Soused Fresh Sardine Salad Recipe

Soused Fresh Sardine Salad is an amazing dish to make a light meal or side dish for family, social gatherings or outings like picnic. Moreover, this salad is an ideal prepare-ahead dish for summer gatherings. Sardine, the main Ingredient of the salad, is also known as Pilchard, which is a small oily fish. Sardines are known for their taste.

The traditional way of cooking a fish by frying it and the submerging it into a sauce is obviously an appetizing way to prepare it. In this simple recipe, the sardines are nicely roasted over medium heat and marinated. Finally, the grilled sardines are dished up on the bed of a couscous, chickpea and pepper salad. This simple Soused Fresh Sardine Salad recipe is a rich source of Vitamins, Iron, Selenium, Calcium, Copper, Zinc, Potassium, Folate, and Niacin.

Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cooking / Grill Time: 5 minutes
Cooling / Refrigeration Time: 30 minutes
Serving Size: 04 persons
Utensils: grill, grill rack, foil, spoons, forks, whisks, tray, cutting board, sharp knife, refrigerator, plastic wrapping sheet, thick gloves


– 8 fresh sardines –nicely cleaned, scaled and heads removed
– 1 small lemon – cut into 8 thin slices and each slice halved
– 250 g (about 8½ oz) couscous
– 1½ teaspoons ground coriander
– 1 teaspoon turmeric
– Pinch of cayenne pepper
– 1½ teaspoons butter
– 600 ml (about 1 pint) boiling water
– 1 can chickpeas (about 410 g) – drained and rinsed
– Spring onions – finely chopped
– 2 large peppers (1 red and 1 yellow) – seeded and finely diced
– 1 large courgette – nicely grated
– 140 g (about 5 oz) baby spinach leaves
– Fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnishing –optional
– Salt and pepper

Marinade’s Ingredients

– Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
– 4 tablespoons lemon juice
– 1 tablespoon garlic-flavored olive oil
– 1 fresh red or green chili – seeded and finely chopped
– 1 shallot – finely chopped
– 6 black peppercorns – lightly cracked
– 1 fresh bay leaf


  • 1

    Preheat the grill

    First of all you have to pre-heat your grill by setting it at high temperature.

  • 2

    Make the marinade

    Now, prepare the marinade. Take a bowl and add in the finely grated zest of 1 large lemon and 4 tablespoons of lemon juice. Pour in 1 tablespoon of garlic-flavored olive oil and stir the ingredients with a spoon until nicely incorporated. Stir in one finely chopped fresh red or green chili, one finely chopped shallot, 6 lightly cracked black peppercorns and one fresh bay leaf. Set the marinate bowl aside for now.

  • 3

    Line the grill rack

    Now, gently line the grill rack with foil and then lightly brush it with the recently prepared marinade.

  • 4

    Prepare the sardines for grilling

    Arrange the 8 fresh sardines in order and remove their scales and heads with a sharp knife. Cut one large lemon into eight wedges and tuck 2 slices in each of the sardine cavity.

  • 5

    Grill the sardines

    Shift the sardines to the lines grill rack and brush them with more marinade. Now, grill the sardines for around 2 minutes or until properly roasted. Turn the sardines with care and lightly brush them with marinade. Grill for 2 to 3 more minutes or until the outer skin of the sardines are crispy.

  • 6

    Remove the grilled sardines from grill

    Wear gloves and remove the roasted sardines from grill and carefully transfer them to a baking dish, arranging them in one line.

  • 7

    Pour in the marinade

    Gently drizzle the remaining marinade over the grilled sardines in the baking dish and toss them until thoroughly coated, rolling from all directions. Set the baking dish aside to cool. Once the sardines are cool, cover the dish with plastic wrapping sheet and chill in your refrigerator for 25 to 30 minutes.

  • 8

    Prepare the couscous mixture

    For the meantime, pick a bowl and place the 250 g of couscous in it. Add in the 1½ teaspoons of finely chopped coriander and same quantity of butter. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of turmeric all over the mixture. Season with pinch of  cayenne pepper, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Whisk all these ingredients with a large spoon or fork until the butter melts and incorporate well. Now, carefully pour 600 ml of boiling into the bowl and stir until the ingredients mix well and form a thick and smooth mixture. Leave this couscous mixture for some time in order to cool properly.

  • 9

    Remove sardines from refrigerator

    Remove the grilled sardines’ mixture from your refrigerator and set aside at room temperature until you give finishing touch to your salad.

    Note: It is better to remove the sardines about 10 to 15 minutes prior to serving the salad.

  • 10

    Add the remaining ingredients to the couscous mixture

    Grab the bowl of couscous mixture and add in 1 can of rinsed and drained chickpeas, finely chopped spring onions, and the slices of 2 large finely diced peppers. Top the mixture with 1 nicely grated large courgette and muddle up all the ingredients until mix properly.

    Note: Try to use one red and one yellow pepper in order to give a colorful touch to your salad.

  • 11

    Arrange the herbs on the serving plates

    Take four serving plates and equally divide the baby spinach leaves among them, arranging them in a nice order.

  • 12

    Add in the couscous

    Now, add the couscous to the center of the plates with spinach leaves.

  • 13

    Arrange the sardines

    Take out the grilled sardines from the marinade and place two of them on each salad plate.

  • 14

    Garnish the Soused Fresh Sardine Salads

    Your Soused Fresh Sardine Salads are almost ready and it is the time to give them great finishing touch by garnishing them with the fresh flat-leaf parsley. Simply chop the parsley with sharp knife and sprinkle them all over the salads.

  • 15

    Serve the salads

    Arrange the four Soused Fresh Sardine Salads in a large serving tray and dish up with four medium forks and spoons. Enjoy!

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