We all Scream for Crumbed Sardines (and Roasted Garlic Aioli)



Sardines are a small fish renowned for their big and bold flavours. They are local, sustainable and if you can get past the strong flavour they come with an added health kick from omega-3 fatty acids.  There are plenty of ways to temper that strong flavour, and one way is garlic aioli. And let’s face it, all great crumbed fish deserves a generous helping of this garlic aioli, the perfect flavoured condiment for pairing with seafood.

Coupled with a good wedge of lemon, a crisp green salad, this recipe, packed full of brilliant flavours and textures is a fun way to get your family to eat more seafood.

Crumbed Sardines and Roasted Garlic Aioli (Serves 3)

Recipe created by Chef Zoe Kumar


600g sardine

½ white onion

¼ cup all-purpose flour

Milk (if needed)

Pepper (to taste)

Salt (to taste)

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons shredded lemon zest

4 eggs, lightly beaten

200g (3 cups) breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons vegetable oil (for frying)


  1. Place the breadcrumbs, chopped parsley and lemon zest, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well to combine. In separate bowls place the flour and the egg.
  2. Slice the onion and place in a pan with 1 tablespoon of oil on low heat. Cook for 15 minutes until caramelised.
  3. Press sardine fillets into the flour, dip into egg and press into breadcrumb mixture to coat.
  4. In a non-stick fry pan heat some oil, cook the sardines for 1-2 minutes on each side. Drain them on paper towel before serving with the aioli and caramelised onions.

Roasted Garlic Aioli (Serves 3)

½ garlic bulb

50 ml extra virgin olive oil

100 ml canola oil

1 egg yolk

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 tbsp. lime juice

Smoked paprika (to taste)


  1. Peel outer layers of the garlic and place on tray. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 180 degrees for 30 minutes.
  2. Once the garlic has cooled to touch, squeeze the roasted garlic from the skins into a clean bowl.
  3. Add egg yolk and Dijon to the garlic and whisk to combine. Add lime juice to the egg mixture and slowly, rain in the olive oil and canola oil while constantly whisking the mixture.
  4. Once desired thickness is achieved add the paprika and season to taste.


  • Any firm-fleshed white fish is suitable for this recipe. Cooking time will depend on how large and how thick the fish is.
  • Ask your fishmonger to fillet the fish for you.