You are here

Grilled Sardine

Grilled sardine is small sized oily fish, also known as pilchard, cooked on medium to high heat on preheated gas grill or charcoal grill. Sardines, available in both canned and fresh varieties, are a major delight in various cuisines like Portuguese, Turkish, French, Moroccan, and Indian. The grilled version of this seafood is highly popular in almost every region of Portugal, where it is traditionally eaten as a favorite summertime treat.

Preparation Overview

The grilled sardine can be prepared in various ways with the recipe differing form one cuisine to another, mainly in terms of use of flavoring ingredients. The simplest and most popular Portugal grilled sardines recipe suggests grilling olive oil brushed and seasoned sardines until charred and blistery, while turning them once during grilling. One of the recipes for grilled sardines suggests rubbing the seafood with dried barbeque rub prior to grilling. The rub used in this case is a blend of garlic powder, turmeric, salt, cornstarch, dry crushed chili, black pepper, and white pepper. This is a popular way of making this grilled fish in Thai cuisine.


  • Grilled sardines can be served as main course meal, at room temperature or warm, with lemon wedges after being drizzled with olive oil.
  • The Thai variant suggests serving the grilled fish with a sauce made by boiling together olive oil, butter or coconut milk, chopped coriander, minced red chili, minced garlic, brown sugar, lime juice, and fish sauce (a condiment made with fermented fish, salt, and various spices and herbs).

Nutrition Facts

4oz of grilled fresh sardine provides around 116 calories, obtained from 14 g of fat, 281 mg of sodium, and 3 g of carbohydrate. Sardines are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, protein, vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, and calcium, which help in maintaining overall sound health of an individual. Here are a few health benefits associated with a couple of vital nutrients present in sardines:

  • Omega 3 fatty acids- sardines are very good sources of these essential fatty acids, which help in preventing an individual from being affected by cardiac problems and Alzheimer’s disease. Further, the presence of these fatty acids in sardines helps in maintaining adequate blood sugar level in the human body.
  • Iron- sardine is also rich in iron, and is a healthy seafood choice for consumption, especially for women, as it helps in compensating for the iron lost during menstruation.


Fresh sardines are preferred over canned sardines for grilling purpose; however, a few people prefer making grilled sardine with canned ones too.