So, the husband read an article in the Atlantic magazine recently about fresh sardines, and has been on a quest ever since. We found a local fishmonger who is willing to get some for us (he's even had a few other requests!) so we may have a few (or seven) pounds soon. I've only had fresh sardines in Morocco, where they were grilled over charcoal and served with lots of lemon, and they were delicious. That's likely what we'll try to recreate, but I was wondering if anyone else has had any experience with the little guys...
Lucky you. If they are fresh you don't really need to do anything. Just grill briefly. (BTW- they are often sold ungutter-- just gently grasp the head and pull. Everything will come out.)
I grill them "Japanese" style, might be called shioyaki.
Scale, gut. Butterfly if desired. I like butterflied.
Season with salt, I use coarse salt, some recommend non iodized, but before I learned that, I used iodized salt.
Grill on: 1) Gas burner on stove 2) BBQ type grill. Or broil in the broiler.
Serve with grated "Japanese Radish" aka diakon. An analog to grated diakon would be horseradish. I often put a small amount of shoyu in the grated diakon. Its name may be daikon oroshi.
If you like the taste of miso, try spreading a thin layer of miso on a butterflied sardine and cook over a flame or under a broiler.
My BIL is Portugese and they do them basicaly over charcoal & salt. When done they drizzle with periperi (sp) sauce. Pretty hot stuff. Good though.
Some great suggestions already. I love the simple grilled over charcoil with olive oil, salt pepper and a hint of lemon at the end. At the same time put some olive oil, salt and pepper on some rustic bread and grill it up on the grill too. Crunch of the bread with the oilyness of the sardines. Sprinkle parsley on top as an option.