Cured Sardines

  • Serves

    serves 2-4


Easily filleted by removing the heads, then pulling the spines away from the fillet from the neck toward the tail, sardines are cured in a bright mixture of sugar, salt, and thyme. This recipe first appeared in our April 2014 issue with Mary Sue Milliken's story Forgotten Fish.


  • 8 fresh sardines, cleaned, filleted, rinsed, and dried
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 12 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. minced thyme
  • 14 tsp. sugar
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. minced parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Step 1

Place sardines skin side down on a plate; rub 1 tbsp. oil into fillets. Mix salt, thyme, and sugar in a bowl; sprinkle over fillets. Place 4 fillets, skin side down, in a glass loaf pan; top with half the lemon and drizzle with 1 tbsp. oil. Top with 4 fillets, skin side up. Repeat with remaining fillets, lemon, and oil. Cover with wax paper and a piece of cardboard cut to fit inside the pan. Weigh down with cans; chill 24 hours. Transfer to a plate; sprinkle with parsley, garlic, and pepper.

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