Break off the heads by hand, and remove the innards. Butterfly the sardines by hand, and remove the backbones. Alternately you can cut off the heads, and remove the innards using a knife. Season evenly with salt and pepper.
Remove the pits from the umeboshi, and mince with a knife to make a paste.
Place the shiso leaves on top of the sardines.
Spread the Step 2 umeboshi paste on top.
Fold in half.
Coat with first with flour, then the beaten egg, and finish with the panko.
Pour oil into a frying pan, and fry both sides until golden brown.
Story Behind this Recipe
Since sardines were on sale, I made this dish. This is a perfect dish for summer.
Fold the sardines in half instead of rolling them up so that they cook through easily.
It will be easier to cook this dish when if buy butterflied sardines. Sardines can be butterflied by hand, but you can also use a knife.
They're also delicious with cheese added in Step 4.