Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Stuffed Sardines

Ash Wednesday is the start of Lent and coincides with an increased consumption of fish. So for this Ash Wednesday I've finally found a good excuse to make a recipe from February's Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine. The recipe is for stuffed sardines and it comes from Rosa Mitchell of Journal Canteen here in Melbourne. I love sardines and am always on the lookout for different ways of serving them.

The sardines I use are from Western Australia and are by far the best I've had - they also helpfully come filleted which makes this recipe a breeze to make.

Don't be fooled by the simple stuffing, the end result is so good you'd wish you made double! Even if you think you don't like sardines, just give this recipe a go, you might find yourself converted to their pleasures.

stuffed sardines

Stuffed Sardines
[Serves 2]

8 sardine fillets
plain flour, for dusting
Parsley Stuffing:
70 grams bread, roughly torn
large handful flat leaf parsley leaves
20 grams grated Parmesan
1 egg, lightly beaten
salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste

Make the stuffing:
Place the bread and parsley into the bowl of a processor and pulse until finely chopped, add the grated Parmesan and process again until just combined.

Tip out into a bowl, add the egg and mix until well combined. Taste and season with salt and freshly ground white pepper.

Prepare Sardines:
Check the spine of you filleted sardine and make sure that it is free of bones - sometimes the dorsal fin can be a bit bony so you might have to remove it.

Match the fillets into equal sized pairs - this just makes for a neater final product.

Divide the stuffing into four and then press each portion onto one half of your sardine pairs. Top with the other sardine. You can now set these aside in the fridge to cook later.

stuffed sardines

When you are ready to cook the sardines, dust each lightly in a little plain flour.

To Cook:

Heat a little oil and butter in a pan over a medium heat and when the butter has melted add the stuffed sardines. Cook until the skin is golden and then turn over and repeat the process. They should take no more than a few minutes to cook.

Season with a grinding of salt and black pepper and serve immediately.


What I found most surprising about this dish is just how much of an impact the stuffing makes. Some people don't like sardines because they have quite a strong flavour but in this dish, the stuffing has just softened the flavour a little and you almost taste a certain sweetness in the flesh of the sardine.

This is a dish I am so happy to have made and it will certainly be reappearing in the future.



  1. Oh, how I wish I could get a reliable supply of fresh sardines here (Toronto).

    They are one of the tastiest Mediterranean fish.

  2. Lucky for us Peter - it seems only you and I love sardines!

  3. parmesan sardine, umami!
    the greek in me is tempted to add a little bit of garlic dear haalo, what do you think?

  4. Garlic or even a little lemon zest would work perfectly Heart!

  5. We are fresh seafood retailers in central Victoria and one of our customers told us she cooked this recipe using school whiting fillets with great results. Fortunately we do get fresh sardine fillets (from Eden, NSW) on a regular basis so we will try the recipe ourselves soon. By the ay we love the quality of the food photos on your website.

  6. Thank you Xartec - I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  7. SIcilian food is very regional. There are many Sicilian recipes for stuffed sardines. I have a recipe on my blog, called SARDE A BECCAFICO

    My blog site is:

  8. You have a lovely blog Marisa and those sardines look incredible!


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