27th July 2013

Grilled sardines

By MaitreMarcel

There is absolutely nothing complicated about this recipe and the result is delicious and healthy.
You see plenty of fresh sardines on the French market stalls now, as it is a popular summer dish.
My fishmonger said they came from Douarnanez in Brittany, once the country’s biggest sardine fishing town when the shoals swam close to the coast. On the packaging from the Rungis wholesale market it said “caught in North East Atlantic” which is closer to the truth. The boat may have discharged at Douarnanez where there still are some canneries.
Anyway, the fish costs 4.50 euro a kilo. I bought them early because they are very delicate and put them in the refrigerator until we were ready to eat.
Personally, I wash and gut sardines but you can use them whole.
Here, I just put them on the grill like they are but you can add various things before the cooking and afterwards. If I had more time, I might have made a mixture of fried garlic, some onion, parsley and lemon wedges. Now we had a salad.


  • 12 sardines


  1. Clean the sardines under running water, make a small incision to gut the fish (leave the heads on).
  2. Heat the grill, BBQ or plancha.
  3. Put the sardines on a wire rack.
  4. Put the rack on the heat, turn every three minutes for some 20 minutes. You want nicely browned fish.
  5. Present, with lemon wedges if wanted.