Sardines in Saor
This is a humble, but flavorful Italian seafood dish consisting of fried, fresh sardines seasoned with vinegar and sweet & sour onions. This is a classic Italian dish and it’s popular especially in Venice, on the Adriatic Coast.
Preparing sardines in traditional Saor (meaning flavorful) sauce is quite simple. The instructions below will guide you every step of the way, from scaling and deboning your sardines until they’re steaming and ready to enjoy on your dinner plate.
Enjoy this delicious recipe of Sardines in Saor!
Sardines in Saor
- long kitchen gloves
- Kitchen scissors
- a short, sharp knife
- 16 medium-sized fresh sardines fillets
- 2 large white onions finely sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- handful pine nuts
- handful raisins
- splash of white wine
- 175 ml white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds crushed
- 2 cloves ground
- 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns crushed
- plain flour for dusting
- light olive oil for frying
- salt to season
- black pepper to season
Preparing the Sardine Fillets:
- Lightly dust each butterflied sardine with a mixture of plain flour seasoned with salt and pepper.
Shallow-Frying the Sardine Fillets:
- In a large frying pan, heat approximately 1.5 cm ( 2/3 of an inch) of light olive oil over medium heat.
- Fry the sardine fillets until they are lightly golden on both sides.
- Place the fried fillets on a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
Toasting Pine Nuts:
- Heat a small dry frying pan over low heat.
- Add the pine nuts and toast them until they turn golden, being careful not to let them burn.
- Place the raisins in a small bowl and cover them with a bit of white wine. Allow them to soak while you prepare the other ingredients.
Sautéing Onions and Preparing the Saor Sauce:
- In a pan, sauté finely sliced onions in light olive oil over medium-low heat. Let them slowly soften.
- Stir the onions frequently over the next 20-30 minutes to prevent sticking or burning.
- Once the onions turn transparent and lightly caramelized, add crushed coriander, ground cloves, and crushed pink peppercorns.
- Follow with the vinegar and stir everything together.
- Let the mixture cook together for an additional 3 minutes before removing it from the heat.
- Now, you're ready to assemble the dish as presented in the image below. Enjoy!
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