Grilled Sardines

Fresh Sardines are hard to find, but frozen ones are available at fish markets and some grocery stores.


One package frozen whole sardines, there’s usually 12 in the pack, each are about 6″ long or fresh ones if available.

For sauce:
Juice from one large lemon
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4-5 garlic cloves minced
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Pinch dried chilli flakes

If using frozen fish allow to thaw.
Take the sardines and rinse in cold water, if you would like to keep the heads on that’s fine, I like to cut the heads off at the gills and discard the head.
With a sharp knife score the body of each fish 3-4 times about 1″ inch apart for each score. Place fish on one layer on a tray.
Prepare the sauce by combining all the other ingredients and mix well.
Pour half of the sauce all over the sardines and mix sardines well to coat with hands. allow sardines to marinade to 30 minutes.

Prepare BBQ for grilling by preheating for 5-10 minutes on medium to high heat. Brush grates with oil.
Slowly place each fish on grill and careful not to let flame catch on fish. Grill fish by turning once 3-4 minutes per side. Fish is ready when meat easily flakes off with touch of a fork. Once ready place fish in serving platter and drizzle remaining sauce on the sardines.

Serving combinations include:
Crusty Bread
Red wine such as Pinot Noir





2 thoughts on “Grilled Sardines

  1. Hi there, I had 2 questions. First of all, can you confirm that you don’t have to clean the insides (after cutting the head off) or scraping off scales? And my second question was about the bones, how big are they? I’d love to make this for my kid and elderly dad but don’t know if he’d have a problem eating it around small bones.

    • You could clean the insides, and stuff them with herbs but that’s another recipe, lol. small fish like this will not be easy to clean, great thing about sardines is there’s a spiny bone that pulls right out easily after it cooked and if a small delicate bone remains you may eat it without noticing, scaling will not be needed either, unless the fish are big and you are buying fresh, get the fish monger to scale and cut the head off for you. I cut the head off because this is where it may have a bitter taste, these fish are so full of nutrients especially for child’s brain, the dark bits near the head, I will scrape out before putting on my child’s plate. My daughter Ellie ate four fish by herself yesterday. Food basics sells them frozen, fish place on danforth near pape may sell fresh if place still exists. Dusanka, you are so sweet next time I’m in Toronto, we will have to meet up.

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