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Espetos Recipe – Andalucia’s Tasty Grilled Sardines

As soon as spring starts we know that the sunny days are here to stay. This means spending more time in your backyard and turning the fire on your grill.

That is why we brought you the Espetos recipe, which is one of the best sardine recipes and an easy one if you aren’t a master of the grill yet. 

Put on sunscreen and get ready to go out to the garden to cook!

Espetos - Andalucia's Most Tasty Grilled Sardines

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In this article, we will show you how to prepare sardines, what substitutions you can make in the ingredients, and some key tips that will facilitate the making of the recipe.

Background of the Dish

grilled sardines recipe

Espeto comes from the verb “espetar” which consists of nailing the fish to a rod to grill it.

That cane is traditionally stuck in the sand, and in a boat on the beach bars.

The espeto began to be made at the time of the moragas, which are still celebrated in Malaga.

There are parties that take place at night on the beach where fish is eaten after being grilled in this way.

This practice dates back to the 19th century and is a classic of the Easter, spring, and summer beach parties.

Keep reading and we will tell you how to eat sardines and much more about this particular dish. 

Pin for later!

Are you in the mood for Espetos, the Spanish grilled sardines? You can learn here how to prepare sardines the way Spaniards do it. As the warm season is around the corner, this grilled sardines recipe is just perfect for a barbeque dinner party. The Spanish grilled sardines are easy to make and are done in just 20 minutes but you will be amazed how good they are. These grilled sardines are crispy, smokey, and finger-licking good. #espetos #grilledsardines #spanishsardines #sardines #andalucia

Things You’ll Need for Espetos

To make the best sardines, AKA the espetos recipe, you will only need a nice grill and a few ingredients.

As it happens with other sardines recipes, the spotlight always goes to the sardines, so you will see later in this article all the replacements that you can make to the ingredients. 

sardine recipes

Ingredients

  • 8 sardines
  • 8 skewers
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • ½ tablespoon of chopped rosemary
  • ½ tablespoon chopped green olives
  • ½ tablespoon chopped capers
  • ½ cup (140g) coarse salt
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil

How to Make Espetos – Step by Step Guide

spanish sardines
  1. To start with this grilled sardines recipe the first thing you need to do is to soak the skewers in cold water for half an hour. This will help to prevent them from burning when exposed to fire.
  2. After that, grate a lemon and take a tablespoon of that zest. Mix with the parsley, garlic, rosemary, olives, and capers on a deep plate.
  3. Preheat the grill to high heat. In the meantime pierce each sardine, going through its entire body with each skewer.
  4. Then place the sardines on a baking tray, or use a special grill for fish.
  5. Season the sardines, cover them in coarse salt, and add olive oil.
  6. Place the sardines on the fire for no more than 3 minutes. Both sides of the fish must receive heat, so you have to turn them halfway through.
  7. For the final step, remove the grilled sardines from the heat and pour the previously prepared mixture of herbs into them.

Substitution of Ingredients

best sardine recipes

When it comes to the substitutions of the ingredients, you can make as many as you can think of, and you can put on your skewers other types of fish or seafood if you can’t find fresh sardines.

You can check other recipes for sardines and use ingredients from them in this one.

Like adding some cherry tomatoes or green bell peppers to the skewers. You can also use any type of seasoning of your choice. 

As well as it happens with other fresh sardine recipes, technically you could replace the fresh sardines with the canned ones, but the flavor won’t be nearly as good.

They taste fine, but fresh is always better.

Andalucia is an ocean of delicious recipes and if you want to have another taste of the Southern Spain, we encourage you to try the Flamenquines Cordobeses as well.

Tips on Serving Espetos

fresh sardine recipes

There are thousands of ways to eat sardines, and you can choose your favorite one based on your personal taste. However, here we will show you the best way to eat sardines. 

If you want to have an authentic Andalusian meal, you can serve these grilled sardines with a small bowl of gazpacho, since the tomato flavor goes really well with the sardines. 

You can also serve them with a Mediterranean salad, which is usually paired with other seafood recipes and another tip is to serve it next to a glass of summer red wine.

You can try the Spanish sardines pasta or the grilled mackerel if you want another recipe with fish. 

You can have a Spanish feast and have some inspiration for your next dinner party with our recipes. 

Prepare a large variety of tapas such as chicken croquettes, albondigas, and some tortilla de patatas.

For the main course, you can try the chicken stew or seafood stew, and together with Spanish cheesecake, you’ll give your guests a dinner to remember. 

How to Store Espetos

How to Store Espetos

If you are following this espetos recipe, then the best thing you can do is to eat them the same day as you made them.

Fish always taste better fresh, and sardines tend to turn bitter with time.

However, you can store these espetos in the fridge for up to 3 days and eat them whenever you want.

You can’t freeze Spanish sardines after you grill them because they will spoil. 

Recipe Card: Espetos

Yield: 4

Espetos Recipe

sardine skewers

As soon as spring starts we know that the sunny days are here to stay. This means spending more time in your backyard and turning the fire on your grill.

That is why we brought you the Espetos recipe, which is one of the best sardine recipes and an easy one if you aren't a master of the grill yet.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 sardines
  • 8 skewers
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • ½ tablespoon of chopped rosemary
  • ½ tablespoon chopped green olives
  • ½ tablespoon chopped capers
  • ½ cup (140g) coarse salt
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Soak the skewers in cold water for half an hour. This is to prevent them from burning when exposed to fire.
  2. Grate a lemon and take a tablespoon of that zest. Mix with the parsley, garlic, rosemary, olives, and capers on a deep plate.
  3. Preheat the grill to high heat. In the meantime pierce each sardine, going through its entire body with each skewer.
  4. Place the sardines on a baking tray, or use a special grill for fish.
  5. Season the sardines, cover them in coarse salt and add olive oil.
  6. Place the sardines on the fire for no more than 3 minutes. Both sides of the fish must receive heat so turn them halfway through.
  7. Remove the sardines from the heat and pour the previously prepared mixture of herbs into them.

Notes

Something that the best sardine recipes have in common is that all of them call for fresh sardines, so that is something that you should keep in mind while making the shopping list for this recipe

Nutrition Information

Yield

4

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 251Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 83mgSodium 237mgCarbohydrates 16gFiber 5gSugar 4gProtein 29g

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