Sunday, April 11, 2010

#240 Smoked Sprats (and #232 Pickled Eggs revisited)

‘An inexpensive luxury’, says Jane Grigson of smoked sprats. That sentence should be now changed to: ‘An expensive luxury’. How times have changed. I’m not sure why smoked sprats aren’t more widely available because fresh sprats certainly are, so it’s not like they are hard to come by. The only place I’ve seen them is The Fish Society’s website. You eat smoked sprats whole, rather like whitebait, the difference of course, is that they are quite a lot bigger than tiny whitebait.

Anyways, my friends Simon and Rachel came over to visit after their super-amazing trip around South America. They blogged it, natch, have a look-see at it here. I thought smoked sprats would make a great starter. Because my friend Stuart – a staunch vegetarian – came along too so I served some pickled eggs, remember them? Have a look here to see they were made.

To cook the sprats, simply grill them and serve them with lemon wedges and brown bread and butter. To eat them, pull off their heads and tails and eat. If that seems a little too much, you can remove the fillets from each side with your thumb.

#240 Smoked Sprats. I really liked these alot. The problem of bones/guts was, in the end, a non-issue. The bones were just the right side of not being too crunchy or sharp. They were quite strongly smoked, but also sweet in flavour and not over-powering like some cured fishes can be. If you see some, be sure to give them a go. 8.5/10

#232 Pickled Eggs. These were also very good - they required a little wait for the viengar to work its pickling magic, but were worth it. If you've had vile pub pickled eggs, don't be put off by these. the white wine vinegar made them very subltly sharp and the chillies in the pickling liquor lent a decent spicy-punch to them. 7/10.


Simon and Rach said...

Top treat from the sea. I used to be a bit against food smoking, of the opinion that good flavours were sometimes spoiled, but these days I'm all for it. We visited the smoke house in Craster, Northumberland, at the weekend and picked up some smoked kipper pate, smoked bacon and a nice bit of cod. So smokey food is in and sprats take a good smoking as well as anything. 8/10.
Pickled eggs were the best I have had though for a perfect mark I think they could have gone another month in the jar foe extra bite. 9/10.

Anonymous said...

Why not go to
which is the website of The Smelly Alley Fish Company, they sell fresh, not frozen smoked sprats. Lovely!

Neil Buttery said...

I have since discovered the Smelly Alley & bought many a red for the post on here!