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What to do with fresh sardines?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 24, 2010 at 12:11 AM

My local Whole Foods had fresh Portuguese sardines in today but I have no idea how one would prepare them. Grilled? Fried? I didn't buy any but I'd like to try fresh ones. What's the best way to minimize the fishyness?

363548d0cfaaa4bab88747f31ad49c02

(0)

on January 04, 2012
at 03:41 AM

Why do you slide the skin off? Isn't all the good omega 3s in the skin?

587538a2db229b2ec884ea04cc3dc75e

(462)

on November 22, 2010
at 03:03 PM

You would do this with *raw* sardines?

C53665c3f012fa1ede91033b08a8a6e7

(2269)

on May 24, 2010
at 01:58 AM

That looks XLNT. I love Thai food.

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10 Answers

2
C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8

on November 22, 2010
at 02:43 AM

Clean them, then fry them on a thick bed of duck fat, minced onion, elephant garlic, white pepper, and sea salt. Flip the little guys once or twice around on their hot skillet, and serve with red cabbage slaw with creamy horseradish dressing. Pretty danged good.

2
23ead3d78cd63901946ffee42122936c

on May 24, 2010
at 07:33 PM

Over in Spain, we eat them grilled with a little sea salt. They are delicious, quick to prepare and don't taste fishy. Just throw them on the grill and sprinkle them will salt. Once you have the skin crispy, they should be done. Then just slide the skin off and pick at the meat.

363548d0cfaaa4bab88747f31ad49c02

(0)

on January 04, 2012
at 03:41 AM

Why do you slide the skin off? Isn't all the good omega 3s in the skin?

1
D5cde8031564f905260ce9aa7a1f5e2c

on May 24, 2010
at 11:21 PM

Salted, peppered, grilled over an open flame, and eaten whole (guts and all).

1
8347d512bca9b034d53da40dab8cd21c

on May 24, 2010
at 04:35 AM

If it were me:

Mince the sardines and put them aside.

Blend one egg, three cloves of garlic, half a lemon's worth of juice, and roughly 1/4 cup of olive oil in a food processor. Once it's mixed thoroughly, put in your sardines and pulse it a couple of times -- so you don't puree the sardines, but so they're at least incorporated a little.

You should have a decent Paleo version of Caesar salad dressing. Some finely sliced red onion and fresh romaine, and VOILA!

587538a2db229b2ec884ea04cc3dc75e

(462)

on November 22, 2010
at 03:03 PM

You would do this with *raw* sardines?

1
64c41a128b1865f595f9891bb9f13982

(40)

on May 24, 2010
at 02:52 AM

I have heard fried with lemon and sea salt - they sound delish to me - shouldn't be too fishy. I like the canned ones though so my fishy level may be a lot higher then others. :)

C53665c3f012fa1ede91033b08a8a6e7

(2269)

on May 24, 2010
at 01:58 AM

That looks XLNT. I love Thai food.

0
B9637ddb9a9a5c6a7306e3c804fcd21d

(3217)

on April 22, 2012
at 03:14 PM

Best sardines I ever had was at an Italian friend's house in Cyprus. He had freshly-caught whole sardines, freshly picked walnuts, a bunch of greens, garlic, olive oil and Greek kefalotyri (a hard sheep's milk cheese that is used like parmesan). So we blitzed the walnuts with the cheese, olive oil, garlic and the greens (rocket and spinach); mixed this pesto with a ladle or so of fish stock until it was of a saucy consistency, added a spritz of lemon juice and a dash of salt & pepper, and poured over the fish, which then went into the oven for about 15 minutes. Of course, you can use a good brand of store-bough pesto if you do not wish to make your own. Just make sure it doesn't contain any dodgy oils.

Apart from that, sardines, and oily fish in general, also go well with tomato: it would make them good to use in a stew like cioppino, steamed in some white wine, tomatoes and herbs alongside some shellfish, or simply baked in tomato sauce - just combine some flame-roasted tomatoes, garlic, herbs (oregano, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, parley, dill), a splash of white wine and olive oil in a blender, pour over fish, and bake.

They also go well rubbed with garlic and simply baked in foil with lemon, olive oil & mediterranean herbs; alternatively, you can simply rub them with garlic, salt, pepper and grill them, and serve with lemon wedges for spritzing.

However, if you're looking to minimise 'fishyness', I'd avoid dry-heat methods such as grilling and frying (though lemon does mask the fishyness, the cooking method brings it out in the first place), and favour baking in a sauce; use strong flavoured sauces (all the sauces I have mentioned have garlic; pesto is probably the best - it wasn't fishy at all); you could even make a sardine curry - massaman red curry, or gang ped green curry works well.

Soaking the fish in milk for at least an hour is also a good way to minimise fishiness; you can also soak it in wine, or in water with lemon juice.

Happy cooking!

0
5662d1262516ccbd70249e7aeaf58901

(681)

on April 22, 2012
at 02:34 PM

I followed this guide on YouTube: Frugal Recipes - How to Clean and Cook Fresh Sardines: a Truly Thrifty and Healthy Fish.

Basically you cut the head off, remove the guts, butterfly it, remove the spine, and then pan fry. It worked pretty well.

0
1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on May 24, 2010
at 03:41 AM

I second the coat & fry approach, though make sure to use lots of delicious herbs and spices to maximise impact! Try my White Fish Fingers recipe.

0
Cfccbcf3450ac4919311ded8ef162d49

(2312)

on May 24, 2010
at 03:08 AM

dipped in egg and rolled in almond or coconut flour and fried in coconut oil

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