02 May Pan Fried Sardines


Pan Fried Sardines

2 May 2019

PREP: 5 Mins - Cook : 5 mins - SERVES: 4

There is nothing simpler, more wonderful, inexpensive and easy to prepare than these treats from the sea. Ask your fishmonger to clean the sardines for you.  Ripponlea fish supply in Glen Eira Rd may do this for you if you ask nicely.  Allow 4 – 6 sardines per person. 

Recipe Template

Pan fried sardines are delicious eaten straight from the pan, dressed in a little red wine vinegar and eaten with bread and a glass of rough red wine.  This is what we do!

If you prefer to cook a batch of them – take them to the table and enjoy with crusty bread and butter and a crunchy salad.


Olive Oil


Sardines, cleaned, gutted and scaled – heads can stay on or be removed


Red Wine Vinegar

Mint – optional garnish


Kitchen Towel ; Kitchen plate ;Board or clean plate for the cooked fish ;Fry pan; Tongs or 2 forks; Serving plate


Step 1

Lay the raw, cleaned sardines on a piece of clean disposable kitchen towel and pat dry before cooking

Step 2

Prepare a plate of flour for the sardines and keep this close to the stove

Arrange some clean kitchen towel on a board next to the pan, to place the cooked sardines onto, to drain before eating

Step 3

Heat a frypan over moderate heat:

Generously cover the base of the fry pan with olive oil (about 5mm). You want the sardines to be at least half covered in oil while in the pan. Don’t use a great big pan unless you are cooking for a lot of people – the bigger the pan the more oil you will need and you cannot really reuse it.

Bring the oil temperature to 185C+. If you do not have a thermometer, dangle one end of the sardine into the oil – if it does not sizzle, the oil is not yet hot enough and you will end up with soggy rather than crispy sardines.

Step 4

While the oil is heating, drag a sardine fillet through the flour, shake the excess flour off and one by one – as soon as the oil is hot enough, gently drop each one into the hot oil.

Do not crowd the pan – they only take a minute.

Cook rapidly in the oil, turning once with a pair of good tongs or use 2 forks.

Step 5

Place the cooked fish on the kitchen towel, sprinkle with salt , a little red wine vinegar and garnish with chopped fresh mint.



Recipe by Elizabeth Peddey

Acknowledgements: Patience Gray, Honey from a Weed; Claudia Roden, Mediterranean Cookery

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