Fried sprat - a royal, but inexpensive feast

In the days of the cold supper shops in Jamaica, before Tastee patty, jerk chicken and pork and proper restaurants, fried saltfish, fried dumplings, hard dough bread, fried sprat, and escoveitched fish were among the only available snacks to buy while traveling across the island and even in the capital city Kingston.

Fried spratAs a child who traveled with my father across Jamaica, it was always a treat to stop at these various cold supper shops that displayed their cooked food items in a glass and wooden box on the counter.

These shops also sold soft drinks, beer and rum. White rum was my father’s favorite, while I had soft drinks and fried sprat with hard dough bread.

I love fried sprat. It’s a tasty fish – small, with lots of bones.  Preparing sprat for frying is the key to cooking it. Here is my recipe for Jamaican fried sprat served with hard dough bread.

Ingredients

* 2 dozen sprats

* vinegar

* salt and pepper to taste

* 4 cups coconut oil

Method

Clean and wash the sprats with lime and water. Dry with paper towel.

Season with salt and black pepper. Marinate for two hours.

Fry in hot coconut oil. Place fried sprat on paper towel to drain oil.

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