The 50th Anniversary Issue

Our 50th birthday issue is on sale now. We're celebrating five decades of great food and travel with our biggest issue yet.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before 27th November, 2016 and receive a Villeroy & Boch platter!

Gourmet on your iPad

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad.

Fried sardines, Tangier-style

You'll need

4 fresh or frozen sardines (about 350gm) 1 tbsp roughly chopped coriander leaves 1 tbsp roughly chopped parsley leaves 1¼ tsp cumin seeds, preferably Moroccan 2 garlic cloves 1 tsp coarse sea salt 1 tsp sweet paprika ¼ tsp hot paprika or cayenne pepper 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, plus extra for brushing For deep-frying: oil For dusting: flour For brushing: olive oil


  • 01
  • Rinse the sardines under cool running water. Slit open the bellies lengthways and remove the backbones and innards. Use scissors to snip away any bones near the head. Rinse and pat dry.
  • 02
  • Crush the coriander and parsley to a paste in a heavy mortar or finely chop in a small blender. Add the cumin seeds, garlic and salt and crush or blend to a thick cream. Blend in the sweet paprika, hot paprika or cayenne and lemon juice. Smear the mixture over the flesh of all the sardines, then fold back together so that each sardine resumes its original shape. Arrange on a plate, cover and chill for 1 hour.
  • 03
  • Heat oil for deep-frying to 190C in a deep wide pan. Dust the sardines with flour, then deep-fry them until golden brown and crisp on both sides (be careful, hot oil will spit). Drain on absorbent paper. Brush them with a little olive oil and lemon juice, then position “husband and wife” pairs, heads looking away from each other. Serve at once, or allow to cool, cover and chill to serve cold.

Note The Food of Morocco ($65, hbk) by Paula Wolfert is published by Bloomsbury. This recipe has been reproduced with minor GT style changes.

"This dish is known in Tangier as 'husband and wife' because of the positioning of the sardines," writes Paula Wolfert. "The fish heads are left on, and pairs of fish are arranged so that the heads are looking away from one another, like an old alienated married couple! Serve hot or cold, brushed lightly with oil and lemon juice."

At A Glance

  • Serves 2 people
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
things to do this autumn

Whether it's foraging for wild mushrooms in a picturesque Victorian forest or watching a film by moonlight in Darwin, we've got you covered with 20 exciting autumn experiences from around Australia.

Read More
Gourmet TV

Check out our YouTube channel for our latest cover recipes, chef cooking demos, interviews and more.

Watch Now

At A Glance

  • Serves 2 people

Featured in

Nov 2012

You might also like...

Alistair’s secret barbecue sauce


Kingfish and scallop ceviche with tomato oil

Dulce de leche milkshake


Hot ricotta fritters, blueberry-lime compote and ricotta cream

Tetsuya's caramelised apple and saikyo miso cream


Stanbuli shepherd's salad

Duck rillettes with piccalilli


conversion tool

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.