It is undeniable, it is barbecue season! One of my favourite ways to cook fish is on the grill. Come to think of it, I can’t remember the last time I have had fish prepared another way recently, aside from smoked fish. My culinary friend, Mark, recommends every barbecue season, that I try sardines on the grill. Apparently, this is a foodie’s delight, not to mention something a little different to satiate the palate. Here is a recipe from Darlene Schmidt with a Thai twist.
Sardines on the BBQ:
- 8-10 whole sardines, fresh or frozen (see preparation instructions on how to clean sardines below)
Dry Rub: (double this recipe for more than 10 sardines)
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp. turmeric
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp. dry crushed chili or 3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp. white pepper
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper
- 3 Tbsp. good-tasting oil, such as coconut, canola, or olive
- 1 Tbsp. coconut milk or 2 tsp. butter
- 1 fresh red chili, de-seeded & minced, or 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili or cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh coriander, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 3-4 Tbsp. lime juice
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- Lightly oil the grill with a little cooking oil to prevent fish from sticking.
- To make the barbecue rub, simply stir all the rub ingredients together in a small bowl.
- If the sardines you are using are already cleaned and prepared, skip this step. If not, cleaning sardines is relatively easy. Make a cut along the bottom of the fish and remove the intestines and entrails (simply run your finger inside the cut). Rinse and place the fish aside to dry.
- Place prepared sardines on a tray or in a long casserole dish, so that they’re lying flat. Drizzle with about 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil and lather evenly over the fish.
- Now sprinkle the BBQ rub you made earlier over the entire surface of the fish. Gently rub it along each fish, so they appear yellow-gold. Sprinkle any remaining rub powder over the fish and set aside to marinate until your barbecue/grill is hot (at least 10 minutes).
- To make the sauce: Simply place all sauce ingredients in a small pot or sauce pan. Heat very briefly (do not boil) – just warm up over medium heat to bring out the flavors, and it’s ready! Taste-test for salt, adding more fish sauce if not salty enough, or another squeeze of lime juice if too salty for your taste. Add a little more sugar if too sour. (Note: You only need a teaspoon of this sauce per fish, as it’s very flavourful.)
- Before grilling, make sure your grill is lightly oiled or the sardines will stick. Grill the fish until cooked – about 5-8 minutes each side. When done, the fish will appear golden and the skin will be crisp.
- Enjoy the fish as is, or spoon over the sauce for an extra Thai treat. The sauce is also very nice with rice. ENJOY!