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Question about sardines...

I just came into posession of one tin of sardines in oil (long story), and
although I LOVE anchovies, I've never eaten a sardine in my life.
My embarassing question is this: Can I eat these things right out of the can or must I do something to them first?

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  1. You can eat them out of the can. And they're yummy.

    1. I eat sardines "right out of the can." Usually drain the liquid first, then sometimes as a topping for a tossed salad, sometimes as a sandwich with mustard, sliced tomato, thinly sliced onion,and lettuce. There are recipes for a sardine pasta sauce, much like aglio olio. Sardines are high in omega 3 fatty acids. BTW: you can eat the little bones too!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Gio

        Yes, there's a Sicilian pasta recipe with sardines, fennel, and breadcrumbs that's wonderful.

      2. My two favourite ways of eating canned sardines:

        -over steaming rice
        -quickly folded into freshly boiled pasta then seasoned to taste (I like to add salt and a squeeze lemon juice or a swish of vinegar)

        1. This is how we eat it in my family: mix 1 teaspoon sugar with 1/4 cup of white vinegar until dissolved, add some salt and pepper. Thinly slice some onion and let it marinate in the vinegar mixture for 5 mins. Open can of sardines and poor out most of the oil. Sardines on plate, top with vinegar and onions, sprinkle with chopped parsley or coriander and some hot pepper flakes and enjoy with toasted baguette.

          1. Right out of the can; depending on the quality of the fish and oil, I sometimes save the drained oil for dressing. I like a sprinkle of malt vinegar over the fish.

            1. Yep, I'm in the "eat out of the can" crowd...though if they are in oil, I always drain it...but you know, I've been eating them so much lately, am thinking of doing them over pasta or something else just for "something different." I personally cannot eat anchovies just by themselves...I do respect them in a lovely marinara sauce and the flavors imparted but by themselves...uh, like, no WAY, dude! All 3 of my sons love extra anchovies on their caesar salads ~~~~shudder~~~~ well, anyway, hope you like the sardines!

              1. There are a couple of sardine threads on this site with fantastic ideas. Sorry Slewfoot, but I'm useless at finding things; maybe you'll have better luck.

                I just looked at the thread abt what people eat in private and someone offers this: lift them out of the can, put in bowl with paper thin slices of onion, a squirt of lemon and some of the oil from can. Eat w saltines. I bought a couple of cans in the spring and still haven't opened them!? Too many other things around in the summer I guess. They're supposed to be sustainable and good for you: as Gio points out Omega 3s, calcium if you eat the bones, b/c they're little you don't have to worry about mercury etc and they're not in danger of extinction like so many other stocks.

                1. I like my sardines out of the can and on crackers with good mustard. Accompany with cherry tomatoes and a glass of ginger ale.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sueatmo

                    LOL...when I want to get fancy, I add some whole grain dijon mustard to mine, too!

                  2. I am going to try a few suggestions here -and try them again. Maybe in a salad. I know they are good for you. I am not a big fish-lover anyway. I can't seem to get past the fact I am eating teeny tiny fish guts.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: sedimental

                      yes - and teeny tiny vertebraes [sp?] . . . lol . . . teeny tiny fish "ribs" . . . altho' a few posters have mentioned skinless and boneless so I s'pose all the other teeny tiny stuff might be gone in that case . . . come winter I'm trying them again too . . . there's still so much good fresh stuff around

                    2. I work as a sea kayak guide during the summer. We stop on small islands for lunch breaks on day trips. Nearly every day I eat a can of sardines and a piece of fruit (so I don't feel so guilty about the beer drinking at the end of the day). I don't even bother w/ utensils. Pop the top, dig in w/ fingers, enjoy and rinse can and fingers in sea when done. Simple and delish.
                      Now you understand why my name is

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Passadumkeg


                        1 can sardines
                        1 pc. fruit

                        Special equipment needed:

                        the sea

                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                          Right on brother.
                          I have been eating King Oscar lightly smoked sardines right out of the tin on fishing and hunting adventures across NA for 50 years!

                        2. another great way to buy sardines in packed in salt in a can. Look for them in Italian specialty shops. all you have to do is rinse them in cool water then use them for instance as a base in tomato sauce.

                          1. Try them Mexican ceviche style, with chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, cilantro, a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, salt and pepper. Serve on tostadas, preferably freshly fried. Mui Deliciosa.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: lobsterchurch

                              Welcome to Chowhound, oh hallowed hall of tasty crustacean!

                            2. butter sliced bread, top with chopped red onion and rosemary and stick in the toaster oven until it smells good. put the whole sardines on top. so good.

                              1. I eat them right out of the can. But, I only like them with mustard sauce or hot sauce.

                                1. I sprinkle lemon pepper and green tobasco on top and serve with greek olives and crackers for a midday pick me up. Tasty and good for you.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Cafeconleche

                                    hmmmm....must investigate this idea...sounds great...do you just use the olive oil-type sardines?

                                  2. If you are allowed to eat anchovies in the house, you may freely eat sardines anyway you like. Otherwise you will have to eat them outdoors. They won't be nearly as salty, but will be just as smelly to the person living with you.
                                    My favorite comes in the form of kipper snacks (salted smoked herring). Straight out of the can is great. On whole wheat toast with mustard, hot sauce, and chopped onions is better. But I have to eat them outdoors or in the basement.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: condie

                                      Yep, I'm also with you on kipper snacks. Found a neat brand called Season at SweetBay...naturally smoked and only 70mgs sodium! I think I like the kippers more than sardines but try to eat a can of each during the work week.