+30 22980 23687
Katerina's Kouzina

Sardine balls

Every Monday during the summer months we take our guests on a historical walk of Poros-town, starting at Odyssey. I love walking and like all Greeks I love telling stories about our history and our myths (Greeks are born storytellers). One story that I have told many times during these walks, and that I will share with you on this blog, is that of Theseus; half human, half God and one of Greece’s biggest heroes. Theseus was the son of Poseidon, but also had a second father! The fish recipe to accompany this third story dedicated to Poseidon, is Sardine Balls; a recipe that shows a very original way to use this tasty fish in the kitchen!

Historical walk

Every historical walk is different. Who is coming with us and the questions of our guests determine the stories I tell. We usually stop in a Greek church where we talk about the Greek Orthodox religion, our traditional architecture and whatever else comes along. We often go to the clock tower where we enjoy an amazing view over the town and the sea. From there I often point to Troizina, the village at the foot of the (Aderes) mountains opposite Poros, on the Peloponnese. It’s an ancient village from the Mycenean times, which is the birthplace of Theseus.

Photo: Toni Brown

Myth of Theseus

Hearing the myth of Theseus you can understand the close relationship and history between Poros and Athens. The story of his birth is one of the oldest, most beautiful, complicated and rich myths that we have inherited from out ancient Greek past.

As I mentioned before, on Poros you find the remains of Poseidon’s sanctuary on the North side of the bigger island, Kalavria. On the smaller island of Sferia, where the church of Saint George is now, there was in ancient times a temple dedicated to goddess Athena. At this temple the virgins of Troizina dedicated their virginity belts to Athena before their wedding.

Sea-bass with zucchini and olives

Right now I have a lot less produce and am thankful to be able to use the vegetables for normal cooking again. Cooking for Rik, myself and the few lucky friends we have here now. Of course, there is still some zucchini left!

Advice from the oracle

Aegeus (The great King of Athens) was married twice but could have no children. He especially wanted a son who could take over the governing of The Kingdom of Athens one day. It was so important to him that he travelled to Delphi, where he asked the oracle Pythia what he should do to become a father. Pythia went into a trance and gave him advice that as usual made no sense; “Do not open the wineskin, oh you the best of Aegeus people, before you come home to Athens” (or something like that). Aegeus didn’t understand any of this, and started his journey home.

Theseus (2nd person from the right). Special thanx to Giorgos Karagiannis for this picture.

Poseidon interferes

However, on his way to Athens Aegeus did make one stop: at Troizina. There he visited the King of Troezen who at the time was Pitheus, a man famous for his wisdom. The King of Athens did not want to miss the chance to ask such a wise man about his thoughts of what the oracle meant with her strange pronouncement. Pitheus understood it perfectly, but chose to use this knowledge to his benefit. He got his guest drunk and then introduced him to his beautiful daughter Aithra, who Aegeus slept with.

At the same time Poseidon (The God of the seas) had fallen in love with beautiful Aithra. He asked goddess Athena to lure her to Poros from Troizina so he could meet her. Athena helped Poseidon (Probably to make amends for him losing the patronage of Athens), by appearing in Aithra’s dreams, and asked her to come to her temple on Poros to make sacrifices and dedicate her virginity belt to her. You can imagine the rest. Poseidon was waiting for Aithra and the mighty God of the sea dazzled her. Nine months later, she gave birth to a beautiful child: Theseus.

When Aegeus left Troizina for Athens, he hid his sword and a pair of sandals (like the ones our guests buy in Plaka) under a great rock. He told Aithra: If you give birth to a son in 9 months and he can lift this rock when he grows up, send him to Athens with this sword and sandals so I will recognize him as my son and the future King of Athens. When the time came, Aithra took her son to the rock and gave him the message from Aegeus. Theseus easily lifted the rock and started his famous and heroic journey that will follow in another blog!

For the recipe of the sardine balls I recommend this wonderful white wine from the Skouras Winery, made of native Greek varietals; Moscofilero and Alepou.

Do you want to cook with Katerina at Odyssey?
Click here for more information!


½ kg skinless, boneless sardines
2 spring onions finely chopped
1 red onion, peeled and grated
½ cup finely chopped parsley
½ cup finely chopped dill
Zest of 1 lemon
1 egg (beaten)
3 tbsp flour
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (You can whizz 3 slices of fresh whole meal bread in the food processor)
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ tbsp salt
Black pepper
2 cups of olive oil or sunflower oil (for deep frying)
Chopped fresh dill to serve


1. Clean and bone the sardines. You could put the sardine fillets in a food processor and whizz until minced, but if you have the time cut them by hand into small pieces (for a much nicer texture).
2. Put the sardines into a large mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients except the flour. Mix everything together.
3. Heat the oil in a large, deep, heavy-based saucepan.
4. Take a walnut-size piece of the mixture and form it into a ball using a spoon, coat it in the flour and drop it into the hot oil. Cook for 7-8 minutes until deep golden brown.

Servings : 4 people
Ready in : 50 Minutes
Recipe Type : Fish

0 Reviews Found

Leave us your review

Katerina's Kouzina recipes

*By submitting, you are accepting our privacy policy.

Subscribe to our Newsletter for latest news.

*By subscribing to our newsletter, you are accepting our privacy policy.