I love outdoor living.

Always happiest outdoors; and I just happen to love Dubai this time of year because I can spend every minute out in the open- “Wall-less”. Be it the beach, the many cafes and restaurants at all the walks we have in this city, it is simply gorgeous. Most of us are having BBQs, entertaining in the garden and some even go camping or hand out at the beach and so I thought to give you one of my absolute favourite go-to recipes for such occasions. It is the glorious stuffed sardines which are very fast to prepare, fast to grill and super delicious to share with your friends, casually with sprinklings of lemon, some toasted bread, a side salad and your favourite beverage with a side serving of chatting and connecting!

Living by the sea and having access to so much fresh fish and seafood, it would be a real shame not to enjoy this amazing food. However, do keep a lookout on endangered, coded red fish types and do choose the greener types. Please do by all means stay away from Hamour, as it is really endangered. Ask your fishmonger or fisherman for greener types and don’t encourage the over fishing by buying the red types.


With that said, sardines are not always available, they are my fish of choice for perfection where this dish is concerned. And where I come from, Falasteen, parts of which are on the Mediterranean, happens to be known for Sardines and as such a best loved choice always. This is why I am posting my Sardine recipe, however, you can substitute with the local Lady fish that is available everywhere in the Gulf, which also works just as well. You can also go for fresh Anchovies if you live in an area where anchovies are native. This recipe also works well with small sea bass and sea bream, go for it anyway you like, you will love it all the same.


Serves: 4-5
  • 12 large Sardines (can be kept whole or filleted)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Fresh Thyme, to taste
  • 2 tsp DS Green Shatta (green chili sauce, optional for spicy)
  • 2 tsp anchovy paste
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs (recipe on this link)
  • 1 organic egg
  • DS Himalayan Pink Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • DS Premium Organic Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • Lemon wedges
  • Capers (optional)

Start by shaving off the scales from all the pieces. Cut along the bottom side of the sardines to make an opening from the head to the tail. Cut off the back bone and discard along with the innards. Rinse the sardines with cold water inside and out then rub everywhere with lemon wedges. Set aside. (If you wish to go for fillets instead of the whole fish, then watch the video and follow the instructions for filleting your sardines.)

Make the stuffing.

In a bowl, combine the fresh thyme, garlic, DS Green Shatta (green chili sauce), anchovy paste, egg, bread crumbs and season with salt and coarse black pepper. Mix well to combine all. Fill the sardine openings with the stuffing.

In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil with sea salt and black pepper and brush the sardines with the seasoned oil.

Grill (works in the oven or on the BBQ) until the sardines are cooked through and the flesh flakes easily. Serve with a side of salad, your favourite bread and some lemon/lime wedges.

If you are going for the fillets,

then after filleting and preparing the filling, place the filling over each fillet and roll securing with a toothpick.

Line on a parchment paper covered baking tray and brush with the seasoned oil and grill in the oven until cooked through.

Line on a serving plate and top each roll with a small lime wedge. Serve hot.

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