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Grilled Sardines on Sea Salt with Lemon

Grilled Sardines on Sea Salt with Lemon

Grilled Sardines on Sea Salt with Lemon

With the temporary lull on the kitchen redo over the holiday weekend I set out to find some interesting, yet simple and sustaining foods to prepare.

A visit to the International Market provided as always, a good selection from which to choose along with some other stock up items now requiring replacing in my kitchen having used up many items prior to emptying out the cabinetry leading up to the demolition. 

One pleasant surprise freshly laid upon inches deep of white crushed ice among the day’s fresh fish offerings was Sardines.

Perfect. Bright, clean, still gleaming silver colored fish brushed with olive oil, grilled outside on a bed of sea salt and served alongside juicy lemon wedges would provide the perfect intermittent course in between a few other prepared dishes.

Grilled Sardines on Sea Salt with Lemons

The Grilled Sardines added a rather festive feel to the meal even despite our surroundings of makeshift bright blue paint tape hanging out of the new cabinet doors enabling opening and closing of the now mostly filled spaces before the proper knobs and pulls meet their new home early in the week.

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Not being able to resist I did just a little bit of reading this morning on Sardines and came up with a few bits of informational info to share. One fun point is Sardines swimming the waters so packed together is how the expression came to be known as ‘Packed Like Sardines’.

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Additional tidbits include Sardines as classified in varying ways including any oily small size fish belonging to the herring family, or any fish within this category shorter than 6 inches, anything larger is named Pilchard. 

Sardines are also classified by alternate names based on where they are from including Sardinia where the name most likely came from.

Sardines found in the Mediterranean or Cornish Sardines from Cornwall England.

Most everyone knows that Sardines fresh or canned are very healthy to eat and packed with lots of essential vitamins and minerals as well as thought preventative for a range of diseases.

Any way you pack it, Sardines, especially Grilled Sardines on Sea Salt with Lemon are simple to prepare and especially appreciated as a culinary delight.

Grilled Sardines on Sea Salt with Lemon

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Category: Fish

Cuisine: Italian

Servings: 4

Grilled Sardines on Sea Salt with Lemon


  • 2 Fresh Sardines per person
  • Olive Oil for lightly coating Sardines on both sides
  • Sea Salt, enough to line aluminum foil so each sardine sits on a bed of the salt
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Lemon, one wedge per sardine


  1. Preheat grill.
  2. Gently clean sardines in cold running water scraping off all scales and any rough spots then wipe dry with paper towel and transfer sardines to a platter
  3. Using a sharp knife cut the sardine through the center at the bone from head to tail then lift out the center bone from the fish
  4. Coat each sardine with olive oil on each side, season with salt and pepper
  5. On a baking sheet line with two layers of heavy duty aluminum foil long enough to hold the number of sardines to be served then pour enough sea salt onto the aluminum foil that each sardine will lay across a bed of sea salt
  6. Slide aluminum foil lined bed with the sardines onto the grill
  7. Grill about five minutes each side using a spatula or tongs to gently turn fish over, sardines may be cooked a little longer for crisping up
  8. Garnish with lemon wedges
  9. The skin of cooked Sardines may be eaten

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