Marinated and pickled sardines

Marinated and pickled sardines

Marinada od srdela i ukiseljene srdele

By
From
Dalmatia
Serves
4

For thousands of years, sardines have been a staple food of the Croatian coastal region and, in Dalmatia, we eat them frequently during the hot summer months. Marinated sardines can keep in the refrigerator for a number of weeks. They make a perfect, quick-to-prepare meal if you have unexpected guests, or are excellent served as an appetiser.

I learned this pickled sardine recipe from our neighbour in Split, when I lived there as a child. Usually, we use anchovies in this pickle recipe instead of sardines, but in Australia fresh anchovies aren’t available – don’t worry, sardines work just as well.

Marinated sardines

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1kg whole fresh sardines

Marinade

Quantity Ingredient
250ml extra virgin olive oil
125ml red wine vinegar
20 grams sugar
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
zest of 1/4 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
sea salt
freshly graound black pepper

Method

  1. For the marinade, combine the olive oil, vinegar, sugar, garlic, parsley, lemon zest and rosemary and bring to the boil in a saucepan.
  2. Preheat a barbecue grill plate or chargrill pan to high.
  3. For the sardines, scale and gut them with a small knife – cut the heads off and pull the guts out. Clean and dry them with a clean tea towel, but don’t wash them. Cover the sardines with a little oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Grill the sardines on the hot barbecue until cooked, about 5 minutes each side. They should be nice and brown.
  5. Put the grilled sardines in a stainless steel or glass dish, layering them in opposite directions. Pour the marinade over the sardines, allow the dish to cool and then refrigerate. Serve in the marinade.

Pickled sardines with red radish salad

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

Sardines

Quantity Ingredient
2kg whole fresh sardines
300 grams course sea salt
1 litre white vinegar, not white wine vinegar
100 grams sugar
vegetable

Red radish salad

Quantity Ingredient
5 red radishes, finely diced
1 tomato, cored and finely diced
3 spring onions, thinly sliced

Dressing

Quantity Ingredient
50ml extra virgin olive oil
30ml red wine vinegar
10ml see method for ingredients

Method

  1. For the sardines, scale and gut them with a small knife – cut the heads off and pull the guts out. Quickly wash the sardines and dry them with a clean tea towel.
  2. In a colander, mix the cleaned sardines with the coarse salt and leave to cure for 2 hours. Rinse the sardines and place them in a plastic or glass container.
  3. Mix the vinegar with the sugar and pour the mixture into the container with the sardines. Make sure all the sardines are submerged in the vinegar. Leave to marinate for 24 hours.
  4. The following day, take the sardines out of the vinegar and, using your fingers, gently butterfly them and pull the middle bone out, leaving only the tail. Arrange the sardines in layers in a glass container with an airtight lid and pour the vegetable oil over each layer of the sardines. They should be well covered in oil. Seal the container and store in the refrigerator. They will last for a long time sealed but, once opened, keep refrigerated and eat within a week.
  5. To serve, take the sardines out of the oil, remove any excess oil and arrange them on a serving plate.
  6. For the radish salad, mix all the ingredients together and sprinkle on top of the sardines with the dressing.
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