Tinned Sardine Croquettes with cheats tartar sauce

My good pal Johnny brought these beautiful Sardines back from his holiday and I wanted doing something fancy without having to pop to the shops. This was the result.

I took my inspiration from this recipe:



Makes 10 | time 50 minutes

Prep 10 minutes | Cook 30 minutes




  • 2 tin sardines in oil (keep the oil)
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 30g plain flour
  • 200ml hot whole milk
  • A good pinch of paprika
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 3 tbsp parmesan, grated
  • 75g breadcrumbs (i used panko)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


Cheat tartare sauce

  • I made this up when i couldn’t find the right ingredients but it was really nice.
  • 1 large gherkin, diced
  • 1 tbsp pickled jalepenos, diced
  • 1 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
  • 6 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp coriander, chopped (keep a few leaves for garnish)
  • Salt and pepper to taste



Part one

  • On a low to medium heat, sweat the onions in the sardine oil until translucent.
  • Stir in the flour until the mixture is a dark gold (like a strong cup of tea).
  • Add the milk gradually a bit at a time. Ensuring that all the milk is absorbed before adding more.
  • Let this cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes or so to thicken up, seasoning with salt, pepper and paprika to taste.
  • Drop in the sardines and break them into small chunks up with your (you don’t want a sardine mush). Cover with a plate or foil while it the mixture cools.

Part two

  • Combine the breadcrumbs and cheese and pop in a shallow bowl. Beat the egg in another shallow bowl.
  • Heat your pan and add oil (try to avoid using Extra Virgin olive oil as it has a low smoke point). I used a small saucepan for this and shallow fried the croquettes, however you would ideally deep fry. If you are frying in a saucepan pan on the hob I would use a thermometer to try and get as close to 180C / 350F as you can.
  • Shape the cooled sardine mixture into cylinders and roll in the egg then the breadcrumbs.

Part three

  • Drop the croquettes the oil carefully and cook for about 2 minutes ensuring that they cook even all over.
  • I would do one or two at the time – too many and it will bring down the temperature of the oil and they won’t cook properly. I aim for a dark gold colour.
  • Leave them on a paper towel to dry off the grease.

Part four

  • For the sauce add all in the ingredients and mix well, season to taste.
  • Serve in a bowl with the sauce – try to wait until they’ve cooled before you eat them.




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