deep fat fryer to 180°C.

3. Quickly whisk together the ingredients for the batter - it is better to leave small lumps than over-mix, to preserve lightness.

4. Dip the floured sardines into the mix, shake off excess, and fry for 4-5 minutes until evenly golden brown. You will probably need to do this in two batches. Drain the cooked sardines on paper towel and season with sea salt.

5. For the dressing, whisk together the ingredients in the order listed. Drizzle the dressing over the tempura sardines.

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