Fish of the month

Boquerones, using sardines

from three to five
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Picture of Boquerones, using sardines

Sardines - A wonderful semi firm white flesh but one that does not respond well to over cooking. A pleasant natural saltiness to the meat that requires careful further seasoning. They respond very well to cooking over charcoal or frying; with good flavour they respond well to many different global dishes. Perhaps this is why mother nature made them so widespread. They could be perhaps compared to herring and fresh anchovies and faint notes of mackerel.

Cooking time   0
Fish type   Oily fish
Serves   4


6 sardines or pilchards, scaled, gutted and filleted
2.5 generous teaspoons flaked sea salt
50ml white wine vinegar
juice of 1 lemon
8 tablespoons good olive oil
black pepper
2 large garlic cloves, finely sliced
2 tablespoons finely sliced
flat-leaf parsley
good bread, to serve


Lay the sardine fillets skin-side down in a shallow flat-based dish and scatter the salt evenly all over them. Pour over the vinegar and lemon juice. Turn the fillets over so that the skin is now facing up. Cover the sardines and leave them like this for 2 hours in the fridge. Briefly rinse the fillets under a cold tap to wash away any excess saltiness. Pat dry with kitchen paper. Lay the fillets on another dish and splash over with a couple of tablespoons of their marinade. Cover with oil, a good grinding of black pepper, the garlic and parsley. Leave the fillets for another couple of hours in the fridge, covered, to allow them to come into their own. Eat with really good bread and enjoy them with wine.