Sicilian Sardines

July 27, 2012
 | By


I have been trying to churn through pics of events to post a bit of a ‘what I’ve been up to’ wrap up – yeah, maybe soon. I’ve been working through a restaurant meal or two to share our delicious adventures – yeah, maybe soon. Not to mention it’s been a bit cake-crazy round these parts lately!

So instead, a savory QuickBites recipe. As much as I love a slightly complicated cake or a multi-dish seafood feast, sometimes you just want good food, fast. One pan, throw it all in, eat standing up at the counter. And while most of the savory dishes here aren’t overly complicated, these are just that little bit easier.


Sicilian food has been everywhere lately – popping up in cooking mags and new cafes and special features. Being part Sicilian it has only served to further intensify my desire for a trip there, so in the meantime I’ll have to be satisfied with some lunch-time inspiration.

We picked up some whole sardines at the Fish Markets recently. The first few I cooked up in a bit of tomato sauce and had them on a crusty piece of sourdough. With the rest I did this. I’m in love. Now, to get myself to Sicily already!


Sicilian Sardines
Inspired by SBS Feast Magazine – July 2012


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 anchovy filet
  • 2 Tbsp wheat germ
  • 4 fresh sardines – cleaned

To Serve:

  • capers
  • lemon zest
  • basil leaves
  • 1/4 orange


Gently heat oil in a non-stick skillet, add anchovy and press with a spoon to break down and incorporate into the oil. Add wheat germ and toss to combine. Toast in pan over medium low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Put aside in a small dish.

Without cleaning the pan, add a drizzle of oil and the fillets, flesh side down. Cook for 1 minute. Flip and cook for a further minute until fish flakes easily.

Place half the toasted wheat germ on a plate, place sardines on the crumbs, top with the other half of the wheat germ. Sprinkle with capers, lemon zest and basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and squeeze over a bit of fresh orange juice.

Serves one.


  • Cleaning whole sardines is pretty simple – I did it all with my fingers and didn’t even bother with a knife… Run your finger up the fish from tail to head to remove the scales – they almost pop off. Snap off the head and run your finger along the belly edge to open. Remove the guts. Open out the fish, gently separating fillets from the bones. Carefully pull out the single back fin. Easy.


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4 Responses to Sicilian Sardines

  1. Claire @ Claire K Creations on July 30, 2012 at 8:49 am

    I’m not really a sardine eater but these look so fresh and delicious. You’re quite right. It’s good to have a stash of quick meals up your sleeve.

  2. Monica (@gastromony) on July 31, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Oh I love sardines… Now I want some. Gorgeous dish :)

  3. Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul on August 3, 2012 at 5:41 am

    I used to despise sardines (thanks to the canned varieties!) but the fresh ones are just divine! Love the simple, fresh flavours you have going on here JJ!

  4. SarahKate (Mi Casa-Su Casa) on August 3, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    I LOVE sardines… a highly under rated little fish. We ate them in Spain recently and they’d been bbq’d whole with just a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil. SO amazing. I love the sound of your recipe here.

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