GASTRONOMY: It’s that time of the year for Durban residents as the slippery silver delight of sardines have begun to beach across coastal regions of South Africa. South Africans aka Durbanites swear by the grilled version and Indian South Africans spice up the comfort snack or grilled or fried sardines by adding a dollop of ‘dhal’ to this lip-smacking fish dish.
- 3 medium garlic cloves, finely minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh juice from about 2 lemons
- 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound fresh sardines, cleaned, scaled, and gutted
- Fine sea salt, or Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Combine the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, paprika, and black pepper in a small bowl and whisk well to combine. Arrange the sardines in a single layer on the bottom of a shallow baking dish and pour the marinade over the fish. Turn the fish to ensure they are coated evenly, and spoon some of the marinade into the cavity of each fish. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
- Light up and prepare your charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals in an even layer on the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set all of the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.
- Remove the sardines from the marinade and grill over direct heat until well-charred, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a metal spatula or fish turner, flip the sardines around and grill until charred on second side and cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer the sardines to a large platter and season with salt. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges.
You can also try out this sardines recipe from Filipino food blogger, Marvin Gapultos of Burnt Lumpia was a winner for us when we tried it out.