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Sardines in vinegar banderillas recipe

Sardine in vinegar and tomato stuffed olive skewers recipe


We were so excited to discover there was a World Tapas Day, our chef created a recipe for the occasion.

If you’re a Spanish cuisine newbie, tapas are a special way of eating in bars whilst having a drink. In Spanish tapas bars, you’re served small portions of bigger dishes, skewers called banderillas, bread slices with all kinds of toppings… all of them are tapas.

Should we write more about tapas ? Tips on how to order them ? If you would like us too, drop us a comment at the end of the recipe.

And if the answer is no, please tell us what you’re willing to read on this blog. We’re trying to be useful here 😉

As a tribute to the Spanish classic anchovies in vinegar, let us introduce you to…


Sardines in vinegar with tomato stuffed olive banderillas recipe

Important note: You need a little preparation for this one. We’re not going to lie to you.

If you’re going to serve these banderillas on Saturday night, you’ll need to buy and prepare the sardines on Wednesday.

We’re not even joking. But the result is totally worth it.

You’ll be marinating sardines in vinegar for 12h to 24h. Then you’ll have to freeze them for 24h.

It’s always safer to freeze fish before eating it raw.

The good news is you can prepare it up to 6 months in advance.


Ingredients for 40 skewers

250 grammes of medium-sized sardines (or 20 pieces)
400 grammes of green olives without bone (or 80 pieces)
0.5 litre of vinegar from white wine
0.5 litre of olive oil

Tomato stuffing

4 tomatoes
2 jelly leaves
2 garlic clove
1 branch of thyme
2 soup spoons of olive oil


Sardines cleaning and marinating in vinegar (at least 3 days before serving your tapas)

1. Rinse sardines and dry them with a clean cloth.

2. Open the sardines belly with scissors starting where the tail meets the body. Scrape out the entrails and discard them.

3. Take their heads off with your hands and discard.

4. Rinse sardines carefully to wash off what might be left from the entrails.Then place in a bowl filled with water for a few minutes so all the remaining blood gets out of the fish. Repeat until water is crystal clear.

5. Gently flatten the sardine. Grasp the backbone on the head side and carefully lift it away. Discard the backbone and separate the fillets.

6. Place in a flat recipient, cover the sardine fillets with vinegar. Cover with plastic foil. Refrigerate for 12 to 24h. The more time you leave sardines marinating, the more vinegar taste you’ll get.


Sardines freezing (at least 36h before serving)

1. Discard vinegar and pat the sardines dry with paper towels.

2. Cover with olive oil and freeze for at least 24h. You can keep them in your freezer up to 6 months.


Sardines de-freezing (at least 12h before serving)

De-freeze the sardines in your fridge leaving them into the olive oil. They’ll stay perfect for an extra month if you leave them in their olive oil.

Tomato stuffing and banderillas preparation (D-day!)

1. Grate tomatoes and discard the skin. Reserve

2. Peel garlic clove.

3. Heat a pan over medium heat with olive oil. Once the oil is hot, throw in garlic and thyme.

4. Once garlic is getting a bit brown, add the tomato puree and fry everything for a couple of minutes.

5. Add the jelly leaves and stir well so they completely dissolve into the tomato sauce.

6. Put tomato mixture it into a pastry bag, and let it cool a little in the fridge.

7. Rinse and dry olives.

8. Stuff olives with tomato sauce using the pastry bag and reserve.

9. Prepare your skewers, sardines and olives. Start threading the sardine by the end of the fillet. Then thread an olive and the fillet again. Repeat with a second olive.

10. Repeat step 9 until you’re out of sardines.

You’re all set! Enjoy!

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