These perfectly charred and caramelized Mediterranean grilled sardines are the ultimate summer grill dish serving you nutrients, deliciousness, and a real Mediterranean experience! Peers perfectly with salads and dips!!
Growing up in Northern Morocco, grilled sardine is a staple dish in our dining table. Especially for people who live in coastal cities, an average person will have at least one serving of fresh sardines per week!
Grilled sardines are also very common in Spain and Portugal and we tend to enjoy sardines the same way as we eat them right off the bone! so we get some time to clean off the bones while enjoying a conversation with our families.
Why sardines are good for you
Sardines are my favorite source of protein! They are not only rich in protein, but they serve a generous amount of other nutrients that are essential for our bodies!
Nothing’s better than sardines when it comes to Omega-3 fatty acids. Sardines contain a generous amount of omega-3 that one serving per week can cover your body’s needs of these essential fatty acids. Sardines also make an excellent source of calcium, protein, and minerals.
How to choose fresh sardines from your local sea market.
For you to make the best out of this recipe, you need to make sure your sardines are fresh!
Fresh sardines usually have the following features:
- Fresh fishy odor
- Silvery and smooth skin
- Bright eye color
Signs to avoid when buying fresh sardines
- Bruised spots
- Smashed areas
- Broken belly with the guts out
What you’ll need to make Mediterranean grilled sardines
The good thing about sardines is you don’t need to overly season them as they taste just as good with salt and lemon. For this recipe, I peered fresh sardines with onion and sweet green pepper to give them that extra smokey onion and pepper flavor!
Ingredients you will need:
- Fresh sardines
- Green sweet pepper
- Olive oil
- sea salt
- back pepper
How to make grilled sardines
First thing, you will need to prepare chopped onion and sweet pepper in advance by thinly slicing them into wedges.
Prepare freshly minced parsley and cilantro.
Next thing you will need a large mixing bowl. Add fresh sardines after you have washed them, chopped onion, chopped sweet green pepper, minced cilantro and parsley, olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper.
Give it a light toss until everything is well coated.
Next thing you will need a Gridiron to grill the sardines in it. Using a gridiron will prevent sardines from possibly falling into the grill.
Place sardines on the gridiron leaving a small space between each piece. Drizzle leftover onion and pepper on top of the sardines.
Grill for 10 minutes on each side or until tender and slightly charred.
Serve on your favorite serving plate and drizzle with lemon juice (optional).
How to eat, clean, and debone sardines like a real Mediterranean!
Eating sardines is an art, and no one can prove me otherwise! Having to debone and clean grilled sardines by yourself is all worth it! and trust me you get more time to carry on with that gossip conversation with your cousin on the dining table!
Deboning sardines is easy if you know how to do it the right way! I like to start by removing the tiny bones on the back and near the gut area. Then I separate the flesh off the bone on one side using a fork and a knife (or your hands, the Moroccan way lol). Do the same with the other side and voila! you have clean, fresh, deboned sardines!
What to serve with grilled sardines.
Nothing peers best with sardines other than salads! For this recipe, you can serve it with any summer salad depending on your preference. The following recipes are my go-to salads to serve with sardines:
Mediterranean Grilled Sardines
- 1 kg (2lbs) sardines fresh, whole, bone-in
- 1 small sized onion thinly sliced into wedges
- 1 small sized sweet green pepper thinly sliced into sticks
- 2 tbsp cilantro freshly minced
- 2 tbsp parsely freshly minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- fresh lemon or lime juice for drizzling
- In a bowl, add fresh sardine, chopped onion, chopped sweet green pepper, minced parsley, minced cilantro, salt and pepper, and olive oil.
- Toss everything until well coated.
- Place the sardines in a Gridiron and top with leftover onion and green pepper.
- Grill on both sides for about 10 minutes until soft and slightly charred.
- Drizzle with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and serve immediately.