Full Recipe

Moroccan style Couscous Stuffed Sardines

It’s the start of the sardine season. On the last 2-3 Saturdays Jimmy has sold the first few. They sell very quickly so you need to be there early. Last week I thought I’d try something different and came up with this recipe with a Moroccan feel to it. Feel free to add or subtract any ingredients to your taste.

  • Ingredients (serves 2):
  • 8 sardines – scaled, deboned and butterflied
  • About ½-¾ cup cooked couscous
  • 1 tsp each ground ginger, ground cumin & paprika
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper or finely chopped fresh chilli (optional)
  • 1 finely chopped small onion or equivalent in shallots
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • ½ finely chopped preserved lemon (rind only)
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tbsps raisins or any other dried fruit (optional)
  • 2-3 tbsps finely chopped fresh herbs eg coriander and parsley
  • Salt and pepper


Heat your oven to 180°C. Heat a little olive oil in a pan and gently soften the onion or shallots. Add the garlic and the spices. Mix on the heat for a minute.

Add the contents of the pan to the couscous and also mix in the rest of the ingredients. Add enough olive oil to make sure the mixture is moist.

On a board or on your bench lay 4 sardines skin side down. Top each with a generous amount of the couscous mixture. Place another sardine on top.

Lightly oil an oven dish. Put the stuffed sardines gently into the dish using a slice.

Drizzle with a little more olive oil.

Cook for about 10 minutes.

Serve with a green salad.