Our Recipe: Grilled Sprats Asian-Style

Grilled sprats, asian-style

I’m such a fan of grilled mackerel but grilled sprats? Why not. Especially since they’re in season and so cheap to buy (£0.60 for 300grams). Cleaning out their guts will take a while but it’s all worth the effort. When grilled to perfection, all of the sprat can be eaten including its tiny bones, head and tail. I looked around for recipes but in the end, adapted from my Malaysian grandma’s sure-fire grilled fish recipe. They are such gorgeous hors d'oeuvres for fish lovers but works brilliantly with steamed rice and tender-stem brocolli.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 300 grams of sprats (gutted, washed and towel dried)
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 small red onion (cut into rings)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 red chilli (sliced and deseeded)
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • hot chilli powder (optional)
  • handful of parsley
  • 1 tsp of capers (chopped roughly)
  • lemon wedges


  1. Turn on the grill to highest heat.
  2. Rub 1 tbsp of oil all over a rectangular casserole to minimise fish flesh getting stuck to the bottom.
  3. Align sprats flat onto casserole together with onion, garlic and sliced chilli. 
  4. Drizzle the rest of the oil, sprinkle sea salt, pepper and chilli powder (don’t if you like it mild) all over the sprats and place casserole right under the grill for 5-8mins each side, sprinkling sea salt, pepper and chilli powder again on the other side. 
  5. Remove from heat and sprinkle with a little more sea salt to keep them crispy.
  6. Garnish with capers and lemon wedges.

I went with the baking option.

Preparing these little sprats was a little tedious. First I gave them all a quick rinse. Then chopped their heads off and squeezed their guts out. Once that’s all done I gave them a wash down again in cold water.

I place aluminum foil on a pan and covered it with coarse sea salt. I rubbed the sprats with olive oil then organised them in the foiled pan. I threw in another layer of coarse sea salt and squirted some vinegar and squeezed some fresh lemon. Now it’s sitting in the oven to bake till its sizzling.

I’m going to mash some avocados and a little capsicum together to have with it.

Scrape off the salt from the sprats before serving.

Enjoy … (I mean, I will)

So this week’s Bento Challenge was, ugh, Paleo.

Perhaps this statement will be my blog’s ultimate undoing, but I have to say it: I have very little patience with Paleo. I mean, sure, limiting sugars is sensible. Eating more vegetables than any other food group is sensible. Making sure to eat enough fat for satiety is sensible. But that’s pretty much where my tolerance stops.

No beans?! No bread?! No pasta?! No rice?! NO CHEESE?!

I’m sorry. I will not live that way. I’m lucky enough to have the rare but delightful mutation that allows me to digest as much lactose as I can get down my gullet without any ill effects whatsoever. You think I’m not gonna take advantage of that? Beans and lentils are delicious. Grain products are the freakin’ staff of life. Some Paleo people even say you shouldn’t have nightshades because they’re pro-inflammatory.

You will pry my tomato sandwiches and ratatouille and babaganoush from my cold, dead hands.

So yeah, I found this one a bit of a challenge. I couldn’t put in any of the lovely ginger-scallion sauce I made last night, because it’s made with peanut oil, and peanuts are anathema. I couldn’t put in the lovely multicolored sweet crunchy bell peppers I bought last night. I couldn’t even put in any seaweed, because the kind I’ve got in my cupboard is flavored with soybean derivatives. Uggghhhhhh.

But my wife gave me a can of sprats for Christmas this year, primarily because it’s fun to say “sprats” (but also because I like them), so in it goes. Maybe I’ll wrap them in the dino kale and have the saddest fish taco ever.

Healthy fish recipe

Hello everyone, I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the nice weather. I  notice a lot of blooming flowers everywhere and   enjoy the nice walks by the sea in the afternoons as I find it quite relaxing.  There is something about the fresh air, the sound of  the waves and the seagulls playing with them. In fact the recipe of this week it is deeply related with the sea, as I noticed that me…

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