Buy fresh sardines whole or filleted. Whole sardines should be firm with heads attached and stomachs intact. There should also be a pleasant, fresh smell. Pilchards can also be purchased butterflied.
Canned sardines are also available - buy them in springwater to reduce fat content.
Wrap whole fish or fillets in plastic wrap or put in an airtight container. Keep up to 2 days in the refrigerator.
Tips & Tricks:
Scale, clean and gut. To butterfly, break head from body and then run thumb down stomach cavity; gut will just come away. Press open flat on a board and remove bones if desired. Smaller species can be served whole, but do need to be scaled and gutted.
A serve of sardines is equal to about four sardines.
An oily fish best suited to grilling, baking or barbecuing. Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with lemon parsley and black pepper.