Stuffed Sardines or Surf Smelt

January 22, 2014

These are so tasty they've been featured in the New York Times! (that's us!)


Clean your fishies then de-bone them by grasping the backbone and tugging it away from the body.  If you've got smelt, this is optional as the bones are so fine.   Make sure your fish are still hinged together so they open and close.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and brush a baking sheet with olive oil.  In a food processor combine:


  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

  • 3 tbsp parmesan

  • 1 tbsp fresh herbs – whatever you got (Cilantro! Basil! Dill! Sage! Parsley! Mint? Yes, do it! Seriously, they won't clash!)

  • 1 tsp minced rosemary

  • 1 tsp minced garlic

  • walnuts

  • 1 tsp good quality mustard  

  • splash of olive oil


Pulse until it’s nice and sticky.  Then toss in a handful of raisins to the mix.  Yes, raisins. 

Pat the smelt dry, then pour a tablespoon of olive oil in your hands, rub them together, and rub the sardines so that they’re coated.  Stuff each fish with the stuffing, arrange them in rows on the baking sheet, and sprinkle with salt and pepper and a little lemon juice.  Bake about 15 minutes, until a little golden.  Cut up some lemon wedges and voila!  You’ve thrilled a fisherman.


Dipping sauce (optional)

  • Juice of half a lemon

  • 3 tbsp mayonaise

  • 1/2 tsp cumin

  • 1/2 tsp siriracha hot sauce


stir ingredients, put in a shallow bowl, dip and enjoy!

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