Sarde in Saor



Sarde in saor are a typical appetizer of Venetian cuisine. It is a terrine of fried sardines immersed in "saor," a flavorful condiment based on onions cooked in vinegar with pine nuts and raisins. Saor, in addition to being a tasty marinade, is an effective preservation method. Sarde in saor were originally created out of the need to preserve fish on ships for an extended period, using this particular preparation to keep the fried fish delicious for several days. In fact, sarde in saor are even more delicious if enjoyed after at least 24 hours of resting. This traditional recipe was made for us by Francesco Munarini, chef of the Osteria Do Spade, a true Venetian institution where you can enjoy typical cicchetti served for aperitivo, perhaps along with an unmissable Spritz and other specialties of the region's cuisine such as Venetian-style liver or Venetian-style cod mousse.

If you love the bold flavors of this particular marinade, also try marinated anchovies!


Sardines 2.2 lbs (1 kg)
White onions 4.4 lbs (1.5 kg)
White wine vinegar 8 tbsp (110 g)
Bay leaves 2 leaves
Fine salt to taste
Pine nuts 2 tbsp (25 g)
Raisins 1 oz (25 g)
Sunflower seed oil 2 cups (150 g)
Type 00 flour to taste
for frying
Sunflower seed oil to taste

How to prepare Sarde in Saor

To prepare sarde in saor, start by cleaning the fish: remove the head 1, make a lateral cut to gut them, then trim the edge with scissors and rinse under running water. The sardines should remain whole 3.

Place a pan full of peanut oil on the stove, meanwhile, flour the sardines 4 and place them on a tray 5. When the oil reaches about 350°F, immerse a few sardines at a time 6.

Cook for a few minutes until golden 7, drain them on a tray lined with paper towels 8. Salt 9 and let cool.

Peel and slice the onions 10. Heat the sunflower oil in a pan 11, add the onions 12.

Add the vinegar 13, raisins 14, pine nuts 15, and bay leaf.

Salt, pepper 16, cover with a lid 17, and cook for about 20 minutes until softened 18.

Now place a layer of saor in a baking dish 19, add a portion of the fried sardines 20, and cover with more saor. Continue until all ingredients are used, the last layer should be saor 21.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator 22. Serve with polenta 23 the sarde in saor 24.

How to store

Sarde in saor can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days. Freezing is not recommended.


Let the sarde in saor rest in the fridge for at least a day to intensify the flavors.

For the translation of some texts, artificial intelligence tools may have been used.