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Crispy Moroccan Fried Sardines with Citrus Pepper

Moroccan Fried Sardines with Chermoula

Fried Sardines are an iconic dish in Moroccan cuisine. They are tangy, fresh and super crispy! This recipe comes with an easy homemade tartar sauce to bring it all together. 

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Moroccan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Author Idriss


  • 1 lbs fresh small sardines cleaned, de-boned and butterflied
  • 1/2 cup frying oil (I use sunflower oil)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice and zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 egg lightly beaten

Tartar Sauce

  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 minced small shallot


  1. In a large bowl, mix your chermoula ingredients together until well combined. Add your prepped sardines and using your hands, gently coat your fish in the marinade. 

  2. Heat up a skillet with your frying oil on medium heat. Place your flour in a large plate. Take one fillet and roll in the flour until fully covered. Move to your hot skillet and fry for 3 minutes on one side, flip, and fry for another 2 minutes on the other side. Remove and place on paper towel covered plate. Repeat until your out of fish. 

  3. Make your tartar sauce by combining all ingredients together. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on your sardines and serve with your tartar sauce. Enjoy!