Lake Tanganyika is the home of the fish known in Zambia as kepenta. It is similar size and taste to sardine, hence our substitution in this African dish. Zambian Cheese and Sardine Fritters may be served with sweet potatoes.
2 lb. fresh sardines, cleaned
10 oz. Cheddar cheese, grated garlic clove, crushed
2 eggs, lightly beaten juice of
6 oz. flour
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 oz. fine dry breadcrumbs sufficient vegetable oil for deep-frying
3 limes, quartered
Preheat the grill to high.
Wash the sardines under cold running water and pat them dry with kitchen paper towels.
Place the sardines on the rack in the grill pan and place the pan under the grill . Grill for 6 minutes, turning the fish occasionally. Remove the grill pan from the heat.
Place the sardines on a flat surface. Remove and discard the head, tail and spine from each sardine. Place the flesh in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the cheese, garlic, 1 egg and the lime juice. Using a wooden spoon, blend the mix-ture well.
On a plate combine the flour, pepper and the breadcrumbs. Place the remaining egg on a second plate.
Roll the sardine mixture into small patties and dip each patty first in the beaten egg, then in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess.
Zambian Cheese and Sardine Fritters are delicious served with fresh limes.
Fill a large deep-frying pan one-third full with vegetable oil. Set the pan over moderate heat and heat the oil until it registers 375 °F on a deep-fat thermom-eter or until a small cube of stale bread dropped into the oil turns golden brown in 40 seconds. Place the patties, a few at a time, in a deep-frying basket and lower the basket into the oil. Fry the patties for 3 to 5 minutes or until they are golden brown. Remove the basket from the oil and transfer the fritters to kitchen paper towels to drain. Keep warm while you fry and drain the remaining patties in the same way.
Place the fritters on a heated serving dish, garnish with the lime quarters and serve immediately.