Pan Fried Flattened Sardines

  • Servings: 3 or 4

For this dish, you need to have fresh sardines. Medium sized sardines would be best!

Sardines are amongst the healthy oily fish we should eat at least twice a week.

And, last but not least, they are one of the cheapest fish you will find on the market.


  • Fresh sardines, scaled & gutted (3 or more per person)
  • Lemon juice (enough for the marinade)
  • 1 heaped tbsp of garlic powder + 1 tsp of harissa (Tunisian chili paste)
  • A handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Enough flour to coat the sardines
  • Olive oil, to pan-fry the sardines
  • Seasonings : cumin, white pepper and salt


Step 1

To flatten or butterfly the sardine, start by removing the head and the tail then cutting the belly open all the way down. Place the fish on a board, skin side up, open it then press firmly along the backbone until it is flattened. Now turn the fish over and slowly remove the backbone. Trim the skin on the edges (if necessary) and remove any remaining small bones.

Step 2

Place the butterflied sardines in a flat glass dish, side by side. In a bowl, mix lemon juice with garlic powder, harissa, cumin, chopped parsley, pepper and salt then pour this marinade over the sardines. Refrigerate for a at least 2 hours.

Step 3

Remove the sardines from the marinade then coat them with flour. Shake off excess then pan-fry in olive oil until golden brown. Serve hot with some lemon wedges on the side.

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