A delicious sardine recipe from the master of spice, Dhruv Baker.

One of the most evocative smells has to be that of sardines cooking over a gentle wood fire. Fresh sardines – beautifully sweet with that gorgeous natural saltiness – are unbeatable. Harissa is a big, bold, potential bully of a flavour, but when used sparingly it is divine with fish. Cook the sardines on the barbecue or under a grill and serve with a wedge of fresh lemon and a sprinkling of chopped parsley.

Serves 6


12 fresh sardines, cleaned and gutted (ask your fishmonger)

2 tbsp harissa paste

4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for serving

Small bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Juice of 2 lemons

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Slash the sardines three or four times on both sides, season with salt and pepper and then rub thoroughly with the harissa paste.

2. Drizzle with the olive oil and cook on a hot barbecue for 3–4 minutes each side or under the grill for the same amount of time (you may need a little less or longer depending on the size of the sardines).

3. Serve with the chopped parsley, a drizzle of olive oil and squeeze of lemon juice.

Recipe from SPICE by Dhruv Baker, published by Orion

More seafood recipes