Fresh sardines are tasty, high in protein fish that have become popular in Australia. Moroccan chef Hassan M'Souli's sardines are filled with coriander, cumin, ginger and saffron and served as sandwiches.






Skill level

Average: 3.7 (40 votes)


  • 1 onion, diced   
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped    
  • 1 tbsp ginger, chopped                                             
  • 1 small hot red chilli, chopped             
  • 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped   
  • 1 tbsp coriander, chopped
  • ½ tbsp ground cumin               
  • ½ tsp saffron threads    
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • salt  and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 16 fresh sardine fillets
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Chermoula marinade

  • 1 tbsp dried crushed chilli         
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika             
  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped 
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger    
  • 2 tsp chopped coriander (cilantro)
  • ½ tsp saffron threads             
  • 2 onions, diced                    
  • 2 bay leaves                     
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • ½ preserved lemon, sliced thinly
  • 125 ml (½ cup) olive oil
  • ½ lemon, juiced

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Blend the onion, garlic, ginger, chilli, herbs, spices and lemon juice in blender until all ingredients are combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spread some of the mixture onto 1 sardine fillet and join with another, like a sandwich. Repeat with remaining sardines.

Coat the joined sardines lightly in flour and fry in olive oil in a hot pan for about 1 minute each side, until golden brown.

Serve with tomato chermoula marinade.

To make the marinade, mix all the ingredients together thoroughly in a bowl and leave for half an hour prior to use. Makes about 3 cups.

The chermoula can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.