Sardines escabeche

Sardines escabeche
Sardines escabeche Photo: Jennifer Soo

A version of this method appears in the cuisines of Spain, France, Italy and Algeria, to name a few. I first came across it in the south of France - Roger Verge served red mullet this way.


500ml olive oil

2 small spanish onions, finely sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely sliced

2 bay leaves


Freshly ground white pepper

1 carrot, peeled and sliced

2 sprigs thyme

1 pinch saffron threads

50ml white-wine vinegar

12 sardines, butterflied

Vegetable oil


To make the marinade, warm olive oil in a saucepan. Add onions, garlic and bay leaves and season. Cook until soft, about 15 minutes. Add carrot, thyme and saffron. Cook until carrot is just cooked through. Add vinegar and remove from the heat. Allow to cool to room temperature. Fry sardines in hot vegetable oil for 30 seconds each side. Place in a shallow dish and pour over marinade. Leave for eight to 12 hours or overnight before serving.