wikiHow to Cook Sardines

Five Methods:Prepare Sardines for CookingGrill SardinesFry SardinesBroil SardinesBake Sardines

Sardines contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential fatty acids. The human body cannot make these fatty acids, but you can get them through food sources. Aside from potentially helping with brain function, Omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Although you can purchase sardines in a can, many people enjoy fresh sardines. You have several ways you can prepare sardines, depending on your personal preference.

Method 1
Prepare Sardines for Cooking

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    Buy fresh sardines at the grocery store or fish market.
    • Look for whole fish that smell clean. Avoid bruised sardines-you want the best product when you make sardines.
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    • Stay away from old fish. Aged sardines will have "belly burn," a condition where the guts start to come out of the fish.
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    Scale the sardines by holding them under cold running water. When you prepare sardines, you want to remove all the rough skin. Rub your fingers back and forth over the sides, brushing off any remaining scales.
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    Gut the sardines 1 at a time by holding the fish in one hand with the belly facing up. To prepare sardines, cut the entire length of the fish's belly with a sharp fillet knife. Remove the innards and discard them.
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    Remove the bones from the fish.
    • Use the fillet knife to slice along each side of the backbone behind the ribs.
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    • Cut underneath the ribs of the fresh sardine and slice upward, away from the backbone.
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    • Use sharp scissors to snip the backbone where it connects to the head and where it meets the tail.
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    • Remove the backbones with your thumb and forefinger before you cook sardines. Start at the tail and move your hand along the bone toward the head. As you move along the spine, lift the bone from the fish.
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    Rub the fish with lemon juice. To prepare sardines, add a little seasoning, such as salt and pepper.

Method 2
Grill Sardines

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    Turn your grill on. If you use briquettes, give them plenty of time to heat up. The briquettes will be ready when they are almost completely gray.
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    Brush grape leaves with olive oil. When you make sardines, you want to keep them moist and juicy. Wrap each fish in a grape leaf.
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    Cook sardines for 5 to 6 minutes on 1 side and then gently turn them over with kitchen tongs.

Method 3
Fry Sardines

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    Coat a frying pan with olive oil.
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    Turn a stove burner on medium and place the pan on it. Let the pan warm up for 3 to 5 minutes. To prepare sardines with a little more zest, dice up an onion and sauté it for 4 minutes before you add the fish.
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    Put the sardines in the frying pan, taking care not to splatter the hot oil. Cook sardines on each side for 2 to 4 minutes, turning them over gently with kitchen tongs or a spatula.

Method 4
Broil Sardines

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    Turn your oven to broil and let it warm up for 10 minutes. Prepare sardines for broiling by rubbing them with olive oil.
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    Set the fresh sardines on a double-broiler pan and then put them in middle rack of the oven.
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    Cook sardines for 5 to 10 minutes, watching them to make sure they do not burn.

Method 5
Bake Sardines

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    Heat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
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    Brush an oven-safe pan with olive oil while the oven warms up.
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    Place your fish side-by-side in the baking pan.
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    Cook sardines in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Tips

  • Make sardines the day you buy them-they rot faster than any other type of fish.
  • Some people enjoy serving cooked sardines on toast.
  • Add garlic or green peppers to the fresh sardines for additional flavor.
  • If you can't find grape leaves to grill your fresh sardines, try fig leaves or cabbage.

Warnings

  • Never freeze fresh sardines.
  • Be careful when you cook with oil. If it splatters, it can cause severe burns or start a fire.

Things You'll Need

  • Fresh sardines
  • Cold running water
  • Sharp fillet knife
  • Sharp scissors
  • Lemon juice
  • Grill or oven
  • Olive oil
  • Grape leaves
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Frying pan, double-broiler or baking dish
  • Onion
  • Kitchen tongs
  • Spatula
  • Oven mitt


Article Info

Categories: Fish and Seafood