Chef's Recipes

Lemon-cured sardines

Utterly simple and with a speedy curing process, these sardines make a quick and easy light lunch with some crusty bread or an effortless starter as part of a larger menu.

  • Serves 4 - 6
  • 10 mins preparation plus curing
Lemon-cured sardines

"You can eat these after an hour, which is the way I prefer them," says Afik Gal. "The outside of the sardine is cured, but the inside is still raw and sweet, a nice contrast with the texture, and you can still taste the sea. You can also eat this the next day. It's firmer the longer you leave it in the salt and lemon, but you can stop the curing process by taking the fish out and putting them in olive oil."

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp sea salt
  • 6 sardines, filleted, skin removed
  • Juice of 2 lemons, or to taste
  • 1 long green chilli, thinly sliced, or to taste
  • 1 radish, thinly slice
  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil

Method

  • 1
    Sprinkle half the salt on the bottom of a shallow bowl. Place sardines skin-side up on top and sprinkle the rest of the salt on top. Pour lemon juice over sardines, add chilli and refrigerate to cure (30 minutes to a day). Remove sardines and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • 2
    Serve sardine fillets topped with chilli, radish and onion and drizzled with olive oil.
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