Fresh sardines aren’t for the faint of heart. They come whole – with eyes, fins, and tails intact. Plus, you’ve gotta eviscerate them before you cook ‘em. And when you do eat them, you’ve got to contend with tons of tiny bones. The flesh is firm and has a strong, pronounced briney flavor. It ain’t chicken, folks. But without a doubt, I LOVE them!
They’re sustainable, delicious, easy to prepare, super healthy, packed with omega-3 fatty acids, and low in toxins. There are lots of great resources that teach you how to tackle these little fishies. Definitely check out this post and this one to discover the different ways to prepare them. If you see fresh sardines at your fishmonger, snatch them up pronto!
Follow the jump to see how I made them!
Here’s what I gathered to feed 3 people:
- 6 large fresh sardines (2 pounds total)
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- ½ cup of Italian parsley, packed
- 4 stalks of green onions, chopped medium
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons of melted bacon grease
- 1 large lemon
Here’s how I made them:
Like all perishable seafood, I kept the sardines on top of a bowl of ice in the refrigerator until I was ready to cook them.
I preheated the broiler on high and positioned the top rack 4 inches from the heating element.
Next, I took out my kitchen knife to gut the fish.
I cut a shallow line along the belly of the fish and pulled out the innards…
…before rinsing and patting them dry.
After the fish were cleaned, I threw the butter…
…and some salt and pepper into a mini food processor…
…and pulsed everything…
…until a uniform paste was formed.
I spooned 1 tablespoon of filling into each sardine cavity…
…brushed the skin with melted bacon grease…
…and sprinkled salt and pepper on each side of the sardines.
…and stuck the tray into the oven.
I broiled them for 5 minutes total, flipping the fish over at the halfway mark.
I sliced up a lemon…
…and served them with the broiled sardines.
Spritzed with some fresh lemon juice, these charred fishies were tasty!3