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Soused sardines on toast

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for soused sardines on toast.

By Emma Knowles
  • Serves 4
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 10 mins cooking plus standing
Soused sardines on toast
Soused sardines on toast

Using tinned sardines, you can knock this up from the contents of a well-stocked pantry, but fresh sardines take it to a whole other level.


  • 300 ml white wine vinegar
  • 50 ml dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • ½ small Spanish onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced, plus 1 clove extra, halved
  • 70 ml olive oil
  • 20 sardine fillets (45gm each)
  • 8 thick sourdough bread slices
Parsley and lemon salad
  • 2 cups (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 lemons, seeds removed, segmented, juice reserved
  • 30 ml extra-virgin olive oil


  • 1
    Preheat a grill to high heat. Combine vinegar, wine, sugar, onion, herbs and sliced garlic in a saucepan, season to taste, bring to the boil over high heat, set aside.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, heat 20ml oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Dust sardines in seasoned flour, shaking off excess, then cook in batches, skin-side down, until golden (2-3 minutes), turn and cook for another minute. Wipe out pan with absorbent paper between batches. Transfer to a heatproof, non-reactive dish large enough to hold sardines in a single layer. Pour over vinegar mixture and stand for 5 minutes.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, drizzle bread with remaining oil and grill, turning once, until golden and toasted (1-2 minutes each side), rub with cut-side of garlic and keep warm.
  • 4
    For parsley and lemon salad, combine ingredients in a bowl, breaking up lemon segments with your fingers, season to taste and toss lightly to combine. Serve with soused sardines and sourdough toast.


Drink Suggestion: A shot of very cold vodka or a small glass of lager. Or both. Drink suggestion by Max Allen