Stuffed sardines

Stuffed sardines

Sardines farcies

Luke Nguyen's France
Alan Benson

Various recipes for stuffed sardines can be found along the stretch of the Ligurian Sea coast between France and Italy. For the fullest flavour, use very fresh sardines.


Quantity Ingredient
185g cooked white rice
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 french shallot, chopped
2 tablespoons crushed roasted almonds
3 tablespoons chopped coriander, plus extra to garnish
1/2 lime, grated zest, plus lime wedges to serve
1 red chilli, sliced, plus extra to garnish
3 eggs, separated
120g panko, (Japanese breadcrumbs; see glossary)
6 fresh sardines, boned and butterflied, leaving the tails on if desired
125ml olive oil
2 handfuls rocket


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the rice, garlic, shallot, almonds, coriander, lime zest, chilli, egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of the panko crumbs. Spread the remaining breadcrumbs on a flat plate.
  2. Add a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to the rice mixture. Using your hands, stir to combine, until the ingredients stick together. Gently squeeze 1 tablespoon of the stuffing in your hand, making a tight sausage shape. Place the stuffing on the inside of a sardine, then flatten so it sticks to the sardine.
  3. Place the egg whites in a shallow bowl and whisk for 1 minute to thin them out slightly. Dip the sardines in the egg white, then coat with the breadcrumbs and set aside. Repeat with the remaining sardines and stuffing.
  4. Heat 80 ml of the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook two sardines at a time, belly side down, for 2 minutes. Turn and cook for another 2 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towel.
  5. Meanwhile, place the rocket in a mixing bowl. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Arrange the sardines on a serving platter with the rocket. Garnish with extra chilli and coriander and serve with lime wedges.
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