Grilled Sardines with Coriander & Fennel

Serves: 2 people

Difficulty: Easy

Sardines are a great oily fish that taste wonderful on their own or grilled with fresh ingredients and spices. This is one of my favourite quick recipes, perfect for during the week, or even when I have friends popping over for supper.


  • 4 sardines, cleaned and scales removed, head removed if you wish
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander
  • roughly chopped
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed if you wish, finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • good pinch of sea salt


1. Preheat the oven to 230°C/450°F/gas 8.

2. In a pestle and mortar, roughly grind together the dried red chillies, fennel seeds and black peppercorns.

3. Mix in the turmeric, garlic, coriander and fresh red chilli.

4. Give it a rough bash before stirring through some olive oil and squeezing in the lime juice and zest.

5. Rub the sardines inside and out with the spiced marinade, stuffing what's left inside the cavity of the fish.

6. Lay on a baking tray and sprinkle with sea salt before roasting for around 8 minutes, or until the skin is crispy.

7. Serve straight from the oven with a delicious side salad for an easy mid week meal.

Anjali’s Tip  You can make this recipe with mackerel fillets if the bones from the sardines are too much for you. Just cook through for a few more minutes.

Graham Cook| June 18, 2012 at 11:07 am

love sardines! a healthy evening alternative to a ‘proper meal,’ as you so rightfully call such occcasions! also makes a great low fat pate, accompany with some thick toasted brioche and a blob of apricot chutney and you have got yourself a great starter or lunch dish, enjoy! Graham :)

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