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Recipes / Grilled Sardines with Lemon and Thyme

Grilled Sardines with Lemon and Thyme

By The Editors

Published March 26, 2024

Grilled sardines are the bomb. These rich, firm little fish are easy to work with, and they cook in minutes—so fast that you shouldn’t stray from the grill. They’re best when the skin takes on some char and gets quite crisp. Hit them with lemon juice and a final pinch salt and you’ll understand why fresh sardines are popular throughout the Mediterranean.

sardines
sardines
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The only challenge here is finding sardines. Specialty seafood markets or the best supermarket counters have them, or can order them. Anytime you see them looking shiny and brightly colored, grab some. You can have your fishmonger clean the sardines, but it’s really not hard: First, rake a small, sharp knife along both sides of the fish from the tail to the head to remove the scales. Then insert the knife in the belly at the tail and slit up the middle to the head. Pull out the innards with your finger, running it from one end of the fish to the other. Then rinse and pat the sardines dry with paper towels. After cooking, the head and inedible bones are easily removed. You can use this recipe to prepare other small fish, like whiting, and it’s easily multiplied to cook in batches for a crowd.

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Grilled Sardines with Lemon and Thyme

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