Pickled Sardines on Toast

I got this idea when I went to a cafe for breakfast one day with a friend.  I was totally surprised that they would be brave enough to have some thing like this on the menu because it isn’t really a popular dish for breakfast in Australia let alone on any service period, which is another one of those things I cannot understand.

Sardines are packed full of goodness and done this way, you will be surprised at how tasty they truly are, perfect really for a breakfast.  Done this way, it will allow you to leave it in the pickle for a period of time which then allows you to enjoy them more than once with out the hassle of cooking from the scratch, which reminds me, it also doubles up great for a lunch or dinner!

Photo by Jun Pang

Pickled Sardines on Toast

Serves 4

12 Sardines                           head off, gutted and cleaned

1 Brown Onion                       sliced

2 Cloves of Garlic                   finely sliced

5 Black Peppercorns

4 Juniper Berries

1 Tspn Red Chilli Flakes

4 Cloves

11/2 cups Red Wine Vinegar

½ Cup Water

5 Sprigs of Parsley

5 Sprigs of Dill

1 Loaf of Sour Dough Bread

1 Bunch Spinach

Sea Salt

Cracked Black Pepper


  1. To make the marinade, place the onion, garlic, peppercorns, juniper, chilli flakes, cloves, vinegar and water into a pot and bring to boil.
  2. Once boiled, take marinade off the heat and add the sardines.
  3. Place the sprigs of parsley and dill in small container and add the sardines and marinade covering the herbs.  Allow the marinade to cool with the sardines immersed in the liquid.  Allow to sit for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Slice the sour dough bread and toast in a toaster.
  5. Sauté the spinach in a hot frying pan with olive oil and season to taste with sea slat and cracked black pepper
  6. Place the spinach on the toast followed by the pickled sardines and sprinkle a little sea salt

Sardines are packed full of goodness and they are very versatile.  Try this recipe out in larger quantities and you can leave it to pickle for some period of time. Brilliant for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Photo by Jun Pang


About dnleslie

Chef and food lover. Passionate about cooking, learning from people and teaching. View all posts by dnleslie

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