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Fish snacks

Anyone have any quick and easy ways to make sardines into a snack or lunch? They are so rich in Omega 3s, I'd like to eat them more often. My wife won't touch them, so I was thinking I could bring them to work for lunch or make a quick snack at home.

Along a similar thought, I sometimes take pickeled herring and add it to a whole wheat cracker (Wheat Thin) and add a little cream cheese. Quick snack and tastes great.

Any other ideas?

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  1. Good for you! I love sardines and smoked kippers...am trying to love canned salmon too (has more omega-3's than the others, I've read)...but here's a thread you might enjoy that offers some nifty ways to enjoy sardines. I usually just like them out of the can (drained) but I do like the kippers on low-salt Triscuits with a little Boar's Head mustard.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Val

      I did try some smoked herring out of the can for lunch and thought it was pretty good. I tried a different store, and they had a little better variety. They even had one brand of sardines in a mustard sauce. I'll have to experiment and try a few. Add a piece of fruit or something else, and I could call that lunch. Thanks for the leads.

      1. re: egbluesuede

        Wow....I may have to rethink my idea of bringing sardines to work. The whole office smells like fish now and I think they are on to me!

    2. if you want to keep it simple, just eat them on crackers like the herring, or as a sandwich. i particularly love eating the ones packed in tomato sauce straight from the can. have them with some whole-grain crackers or crispbread and a salad on the side and you've got a meal!

      1. Saw a Jacques Pepin show recently and he made a salad with chunks of smoked herring, some chopped shallots and a bit of celery, parsley, capers \, pepperocini and fresh peas tossed in a little mayo and pickle juice from the pepperocini, S&P to taste (maybe a shot of hot sauce?, don't remember). That would be easy to mix up in some tupperware and keep in the fridge for lunch at work. Just carry some crackers along.

        1. All these suggestions are mouth-watering. But the OP's gonna bring them to work. Are sardines, smoked specialties, shallots, onions and whatever "safe-for-work" foods, odor-wise?

          Okay, that (grouchy) thing being said, I love Roland brand sardines and their mackerel fillets (also high in Omega-3 etc.). The mackerel fillets don't smell bad and are a delightful combo with some tomatoes that've been seasoned with salt, pepper and tarragon. Pass the good bread.

          At home, pickled herring is nearly always in our fridge. In cream sauce. It's one of the few things I'll buy pumpernickle bread for. And we lay on the thinly-sliced onion, and schmear the bread with some Dijon mustard.

          I often buy fish and poach it (something as simple as cod or even a slightly stronger fillet), chill it and flake it into fish salad, with minced celery, onion and parsley.

          Do you buy sushi? If you do, prevail upon the sushi restaurant to give or sell you a whole lot of wasabi and pickled ginger. Eating plain old out-of-the-can sardines is a whole new experience with Japanese accoutrements.

          3 Replies
          1. re: shaogo

            Boy I wish I would have thought of the smell before I cracked open the smoked herring. I'm told I had a herd of cats huddled outside my office door. I may have to eat lunch in my car from now on.

            1. re: egbluesuede

              hahahaha! I usually eat at my desk...(nasty, acid tongues usually are wagging away in the kitchen)...BUT I don't eat sardines at my desk because I am aware that one of my bosses finds it offensive...so off to the kitchen I go with the sardines. Do you have a kitchen area you can go to for eating your fish treats?

              1. re: egbluesuede


                I'd love to know what kind of an office you work in that has roving herds of cats lurking the hallways...

            2. My family makes a herring salad. Chop some herring in cream sauce with the onions that are in the sauce mix with chopped capers, pickled beets and tart crisp apples.

              1. I eat something similar to something already mentioned but my version is sardines packed in water smooshed onto (Seasoned) Rye Crisp crackers topped with a vinegary ketchup (that ends up being lower-fat/cal than buying the ones in tomato sauce which can also vary in quality, or oil).
                I usually "need" cottage cheese on the side. (For dinner, I'll add a can of V-8 and strips of green bell pepper... really like the combination.)

                As for the smelly problem, you could make one of the combos above then wrap inside a tortilla or perhaps even thin bread, etc, or even wrap up into a "roulade." Then close up the end of the "roll" after each bite while you're chewing . . . oh and then don't breathe on anyone for awhile :-). Your secret might be safe that way.

                Oh and Alton Brown had some kind of sardine recipe lately too as part of his weight-loss-health kick... think it had something to do with avocado which could coat the smelly sardines too if you mashed it(?), and some other flavorings. I'll go find a link... okay, here:

                5 Replies
                1. re: Diane B.

                  gotta try it!!!! Love avocados!Thank you for this idea!

                  1. re: Diane B.

                    My wife was out last night, so I actually made this one for dinner. I don't know how much of a difference the marindade made, but I enjoyed it. I liked the bit hit of sea salt on top.

                    I see Rye bread mentioned a lot with Sardines. Does the rye pair up especially well with Sardines, or is Rye just your preference?

                    1. re: egbluesuede

                      maybe someone more knowledgeable than i am can chime in, but i assume it's a pairing of convenience or availability that was really spawned from geography. rye bread is a staple of Eastern Europe & Scandinavian countries, and i always equate fatty cold-water fish like sardines, mackerel and herring with those regions and their cuisines.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        That's an interesting thought. I made a quick snack this weekend with pickeled herring in cream, and paired it with a bit of dijon mustard and shallot on a rye cracker. It was good, but I thought it would have been better on a little pumpernickle. In general, I prefer pumpernickle to rye, so that may be the only reason.

                        1. re: egbluesuede

                          pumpernickel (and basic brown bread) originated in the same regions, so it still makes sense as a natural pairing with the little swimmers in question ;)

                  2. Make hard-boiled eggs. Skin and mash sardines, mix into mayonnaise with a little lemon juice, and slice eggs in half, spread with mayo. Eat with toast/bread rounds. Or chop/grate the eggs, and mix sardine/mayo in to make a sard-egg salad.

                    Salad - tomatoes, sardines, hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, Italian dressing, croutons of choice

                    1 cucumber quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
                    1¼ lb. tomatoes seeded, diced
                    ½ med onion cut thin rings
                    ½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
                    ½ cup coarsely chopped arugula
                    2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
                    8 oil-packed sardines drained, diced
                    1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
                    2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
                    Salt to taste
                    Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
                    2 tsp grated lemon peel

                    Mix all ingredients up!

                    1. Here's a new one for me. I found this canned eel in chili at the asian market. I took a little hot rice, and topped it with that eel. A little good soy sauce, scallion, and some finely minced peanuts, and I was amazed. The whole thing took just a few minutes, with the exception of the rice. It would also be good with roasted sunflower seeds. I'm going to go back and get some more eel. Then I can bring these to work and make a quick mock stir fry. YUM!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: egbluesuede

                        More details on the eel, perhaps? What was the label like, and did it have any English on it? There are so many varieties that I get very confused most of the time.

                        1. re: dmd_kc

                          It was in a red tin without a plastic sleeve over it about the same size as a small can of sardines. It had both japanese or chinese lettering on it as well as english. I think it said Roasted Eel in chili. I love eel sushi, so I was anxious to try it. The eel flaked up easliy when I topped the rice with it, and had a little texture to it, as well as some nice heat from the oil. I was going to add hot sauce to the dish, but it wasn't necessary. I'll get some more the next time I'm near that store and I'll let you know the brand. I could get away with this one at the office because it wasn't a really "stinky" fish.

                      2. I "got away" with another fish dish at the office today, but wasn't too thrilled about it. I made glazed bonito flakes that I had leftover from making miso soup over the weekend.
                        I just put some over rice with a little tofu, scallion, and hot sauce. I think I put too much on the rice so it's a little too salty. But what's bothering me is the texture. Occasionally when I take a bite, I get this weird crunch like I just found an egg shell in my omelette or something. Maybe I didn't make this right, or maybe I should keep experimenting. At least it didn't stick up my office, and I'm told that whatever I was eating smelled good.