Saturday, 13 June 2009

Portuguese Grilled Sardines

The weather is gorgeous here in the UK at the moment!!
It's barbecue time!
Most people go for the traditional sausages, hamburgers, chicken thighs and legs. And if you're lucky, salmon!

To me, real barbecues mean the smell of fresh fish and good quality meats.
Ultimately, I starting missing Portuguese Sardines.

They are the most traditional, most delicious barbecued fish you could wish for in Portugal (not that I'm biased )

Found this on Wikipedia which freaked me out a bit!!

Sardines play an important role in Portuguese culture. Having been a people who depended heavily on the sea for food and commerce, the Portuguese have a predilection for fish in their popular festivities. The most important is Saint Anthony's day, 13th June, when the biggest popular festival takes place in Lisbon, taking the people to the streets where grilled sardines are the snack of choice. Almost every place in Portugal, from Figueira da Foz to Portalegre, or from Póvoa de Varzim to Olhão has the summertime popular tradition of eating grilled sardines (sardinhas assadas).

It is the 13th of June today!!

Not having a clue about St. Anthony's day, wondered if there is some weird DNA thingy that has made me crave Sardines today???

My barbecue is not up and running yet, but cravings are cravings and one must obliged. The grill it is!
Regardless, I can now indulge my craving. Hope you enjoy it too!


  • 6 medium sized fresh sardines-frozen if you really can't get fresh, just make sure they are thawed thoroughly
  • 1/2 handful coarse sea salt
  • 2 large potatoes, like russets
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
  • 1/8 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 1 Large tomato
  • Some slices of Cucumber (if you like)


Scale and gut the sardines (you can have your fishmonger do this). Wash the sardines under cold, running water and pat dry with paper towels. Lightly salt the sardines with coarse sea salt and refrigerate. Meanwhile, boil 2 potatoes until a knife is easily inserted. Drain and cool.
Roast 2 green bell peppers over an open flame until charred. Place in a bowl and cover it with plastic to allow it to steam for approximately 20 minutes. Remove the plastic and peel and seed the peppers.
Cut peppers into 3-inch wide strips and combine in bowl with 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/8 cup white wine vinegar, onion, and garlic. Add tomato (sliced) , onion (sliced) and cucumber. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Preheat a grill.
Place the sardines on a hot grill. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and place on the grill. When the sardines are done on first side, flip them over, and give the potatoes a quarter turn to create the grill marks.
Place 3 sardines on each plate with 2 potato halves and some green pepper salad. For decoration and extra flavour, drizzle with remaining olive oil.
Gingered Sardine on Foodista


  1. delish and so healthy rich in omega 3 I need to do to Portugal next

  2. Not growing up with good fresh fish (breaded fish sticks were the thing in MN) I am slowly acquiring a taste for fish - we had some yummy, fried sardines the other night, with capers and other spices - I shocked myself by thinking I could have made a complete meal out of them. Thanks for sharing this yummy sounding recipe.

  3. Hope you can, Chow and Chatter. The food is really healthy, fresh and incredibly delicious!Not that I'm biased, lol!

  4. Hope you keep experimenting OysterCulture. Best thing is to stay simple initially, good quality fresh fish, lemon, olive oil salt and pepper-you can't go wrong!

  5. Nice post on sardines. Unfortunatelly I haven't been able to find any decent fresh ones in the UK. Have a look at my blog for more Portuguese-inspired cooking!

  6. that is very good.Here in summer people eat that a lot with potatoes and salad.

  7. Live in beautiful Kelowna, BC, Canada and just found frozen Portuguese sardines at Wal Mart of all places!! Defrosting now and cant wait for dinner, although a nice crisp green salad, fresh bread and some nice light red wine to accompany the meal. OMG I cant wait. Good chatting with you. Ant H.

  8. Very nice way to posted an atypical recipe but you also can hold the sardines under cold running water while you rub the skin with your thumbs and remove the scales, it's the most important point about it. Gut your sardines by removing the heads and twisting the backbones out.

  9. This blog is fantastic, I hadn't seen any similar before. I have to accept I found it out by a lucky stroke, but I'm impacted with its quality. I hope you continue posting with the same passion you did it here.

  10. Ohh I know exactly how you feel. As Fall is approaching and here I am living in WI I will be missing the grilled fish. But thankfully for other choices such as broiled fish which is always a great alternative.

  11. Wow, nice post, congratulation you did a great work with this post, I really enjoyed this post!!! ! i will share it with you guys if it's not a problem.