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Recipe for
In Sardis
(Sweet Stuffed Sardines with Eggs)

by Apicius IX, XI, I

A stuffed fish recipe used as an appetiser. This recipe continues to this day in Sicily, as Sarde a Beccafico and is considered a great delicacy. One can use anchocies instead of sardines. As with all Apician recipes, substitution is the way.

Original recipe: Sarda exossatur, et teritur puleium, cuminum, piperis grana, menta, nuces, mel. Impletur et consuitur. Inuoluitur in charta et sic supra uaporem ignis in operculo componitur. Conditur ex oleo, caroeno, allece.

Translation: Properly, ought to be treated in this manner: the sardine is boned and filled with crushed flea-bane, several grains of pepper, mint, nuts, diluted with honey, tied or sewed, wrapped in parchment and placed in a flat dish above the steam rising from the stove; season with oil, reduced must and origany


  • 10 FreshSardines or Anchovies
  • For the stuffing
    • Pinch of:pennyroyal (or mint)
    • 18 t.cumin
    • thyme
    • 1½ t. mint
    • ¼ c. finely chopped almonds (or other nuts)
    • 2 t. honey
    • foil or greaseproof paper
    • ½ c. water
    • ½ c. garum
    • 3 hard-boiled eggs


  • Open the sardines and remove the backbones.
  • Make the stuffing by combining the pennyroyal (or mint), cumin, pepper, mint, and nuts. Bind with honey.
  • Stuff the sardines and wrap individually large leaves (the foil or greaseproof paper)
  • Steam gently in a covered steamer for 30 minutes..
  • When done unwrap the sardines and arrange on a platter
  • Decorate with the sliced eggs and sprinkle with garum.
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