Pan-fried Australian Sardines

Recipes | Pan-Frying Serves 4 as an entrée Pan-fried Australian Sardines

‘Sardinas fritas’ are one of the most common dishes in tapas bars all along the Spanish coast. These small, oily fish make a delicious snack with an ice-cold beer, white wine or perhaps a glass of manzanilla sherry.


½ cup plain flour
1 teaspoon salt flakes, crushed 
1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika (see notes)
12 butterflied Australian Sardines
Extra virgin olive oil, for pan-frying
Lemon wedges, for serving


Combine flour, salt and paprika in a plastic bag. Add Sardines a couple at a time and shake to coat well. Remove from bag, shake to remove excess flour and set aside.

Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat, add oil and, when hot, add sardines, skin-side down, and fry for a minute or 2 each side, until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towel.

Serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side.


Smoked paprika is available from specialty food stores and adds a lovely earthy aroma.

Alternative species:

Garfish, School Whiting.

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