Fresh Sardine Fillets with Herbs


Workers have gutted my large upstairs bathroom for a complete renovation.  It gets on my nerves that construction dust covers the whole of my townhouse.  I drink coffee at the cafe for as long as possible, go shopping for things I don’t need and while avoiding the house I don’t cook very much and eat French junk food (really bad).  I limit my glasses of wine to avoid becoming an alcoholic during the renovation.  I’m not very happy now but know that I will like the bathroom.  So….


Steve, the ‘monger had some very nice, fresh sardines; headed, gutted and butterflied.  I couldn’t resist, even though I knew that the sounds of buzz saws and hammers would be ringing in my ears and probably construction dust adding to the crunchiness of the fish coating.  Whatever.  I’ve made this recipe several times but not with butterflied sardines. It’s always good!


I used a mixture of potted fresh herbs that were still in good shape after the sometimes below freezing weather; oregano, thyme, dill and a small, surviving bunch of parsley.  Use a normally hot, red pepper for the chilli or not.

Fresh Sardine Fillets with Herbs

1lb fresh medium sardines, headed, gutted and butterflied

1 cup flour or whatever coating you want to use

Peanut oil

2 cloves garlic, slivered

1 small red chilli, sliced

2 tbsp butter

1 handful each; dill, oregano, thyme and a little parsley, chopped

Coat the sardines in the flour and fry in the peanut oil until crisp and golden.  Melt the butter in a pan, then saute the garlic and chilli until aromatic.  Remove from the flame and add the herbs, then pour over the sardines.




About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
This entry was posted in American, Appetizer, Cooking, fish, Food and Wine, Main dishes, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Fresh Sardine Fillets with Herbs

  1. Ruth says:

    Hope the renovation progresses at a rapid rate!

  2. jmcheney says:

    So beautiful! I’ll look at The Fresh Market & see if there is anything here in Blue Ridge Mtns. of NC that could possibly make a remotely similar dish, knowing full well there isn’t. <]:~(

  3. jmcheney says:

    P.S. At least most of my herbs are still flourishing!

  4. jmcheney says:

    Oh yes, I like smelts. Even frozen ones. Merci.

  5. Mad Dog says:

    Those sardines look excellent! Perhaps you could be a part time barfly, just for the duration of the work. Drink a bottle of champagne with M. Parret each afternoon and see la vie en rose 😉

  6. The older we get the more we use the word moderation and maybe that is a wise choice.

  7. Conor Bofin says:

    When the builders are gone, you will be able to lye in your bath, eating sardines. That has to be a reason to be looking forward….

  8. Karen says:

    Now that is a plate of fish my husband would love to eat.

  9. abuela says:

    Ah. . .bathrooms. Many years ago in NC my DIY husband remodeled our only bathroom. One week, he said. The bathtub went into the back yard with a hose attached to the kitchen sink. The toilet seat went into a hallway with a bucket underneath. One month later we had a new bathroom. Zoom ahead to Mexico and a ruin of a house to restore. 8 months of dust and a new sewer pipe from the bathrooms to the street. Of course we lived in the house all the while because abuelo had to supervise the work.
    I’ll bet you have some interesting bathroom stories from all the places you’ve lived. Oops, I forgot it’s a food blog.

  10. I adore fresh sardines. This will be a recipe I’ll certainly try. I like them mostly because they taste great when cooked right – nothing like their tinned cousins (which I do have in the house and use sparingly from time to time). I also love them because they’re healthy and sustainable, and typically affordable. (From my local supermarket I usually end up having to clean them myself, and I haven’t quite gotten the hang of filleting them properly but fortunately the ribs rather dissolve when cooked. Hey, extra calcium!)

    Definitely keep us posted about that bathroom reno!!! Someday it will be over and you can (then) laugh about the discombobulations.

  11. thechefcat says:

    Nice one!

  12. I feel your pain! Went through a bathroom and kitchen renovation simultaneously last year and lived through it (barely). Never. Again.

    Great post here!

  13. Fresh sardines, prepared like that, are a favourite of mine….our bathroom is definitely down for renovation but sardines are more in my budget range:)

  14. oh my god , those herbs!! <3

  15. I love sardines but they are so tiny over here. What a great recipe. I’m pinning so when I’m back across the pond I can make this. 🙂

  16. Pingback: Fresh Sardine Fillets with Herbs – Chef Ceaser

Leave a Reply