Sardines in Salt [sarde Sotto Sale]

"Get the freshest fish you can find! 4 kg fish will fill a 2 litre glass jar. Eat on their own with fresh bread with a good glass of white wine, or fillet for a pasta alla Puttanesca."
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:
2 litres




  • Place the sardines into a 10 litre bucket.
  • Cover and mix with layers of the salt -about1 kg and make sure that every fish is covered in salt. Be gentle when you mix them or you will damage the fish.
  • Leave 24 hours.
  • Take the sardines still in the salt in the dish to the beach. Wash the excess salt off with sea water,removing all blood and loose scales.
  • When at home again, remove the heads and entrails.
  • Do not try to remove the scales at thisstage,as you will damage the fish.
  • Place the fish in a stoneware or stainless steel pot,layered with the remaining rock salt.
  • Cover with a thick layerof rock salt.
  • Place a plate on top.
  • Place a weight on top eg 4-5 washed bricks or a bluestone pitcher.
  • Leave for 28-40 days.
  • Remove the weights and wash the salt off the fish in a good wine vinegar solution of 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 water, removing any scales.
  • Dry the fish thoroughly.
  • Place in a sterilized jar, top and tail.
  • Sprinkle each layer with garlic, oregano and hot chillies.
  • Drain any excess brine out of the bottom of the jar.
  • Cover in the best quality olive oil you can buy andleave for up to 4 weeks before eating.

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I'm an ex-pat NZer living in the tropical Top End of Australia. Which makes it a perfect place to make homemade bread and summer recipes all year around. I experiment on my 3 kids who have grown up trying new Zaar recipes every other day and they are thriving. I'm the lacto-ovo vegetarian in the family and somehow I got roped in to become a Forum Host here at Zaar. So check out the Vegetarian and Vegan Forum and feel free to join in whether you are a fully fledged vegan or someone who needs to cater for a vegetarian and has no idea where to start. Every year I try to do something a bit different to push the envelope a little bit. In 2005 I learned how to sail a dinghy; 2006's grand passion is mosaics. Check out my blog! Between raising three children, working almost fulltime and trying to pursue my hobbies...let's say that my time management skills have greatly improved over the years! I am also very interested in living a sustainable lifestyle. Essentially I'm finding that I'm getting back to the country lifestyle I enjoyed in my childhood even though these days I live in themiddle of suburbia. To this end I have started gardening although I am a total gardening virgin when it comes to gardening in a tropical climate. I also have a cookbook with a number of recipes you can make from scratch. Living clean and green is good for you AND cheaper!
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