Makes 12 cups
1 x 400g can Lucky Star Pilchards in Sweet Chilli Sauce
½ cup (125 ml) breadcrumbs
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery with leaves, finely sliced (chop leaves separately)
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Flour, for dusting
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 lemon, cut into wedges
18 cherry tomatoes, halved
12 whole lettuce leaves (cos or romaine), washed
½ English cucumber, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and grated
Drain the pilchards and reserve the sauce for later. Mash the pilchards in a bowl.
Add the egg, breadcrumbs, onion, celery leaves, salt and pepper to the mashed fillets.
Form into 24 balls and roll lightly in flour.
Heat the oil in a non-stick pan and shallow fry the balls until browned on the outside and heated through.
Remove from heat and drain on paper towel. Squeeze half the lemon wedges over the pilchard meatballs.
Toss the chopped celery and cherry tomato halves in the reserved sweet chilli sauce.
Place the lettuce cups on serving plates or a platter and divide the celery and cherry tomatoes between the cups.
Top with the cucumber and carrots and lastly add two pilchard meatballs to each cup. Serve with the remaining lemon wedges.
Chef’s note: Before you form the Pilchard ‘meatballs’, taste your mixture for seasoning by making a little test ball and cooking it.