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How do you eat tinned sardines?

  • k

The pretty package in the store tempted me and now I have a tin of sardines in Spanish olive oil. Boneless. I was planning just to eat them with a slice or two of no-knead bread, but I wonder if there's any special way you hounds like to eat them? What goes well with them? Thanks!

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  1. A schmear of cream cheese on dense bread or a quality bagel, sardines, thinly sliced onion and freshly ground black pepper. Sometimes a dash of hot sauce for an added kick.

    1. On a cracker with some hot sauce. The KISS method.


      2 Replies
      1. re: Davwud

        I second this emotion. Crackers and cayenne pepper sauce...in fact, I think this may be what saltines were invented for. When I was a kid I used to put Plochman's mustard on sardines and saltines. Today I can't imagine it. eeeewwwww!

        1. re: Davwud

          Saltines , mustard and hot sauce, is my favorite. My wife likes them only on saltines with a glass of milk to drink along side.

        2. Endive, sardine, splash of fresh lemon juice.

          1. crackers, hot sauce.

            *loves sardines

            1. on a green salad with some chopped onion and a vinegary vinaigrette.

              2 Replies
                1. re: LaLa

                  Open can, pour on a little vinegar or hot sauce, eat each sardine on top of a saltine cracker.

              1. We use this method from one of Andrew Weil's books. Empty the sardines into a bowl, add dijon mustard to taste as well as some minced onion, and mash into a spread with a fork. Very tasty spread on a whole grain cracker or good bread. (We also like to add a dry gin martini on the side.)

                1 Reply
                1. re: TNExplorer

                  Yes yes!!! Sardines with (red) onion and mustard is a delicious dish! Try it!

                2. Infrequently and with a fork.

                  That's how you eat canned sardines, right out of the tin.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: FrankJBN

                    Me, too. One of my guilty, home-alone pleasures.

                      1. My way is to mix Tobasco with cottage cheese and chopped onions, spread that on good bread, then add sardines on top.

                        Sounds kinda weird, but it's really good.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Bostonbob3

                          That does sound weird but good Bob..

                        2. For breakfast, I love boneless, skinless sardines packed in oil on a GOOD toasted bagel, sprinkled liberally with capers. It's full of protein and omega fatty acids, and a rare high source of Vitamin D. And tasty tasty tasty.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: rcallner

                            When I couldn't keep weight on since I was working 14-16 hour days of physically demanding work, I'd just eat them on a cracker since they were a great source of protein, healthy fats, and I'm not sure if it was vitamin D or something else I was lacking. They certainly aren't my favorite fish in the world, but they served their purpose.

                            1. re: Barbara76137

                              And if you eat the ones WITH skin and bones you have the added nutritional benefit of calcium, true also of canned salmon.

                          2. Saute them and then toss them with some spaghetti. Sprinkle with cheese. This is how we eat on Christmas Eve. Very tasty.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: StuCazzo

                              Isn't fish with cheese supposed to be scandalous and forbidden? (not that I'd judge; I like it on my linguine vongole :)).

                              1. re: Kagey

                                Only scandalous in Italy, not in my house. :))

                                1. re: Bostonbob3

                                  My grandmother used to make a red sauce on Xmas eve with sardines and sprinkled with fresh bread crumbs. I loved it, even as a teenager!

                              2. re: StuCazzo

                                Oh yeah, with spaghetti....deelish!!!! Don't forget lots of olive oil and good bread to soak it all up.

                                1. re: StuCazzo

                                  StuCazzo, My Italian BF got the biggest kick out of your screen-name and refuses to tell me what it means! :-)

                                2. Thanks for the great responses! I'll definitely be trying hot sauce, lemon, onions, and capers (maybe not all together!) in the near future. The pasta suggestion sounds good, too!

                                  1. This was a thread from earlier this year that was revived. Out of all the canned sardine threads I've read on this board, it had the most creative uses

                                    One of the ideas for broiling them I never considered. There's another idea with a fried egg that sounds great ... and as the infomercials say ... and much, much more.

                                    I think that sardines and fresh tomatoes are the perfect match. The ingrediants link on Chow has more affinities. It is about fresh sardines, but they work for canned as well ... hmmm ... olives with sardines ...that's sounding good to me.

                                    1. line up your saltines. Slather with dijon mustard, lay a sardine across the cracker, hot sauce, and fresh ground pepper. yum.

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: chef chicklet

                                        I'm surprised by all the saltine replies! Who knew that saltines were good for anything other than eating when you have the flu?! Looks like I missed a trick!

                                        Unfortunately, there don't seem to be any saltines here in England. In four years of living here, I've never seen them. It's possible that they're called something else, but nobody I know knows of them. I may have to investigate.

                                        1. re: Kagey

                                          Kagey, I think they are called Soda Crackers in England.

                                          1. re: Kagey

                                            You should try a saltine with cream cheese sometime,,,,mmmmm

                                            1. re: chowforjohn

                                              > You should try a saltine with cream cheese sometime,,,,mmmmm

                                              and strawberry jam. Oh the salt and the sweet.

                                            2. re: Kagey

                                              Try looking for tinned sprats or brislings. Same thing.

                                              1. re: Kagey

                                                'Who knew that saltines were good for anything other than eating when you have the flu?! ' They are also good for seasickness.

                                            3. I mash them with chopped onion, some mayo and lots of lemon juice. Delicious on a toasted bagel.

                                              1. Lots of chopped onion & ~2 tsps of white vinegar. Mash it all together. Usually I eat it with a pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, or a quartered israeli tomato. Yum!

                                                1. Two ways:

                                                  (1) Paprika, salt, lemon wedge.

                                                  (2) Fennel and sweet onion relish and olive oil. Fennel relish consists of:

                                                  Juice and rind (finely chopped) of one lemon
                                                  1 large fennel bulb, minced
                                                  1/2 sweet onion, minced
                                                  1 tbsp dill seed
                                                  2 tsp mustard seed
                                                  1 tsp chili flake
                                                  1 large clove garlic (raw)
                                                  Sugar (some)
                                                  Salt (some)
                                                  Mix all ingredients, top off with vinegar (to taste; you'll probably want to dilute a little. Champagne or white balsamic vinegar would probably be best--something with a high wine flavor to acidity ratio)

                                                  1. I can't believe no one's recommended the way I make them. I thought that it was the standard way to eat sardines, but I guess it might be a Spanish-Filipino thing.

                                                    Sliced an onion and saute in olive oil with garlic until translucent. Add chopped tomato and cook to a paste. Add sardines and saute until heated thru. Season with salt and pepper. You can also add oregano, bay leaf and/or smoked paprika. For probably the first 18 years of my life, that was the only way I knew how to eat sardines. Now I occasionally toss with spaghetti, lemon rind and parsley or eat it on buttered toast, but much prefer to revert to the comfort of a well-worn childhood classic.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                      Oh, glad to see this. My thoughts exactly except we'd eat them cooked this way with garlic fried rice or plain and a fried egg.

                                                      I'm learning a lot more with this thread!

                                                      1. re: JungMann

                                                        I just bought my first sardines ever and wanted the perfect recipe. I tried your recipe and it was very good. I even had the smoked paprika and some fresh oregano that I picked just in the nick of time before Thanksgiving. I cheated with the tomatoes and added the double-concentrated tomato paste (just because I wanted to use it) and I also added a splash of lemon juice at the end. I ate it on some whole-wheat English muffins.

                                                      2. I grew up watching my dad eat them on saltine crackers

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: dmfnole

                                                          Yep, saltines, the way my gramps did, and the way I do, with sardines or pickled herring ... (but not together!) No saltines? Then maybe a triscuit type cracker.

                                                          1. re: lrostron

                                                            Wonder if we had the same "gramps?" (called him that too!) He'd eat them on saltines with yellow mustard and white onion...that is how I eat them too!!! Oh and he ate Limburger cheese as well.

                                                        2. The book "Like Water for Chocolate" has a recipe for Christmas rolls using tinned sardines. I substituted a sweet baguette because I didn't have any hard rolls, and used fresh serranos instead of tinned. Still really good!

                                                          1 can sardines
                                                          1/2 chorizo sausage
                                                          1 onion
                                                          1 can chiles serranos (I used 3-4 fresh serranos with seeds, chopped fine)
                                                          10 hard rolls

                                                          Chop onions fine. Fry the sausage over low heat so that it cooks thoroughly without getting too brown. When done, remove from heat and add the sardines, which have been deboned ahead of time. Any black spots on the skins must be scraped off with a knife. Combine the onions, chopped chiles and the ground oregano with the sardines. Let the mixture stand before filling the hard rolls.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: AntarcticWidow

                                                            You beat me to that one. Just bought a copy in Spanish, to try to improve my bar Spanish. I love that book and taught it in a high school English class. The kids loved it and prepared foods from it.
                                                            We eat lots of sardine. Often on toast w/ boiled egg for brek. or in scrambled eggs. Blended w. olives and olive for a pasta sauce. In an antipasto, on boiled egg halves.
                                                            In avacado halves w/ a squeeze of lemon.

                                                          2. In a restauraunt near Mazatlán I had sardine salad stuffed in an avocado. It was kind of like the usual tuna salad (mayo, onion, celery etc), and absolutely delicious! When I tried to make it at home, it was good but a little too rich. Perhaps I didn't drain of the oil as well as I should have. I am thinking about mixing sardines and tuna for my next stuffed avocado.

                                                            1. Just had a can of sardines, on top of rye crackers spread with yellow mustard for dinner. Yum!

                                                              1. What, no one eats sardine ice cream, as made by the Iron Chefs? ;-)

                                                                I eat sardines with saltine or fancy crackers, a little sour cream and a touch of sea salt.

                                                                1. I simply line them head to tail on a buttered slice of good rye or pumpernickel. Pure sardine deliciousness!

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: BobB

                                                                    This is how we ate when I was growing up. On good buttered bread.

                                                                  2. In Hawaii, a traditional fish prep is poke ( po kay). Usually raw fish with onions, sesame oil and a variety of other optional ingredients. I make a universally applauded sardine poke which consists of homemade salsa typico (choped tomato, onion, jalapeno, etc.) with canned sardines. everyone loves it. great with rice.

                                                                    1. Butter two slices of white bread, put the contents of one can of sardines in between, mashed a little with a fork. Don't forget to drizzle the oil from the can over the mashed sardines.

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: ChrisOC

                                                                        Tinned sardines from the Mediterranean are a mainstay for my friends from the Maghreb (North Africa). They simply dump the sardines onto a plate or dish (a tapas dish is ideal) with the oil or tomato sauce and chop up some good onions (I use a red onion) and smother them. Harissa can be added if you like spice, so can ground cumin - but you don't have to add anything. This is eaten with bread - not in a sandwich; using the bread as a utensil to eat with your hand.

                                                                        But the boneless fillets you have would also make a wonderful light-meal salad atop some nice greens, with the same onion.

                                                                        1. re: lagatta

                                                                          On crackers, preferably Carr's. Straight up.
                                                                          Or as others suggested, in spaghetti with chilli peppers. Yum!

                                                                      2. Here's a dumb question: are tinned sardines already cooked? It seems like lots of us like them on bread so they must not be raw, right?

                                                                        I know they have fantastic health benefits but have had trouble getting to them. And would like to.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: karykat

                                                                          they are fully cooked.

                                                                          Trader Joes has some generously-sized tins of smoked sardines for about $2.50 now.

                                                                          Best cracker, IMHO, are Stoned Wheat Thins, original brand or Trader Joe's house- branded ones.

                                                                          Best too, if eaten al fresco.

                                                                          1. re: toodie jane

                                                                            toodie, does TJ's still carry the cracked pepper crackers? I think they'd be great with sardines.

                                                                        2. Oh, now I found that I am just plain weird! I usually put sardines on hot rice and drizzle some soy sauce... Looks like I am the minority...

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: kobetobiko

                                                                            Wow, so many people love this delicious items. This is one of the few canned foods we keep in the pantry.

                                                                            We eat them like many suggested:
                                                                            Put sardines on hot rice and drizzle some soy sauce
                                                                            Saute onions & tomato, cook to a paste. Add sardines SP & bay leaf, serve with rice.
                                                                            Put on a cracker dab of hot sauce & enjoy!
                                                                            Mix with hot pasta

                                                                            Now need to try the mustard method.

                                                                          2. Sardine Mexicana – on Saltine, Cebollas encurtidas (pickled onions home made) on top and squeeze lime. Finish with a cilantro.

                                                                            I don't know I can post this site but.....here is How to make Cebollas encurtidas. I made it and can not stop eating with many things.

                                                                            1. personally i like using my mouth but on a quality cracker with cheese

                                                                              1. black rye, thin sliced red onion, dash of hot sauce. Mmmm.

                                                                                1. In my dad's town their Seafood Gastronomic Intellet was nil... as such the only type of seafood they had was from a can... and Sardines (the Mexican brands are most often packed in Tomato sauce) where the most frequent type they had... usually chopped Sardines mixed with onions, jalapenos, lime juice, the tomato sauce & what ever fresh herbs were in season (Thyme, Marjoram, Spearmint, Oregano)... that is basically how I learned to prepare these.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                    I think this is pretty typical in Veracruz as well. With lots a cilantro and limon those canned sardines in tomato sauce are fantastic comida naca for filling warm tortillas. Its the official work lunch of me!

                                                                                  2. I work as a registered Maine sea kayak guide in the summer. I take a bunch of tourists paddling around the Maine coast. I love it when we take a break on the beach of some island, I whip out a can of sardines from my dry bag, rip off the top and dig in with my fingers, when done lick my fingers, rinse out can in ocean, throw it back in my kayak and tell the folks time to get back in the boats. The reactions of the folks are far ranging and often hilarious.

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                      You don't bring enough to share? That would be the chowish thing to do. :-)

                                                                                      1. re: smtucker

                                                                                        Twelve people? No Wonder Bread? I do cook for 9 on 3-5 day camping trips along The Maine Island Trail. I do bring tins of sardines, but once opened, I'm usually the only on that eats them. The same w/ lox. Americans are funny, fussy fish eaters.

                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                          First of all, you'll never see me on one of your camping trips since my idea of "Camping" is a hotel without 24 room service, but.......

                                                                                          If you had lox and sardines I'd fight you for every bit of them :) I especially love lox.

                                                                                    2. The way my father taught me, bakery rye bread, sweet butter and the sardines on top. Top that off with some stewed prunes wit heavy cream and you've got a great meal and a coronary.

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: jnk

                                                                                        "a great meal and a coronary" Nope a Zen delight. The prunes and sardines balance the butter & cream. Yin & yang of food (I hope.). I'm taking ONE can of Beech Cliff Herring steaks in La. hot sauce on today's paddle.

                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                          Japanese style - empty about half of the oil in the can, heat the entire can on a frying pan, when the oil starts bubbling over, take it off the fire, sprinkle shichimi pepper, soy sauce, and squeeze a lemon wedge, maybe a little bit of minced scallions, eat with white rice

                                                                                          1. re: cubeoccupant

                                                                                            On a saltine with a pickled jalapeno slice. ... or Tabasco.

                                                                                      2. Mashed with Dijon mustard, then spread on a toast.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: lamaranthe

                                                                                          I just bought canned sardines that were on sale. 99 cent a tin. This thread is great and I got some great ideas on how to make them!!

                                                                                        2. We love them in salad nicoise. Sometimes instead of tuna, sometime in addition to tuna.

                                                                                          1. just rip open a can of your favorite flavored sardines.(smoked ones are my favorite.)
                                                                                            and cook your favorite flavored ramen noodles, cook with any vegitables you like,
                                                                                            add Valentina hot sauce to your heart's desire. or any hot sauce that you like. tabasco is too vingery for my taste.
                                                                                            since i like my sardines cold i don't add it to the noodles,
                                                                                            i take a bite of the fish then slurp up a mouthfull of ramen. YUMM
                                                                                            smoked herring works well also.

                                                                                            1. with scrambled eggs on toast

                                                                                              1. sardines, oil from the tin, olive oil, scallions or red onions, pasta, olive paste, capers, lemon juice, parsley, and shaved fennel, mix it all together, eat cold or room temp. really easy, really good.

                                                                                                1. Saltines and hot sauce! I eat a couple cans a week and started cooking with them. Here's a link to some recipes.

                                                                                                  Chris of Chow

                                                                                                  1. I put 'em on raisin bread with ketchup

                                                                                                    1. Good bread like cibatta and hot sauce or lemon

                                                                                                      1. Being addicted to ramen lately and sardines always, I wonder if they'd be good flaked on a little finished ramen and sprinkled with furikake?

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: iheartcooking

                                                                                                          Yikes, I read "sprinkled with fruitcake"! Too many holiday threads, LOL

                                                                                                        2. Strong flavored black bread lightly buttered, thin sliced red onion and sardines. The best!

                                                                                                          1. I started out with some Progresso chicken & sausage gumbo then add the sardines that have been packed in oil to it, give you a fish stew that's very quick and easy.

                                                                                                            1. It neavers fales when you talk about eating sardines most people turns their nose up to them. But after reading all these post I feel good to say My wife and I "love sradines".

                                                                                                              1. Here's a new one for me that I never heard of before ... sardine croquettes.

                                                                                                                I bought a new cookbook for Guatemalan recipes and that was one of them. It is in Spanish, but Googling turned up lots of recipes

                                                                                                                Manioc & Sardine Croquettes (Portugual)

                                                                                                                Potato and Sardine Croquettes

                                                                                                                French Sardine Croquettes Recipe

                                                                                                                And lots, lots more. The recipe in the book I have is pretty similar to the French recipe.

                                                                                                                Anywone tried sardine croquettes and how do you make them?

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                  Reviving this thread to reply that although I haven't tried any of those croquette recipes, I've made sardine croquettes with beaten egg, scallions, and a drained can of seasoned Portugese sardines, rolled in Panko and pan fried in bacon grease! This might be my new standard way to eat tinned sardines since the flavor comes across nicely and it feels like having tasty crab cakes! I could see my way to making this with other canned fish.

                                                                                                                2. Almost like kingsKetz,
                                                                                                                  i like them on a sandwich, Dark bread, mayo, thin sliced red onion. but i prefer the sardines with skin and bones on.

                                                                                                                  1. Creamy Sardines in Ramekins

                                                                                                                    1 small onion, minced
                                                                                                                    1/2 green bell pepper, minced
                                                                                                                    2 tablespoons butter
                                                                                                                    1 (10 1/2 oz) can condensed cream of celery soup
                                                                                                                    1/2 cup evaporated milk
                                                                                                                    1/4 cup grated process cheese
                                                                                                                    3 cans (3 1/2 oz) sardines, drained
                                                                                                                    1/2 cup cooked green peas
                                                                                                                    biscuit dough

                                                                                                                    Saute onion and bell pepper in butter until tender. Stir into combined
                                                                                                                    soup and milk. Add cheese and heat until cheese melts. Gently stir in
                                                                                                                    coarsley broken sardines and green peas. Spoon mixture into greased
                                                                                                                    individual baking dishes or ramekins. Top each with a discuit dough
                                                                                                                    round and bake in hot oven (400 degrees F.) until biscuits are browned,
                                                                                                                    about 12 to 15 minutes. Makes 4 - 5 servings.

                                                                                                                    Source: Lodi News-Sentinel, Mar 29, 1956

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                      Have you actually made this? I don't know that I've ever seen condensed cream of celery soup. Of course, I was only four when this recipe was published. ;-)

                                                                                                                      1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                        No, just found it yesterday. Campbell's still makes a condensed cream of celery soup.
                                                                                                                        I remember when Ike was President.

                                                                                                                    2. Here are some ways to step up the sardines:

                                                                                                                      Red Quinoa and Sardines - http://thefoodsite.net/2009/02/how-to...

                                                                                                                      Sardine Kedgeree With Fresh Herbs - http://www.pressherald.com/life/fooda...

                                                                                                                      Sardines & Fresh Parsley With Pasta - http://www.pressherald.com/life/fooda...

                                                                                                                      Sicilian Sardines and Broccoli Rabe - http://www.food52.com/recipes/2661_si...

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                        i do a dish that's somewhat similar to the Food52 link...add capers, sub in a splash of sherry or white balsamic vinegar for part of the lemon juice, and swap out the raisins for dried currants (or if they're in season, chopped figs).

                                                                                                                      2. Sauteed lightly with chopped garlic and capers (in the oil from the can) with a few dashes of hot sauce, and poured over thick spaghetti. Lots of parmesan on top. Simple and rustic and tasty.

                                                                                                                        Definitely a home-alone dish, as the smell of cooking sardines probably won't endear you to others, haha.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. My favorite two ways are:
                                                                                                                          in a sandwich on a good Portuguese roll or baguette
                                                                                                                          with pasta

                                                                                                                          1. The only sardines I get are the double-layer oil packed ones (usually King Oscar), maybe because that's what my Dad ate.

                                                                                                                            Had some just today for a light lunch. Sardines on a Wheatsworth cracker and a dash of Cholula. This, however, is one of the treats I enjoy alone in our house. That's ok, tho, because that means there are more for me.

                                                                                                                            While this has been the standard "meal" forever, there are some good variations listed here I'm going to try. Well, maybe not "on raisin bread with ketchup."

                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: al b. darned

                                                                                                                              I really like the combo of sardines with salsa/or hot sauce, I must agree...had it today at work...Brunswick Olive Oil sardines with Green Mountain Gringo medium salsa...and a few Ryvita crackers and some fresh greens. Felt quite virtuous!!! and I don't think I'd EVER EVER put them with raisins or ketchup or anything sweet...love the spicy briny salty capery combo with them, though!

                                                                                                                              1. re: Val

                                                                                                                                well i don't eat ketchup unless there are crispy fried potatoes involved, but you'd be surprised about the fruit. have i ever steered you wrong? ;)


                                                                                                                                i add capers, sub in a splash of sherry or white balsamic vinegar for part of the lemon juice, and swap out the raisins for dried currants (or if they're in season, chopped figs).

                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                  hmmmmm....well, sheesh! It does sound darn good...will try it out!!!! Thanks very much!

                                                                                                                            2. With a fork. If on a sea kayak trip w/ my fingers. I take them "neat" straight from the can. I have a couple of cans in my desk drawer at work in case withdrawal symptoms hit.

                                                                                                                              1. on a slightly warm plain bagel with no hole in the center

                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: caesarf

                                                                                                                                  Onion or everything bagel, cream cheese, scallion, onion, capers, tomato. That's heaven.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                                    CLUNK!!!<val just fainted> I've had that bagel/cream cheese/caper concoction with smoked salmon which IS HEAVENLY as you say but haven't tried it with sardines yet...must do it! Thanks for another great way to enjoy them!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Val

                                                                                                                                      It's just as awesome with sardines! Oh man now I want some. :)

                                                                                                                                  2. re: caesarf

                                                                                                                                    Is there such a thing as a bagel with no hole in the centre?

                                                                                                                                  3. or I have them on raisin bread with ketchup ..............

                                                                                                                                    1. Ok - after reading some of your replies here is what i came up with...

                                                                                                                                      sardines...your favorite...i like the ones that come with hot peppers

                                                                                                                                      - medium bowl

                                                                                                                                      - sliced olives

                                                                                                                                      - dill pickles (non garlic)

                                                                                                                                      - Dijon Mustard (maille brand or your fav)

                                                                                                                                      - Frank's Red Hot Thick Cayenne Pepper Sauce

                                                                                                                                      - Hot Creamed Horse Radish

                                                                                                                                      - Christie Triscuit (cracked Pepper & olive oil) and/or other fav triscuit (spicy preferably)

                                                                                                                                      - ground black pepper

                                                                                                                                      Chill the can of sardines in refridgerator for at least a day...for preperation grab a medium size bowl

                                                                                                                                      - slice a dill pickle to small chunks - open can and let drain most of the water - empty sardines in bowl - add a few dabs of your Hot sauce (to taste) - add a spoon full of dijon (to taste) - add a small spoon full of horseradish - add your pickles - add one to two spoon full of sliced green olives (pref Unico brand)

                                                                                                                                      -stir slightly until you have a nice paste - lightly sprinkle black pepper on top before serving

                                                                                                                                      ...ready to eat and spread generously on your fav triscuit or crackers (dont be afraid to mix and match)...of course goes down very nice with light Cold bevy (beer)...nice thing abou it, you can re-fridgerate in tight container for the next day or 2... ;) - enjoy!

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: manwithideas

                                                                                                                                        It sounds delicious. Welcome to a bush of brisling Chowhounders!

                                                                                                                                      2. FoodFuser method: Straight from the can.
                                                                                                                                        No fuss, little mess.

                                                                                                                                        Barely open the zip-tab to create a small hole.
                                                                                                                                        Invert, squeeze the can, so the oil drains out.

                                                                                                                                        Set can on flat surface
                                                                                                                                        slowly peel back the lid.
                                                                                                                                        This is first sensuous part of the process.

                                                                                                                                        Deen's now arrayed as they were inserted by cannery worker.
                                                                                                                                        Review and appreciate the way they distributed them little fishies.

                                                                                                                                        I'm partial to cracked pepper
                                                                                                                                        so I lay down heavy layer.
                                                                                                                                        Crunch of the peppercorn will complement
                                                                                                                                        softer crunch of the vertebrae.

                                                                                                                                        Hefting the teaspoon, and perusing the can,
                                                                                                                                        I decide from which corner I want to start.
                                                                                                                                        Then in opposite corner I lay down some mustard
                                                                                                                                        and also some mayo, and mix them.

                                                                                                                                        Spoon dipped bit in that dressing cuts first sardine.
                                                                                                                                        Each bite engenders another dip, 'nother spearing.
                                                                                                                                        As I work my way down through the can.

                                                                                                                                        When big chunks are gone
                                                                                                                                        scrape spoon on all four walls and under the rim.
                                                                                                                                        Smack Smack, delicious fishies.

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                                                                                          I now teach back in New Mexico, not a fish lovers paradise. I keep cans of sardines in my desk for snacks. I was in my office eating a can of bristling sardines when in walks one of my colleagues. He is a young buff Navajo, 5'10" 220 lbs, a running back for UNM. He takes one look at what I'm eating and shouts, "Gross!" And then he noticed the smell. I have rarely seen such a strong reaction to food. Now when I want to tease him I merely ask, "Hey, want a can of sardines?"

                                                                                                                                        2. A new trick I learned - save the oil from sardine cans, especially if it's olive oil. This stuff is liquid gold and adds a wonderful umami boost to everything cooked in it.

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                                            An old favourite is to dust the sardines in flour and then fry in the can oil. On bread as a restorative snack.

                                                                                                                                            Other favourite is a sandwich. I prefer to buy those canned with water, rather than oil, for these. Mash the fish with lols of pepper and malt vinegar and pile onto favourite bread.

                                                                                                                                            I've yet to think of a way I'd really enjoy the ones canned in tomato sauce.

                                                                                                                                          2. I've been tossing sardines with sauteed onions, butter, arugula, whole milk and spaghetti. Very good!

                                                                                                                                            1. I like to eat them straight up on untoasted, dense Dimpflmeier rye bread: no butter, no mayo, just a sprinkling of sea salt, and I'm in heaven. I once craved them in the middle of the night and got up to eat them at 3 am back when I was in university and lived alone. Last year, I brought a can to work and ate it in the lunchroom, only to be chatised for "stinking up the whole place" from a much younger colleague from, of all places, Newfoundland. Now, I mention her place of origin only because fishing is a big industry out there, so her shocking intolerance for the smell of fish really surprised me. In any case, I never did bring sardines to work again, after that. However, as I got to know this young colleague and her husband, I better understood her reaction. They lived on frozen pizza, chicken fingers, chicken wings, Kraft Dinner, taco dip, chocolate, candy, pop, chips and beer. No lie. Oh, and once they brought a chicken and noodles with canned cream of chicken soup casserole topped with crushed potato chips and cheese to a potluck dinner.

                                                                                                                                              1. My little brother used to love sardines. He would eat them straight out of the can, but he really loved them on a good crusty semolina bread. Sometimes I would eat them with the bread and a little caponata. My main memory of eating sardines though, was every St. Joseph's Day. My great grandmother would make Pasta Con Le Sarde. This was the closest recipe I could find, but my grandmother never used fresh sardines, only the tinned. She would toast bread crumbs and that was sprinkled on top, never cheese. When we were little we just called it the macaroni with the sand, because that is what the toasted bread crumbs looked like.


                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Matahari22

                                                                                                                                                  I love Pasta Con Sarde, but buy the Cuoco brand in the yellow & red can. I then top it with the toasted bread crumbs, garlic, caper & anchovy, which I think is called modega?

                                                                                                                                                2. I had always eaten them on saltines with mustard, but then a friend introduced me to a favorite late night snack of her family's: warmed pan de sal, split, stuffed with sardines, and drizzled with the oil (she said it was inevitable that there would be a fight over who was taking more than their share of the oil). It was wonderful, eaten this way. Too bad the bakery closed, and I'm not a great baker. The pan de sal was just sweet enough to compliment the fish, and stood up well either to the typical types of sauces that sardines come packed in, or the usual additions.

                                                                                                                                                  1. I'm reminded of time
                                                                                                                                                    way back in my youth
                                                                                                                                                    when I set up a tent as a base camp
                                                                                                                                                    deep in the woods.

                                                                                                                                                    Didn't take long for the wildlife to investigate....
                                                                                                                                                    especially one ornery skunk.
                                                                                                                                                    He chewed a hole in the edge of my tent floor
                                                                                                                                                    and ate sme granola I'd stored at the wall.

                                                                                                                                                    So I laid my trap.
                                                                                                                                                    I'd give him some payback.
                                                                                                                                                    Each night I left a little mound of granola in the same place,

                                                                                                                                                    Meanwhile, I was eating a can of sardines each day.
                                                                                                                                                    Packed in hot sauce, six plump Cayennes neatly arrayed.
                                                                                                                                                    I saved them in a ziploc, but put an increasing number of drops of the sauce
                                                                                                                                                    one the pile of granola each night. enticing his regular return.

                                                                                                                                                    By night five, I'd assembled my arsenal, and proceeded with plan.
                                                                                                                                                    Diced some of peppers and mixed with granola and sauce and half a sardine.
                                                                                                                                                    Since I did not like this rascal, I gave him the back half, with anus and tail fin.
                                                                                                                                                    Finally mixed about 18 plump peppers, laid mound in place, lay down in the tent and awaited.

                                                                                                                                                    At his regular time, right about midnight, he began chomping.
                                                                                                                                                    A few extra snorts this time, as if he were pushing through a new unknown barrier.
                                                                                                                                                    I gave him three minutes in his gluttonous chortling, then shone my flashlight upon.
                                                                                                                                                    The picture: Perfection. Multiple peppers dangling onto chin.
                                                                                                                                                    With true nonchalance he finished his meal and waddled back into the forest.

                                                                                                                                                    I have no idea of what ensued later, or outcome of his intestinal fate
                                                                                                                                                    but I'm sure he decided that Chez FoodFuser's tent
                                                                                                                                                    was no longer a place to pick up a free plate.
                                                                                                                                                    That polecat never came back again.

                                                                                                                                                    So, that's how a skunk in the woods eats tinned sardines.

                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                                                                                                      You surprised a skunk by shining a light on it and all it did was look at you?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                        He'd known for days that I was there, and wasn't going to attack him. Skunks aren't as skittish as lots of folks think.

                                                                                                                                                        My several day siege was slow enough that he had no need to discharge his scent glands.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: marys1000

                                                                                                                                                          <<"Mean and abusive">>


                                                                                                                                                          It worked, thus effective.

                                                                                                                                                      2. Just had them the other day. Rye bread olive oil from the can and red onion...Yummy..

                                                                                                                                                        1. If as l suspect, your sardines are costly, l eat them out of the can with a fork, nothing else needed.

                                                                                                                                                          1. Usually plain, drained, and on Saltines, the way I learned from my grandfather. My lunch today, however, consisted of two sardines with a side of potato salad leftover from our July Fourth festivities. The third fish went to Spottie, our very patient Jack Russell, who sat like a statue as I ate. She's the only other one here who appreciates them!

                                                                                                                                                            1. Has anyone here eaten sardines or tuna on cheap Lance's wheat on cheese crackers or Keebler's cheese on cheese crackers? I tried both combos in the last week and they made for really satisfying lunches.

                                                                                                                                                              1. My hands-down favorite way to enjoy sardines is one of my mom's favorite sandwiches.

                                                                                                                                                                On a crusty roll (or toasted bread in a pinch), pile on lettuce, sardines, & a thin slice of raw red onion. Another variation is lightly mashing the sardines, a tablespoon of mayo, & the diced onions together before piling them on the lettuce-lined rolls or bread.

                                                                                                                                                                Scrumptious - although obviously this was something I didn't take to school in my lunchbox - lol!

                                                                                                                                                                1. I discovered this hot summer
                                                                                                                                                                  that sardines, like revenge,
                                                                                                                                                                  are a dish best served cold.

                                                                                                                                                                  So slap that can of sardines into the fridge before opening.
                                                                                                                                                                  The flesh will be firmer.

                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for sharing that. I will try it!

                                                                                                                                                                  2. I mix mine with canned tuna (a drizzle of lemon juice, chopped dill and sweet pickles, a little juice from the sweet pickles, chopped onions, a little mustard and mayo) and make a sandwich.

                                                                                                                                                                    I'm also thinking of sauteing onions (caramelize), garlic and the sardines as filling for a sandwich (with a dab of mayo).

                                                                                                                                                                    1. love 'em straight out of the tin with saltines.
                                                                                                                                                                      ate 'em that way all my life.
                                                                                                                                                                      was introduced to them as a little girl so they're not foreign to me.
                                                                                                                                                                      crunchy pickles, radishes, carrot sticks, celery sticks, scallions, cucumbers and a little sour cream dip

                                                                                                                                                                      1. Fry lots of sliced onions (I like em still somewhat crunchy) and some crushed fresh garlic.
                                                                                                                                                                        Toss the sardines (either break them up or leave whole).
                                                                                                                                                                        Eat with steamed white rice along with Finanden sauce (3/4 cup lemon juice, 1/2 cup soya sauce, chopped fresh onions, chopped jalapeno, chopped green onions and let stand for an hour before using. This will keep for quite a while in the fridge and good to sprinkle over rice or as dipping sauce).

                                                                                                                                                                        The fried onion sardine can also be eaten as a sandwich filling with mayo, avocado slices, tomatoes and lettuce.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. Make a Belker.

                                                                                                                                                                          If you remember Detective Mick Belker the Hill Street Blues TV series (played by Bruce Weitz), his favorite sandwich was sardines and chopped onion and mayo mashed up like tuna salad. It's one of my favorite sandwiches.

                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: puzzler

                                                                                                                                                                            THAT sounds really good! Maybe on some good Russian Rye bread?

                                                                                                                                                                          2. I've always eaten mine the way my Hawaiian/Chinese grandmother did - open the can, add a few slivers of fresh garlic and a splash of shoyu. Cut a wedge from a white onion....have your bowl of poi on-hand....use a slice of onion to scoop a little sardine from the can, pop it into your mouth and follow up with a spoonful of poi. Good stuff!

                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Mutch2Do

                                                                                                                                                                              There are countless ways to enjoy sardines. The asian way, stir fried with some chinese cabbage and onion. Or just on some crackers. Best with some jalapeno juice or hot sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Mutch2Do

                                                                                                                                                                                I could see that really working with maui onions!

                                                                                                                                                                              2. Good Mayonnaise,dill and a little lemon juice.

                                                                                                                                                                                dollop on top of sardines and crackers

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Use them the same way you might use tuna. I sometimes just open a can of sardines and a bottle of beer alongside a box if Ritz crackers. Grab a fork and it's lunch time.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. A little late to the party here, but I love tinned sardines in mustard sauce. I remember eating these on saltine crackers with my dad when I was young. Hot sauce is also an excellent accompaniment. Also, if you ever get the opportunity, try sardines in escabeche (sardinas en escabeche). The only ones I've seen/tasted are from Spain, and World Market sometimes carries them. They are sardines that are lightly pickled, and the flavor is marvelous. My 10YO son absolutely loves them! Remember, sardines are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Very healthy and inexpensive protein. Enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. As long as they are Bristling and not Sprat, I'm happy with any prep. I often use the Alton Brown Sardine / Avocado toast method:


                                                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fr1p

                                                                                                                                                                                          Brisling and sprat are the same species: sprattus sprattus.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                                                                                              Bigger than what? A brisling sardine is a sprat. Sprats from Norwegian fjords may be a little smaller than Baltic sprats, but I have only been buying the latter, so have not compared.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                They are the same species, but bristling are -young- sprats. And the taste is incredibly different. Bristling for the win. They have a clean, delicious flavor, almost plump. Fully grown sprat taste like.... well, they taste like the the very prejudice people have against sardines.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fr1p

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not buying that. This link suggests that Norwegian brisling are harvested at maturity:


                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: law_doc89

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Exactly, bristling are young sprats. And boy do they taste better. From wikipedia: "Young sprats are commonly known as brisling. Canned sprats (usually smoked) are available in many north European countries, including the Baltic states, Scandinavia, Ireland, Germany, Poland and Russia. They are an important Latvian export. The majority of brisling sardines that are sold to the public are harvested off the coasts of Norway and Scotland."

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Sardines in mustard sauce with sriracha on a cracker. Yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I must say, I like them spread with a knife on French bread. I also like smoked eel the same way, along with a glass of wine.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Mash with a fork, add some minced onion, a splash of hot sauce and serve on a cracker or thinly sliced toasted whole wheat bread. It is a great snack and healthy for you.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Since my 9 Nov 07 post I have added several different ways of eating sardines. One of them is to slather a slice of bread with spicy mustard, top that with a slice of ripe tomato, them the sardines on top of the tomato. Basically a tasty, spicy crostini with the tomato's coolness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Another way was suggested by CH smtucker. It's a lentil salad with sardines on top and "plenty of mustard." Delicious both ways.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Straight out of the tin. My dad always ate them that way, and he taught me at a young age to eat them the same way. I always thought eating the bones was pretty awesome. Weird. I know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Medium dice and saute some onion until just starting to brown around the edges, add the sardines and whatever tomatoey ingredient you have on hand - I've used tomato paste when I have an open can, a bit of left over pasta sauce, or ketchup in a pinch. Toss in some capers. Mush everything together till it looks like an unappetizing mush, toss with whole wheat spaghetti (this is one of the few times I'll use whole wheat pasta - for some reason it just WORKS) and thin with just a touch of the pasta water if needed so the noodles get coated. Finish with a handful of fresh parsley, a squeeze of lemon, and some grated parmesean. Yes yes, I know the no fish and cheese rule. I don't care. This is good eats!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    This is a staple for me - quick dinner that uses up that half an onion I have in the fridge sometimes - all other ingredients are almost always on hand, though I'll skip the parsley if I don't have any. I usually buy sardines in a tomato sauce rather than plain so I have the base of the sauce there already, though plain and adding my own tomato element works too. This isn't a pretty looking dish, but it's oh so tasty! At least I think it is. My housemate thinks it's vile, but she's never actually tasted it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Right out of the tin with crackers as an appetizer, sometimes for lunch, I prefer the ones in oil vs wather

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I like them with fresh cracked pepper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I include sardines in my tuna salad concoctions which become sandwich fillers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ChiliDude

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I put beans in my tuna salad. So do the Italians. ;-).

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. On a saltine cracker with mustard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Most recently I made a sardine rillette

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I eat sardines on a saltine cracker with a dollop of sour cream and sea salt sprinkled on top.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. with a fork and sometimes with a squeeze of lemon (if i'm going to get fancy).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  right out of the can.