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How do you eat sardines?

I just bought some in a tin because apparently they are the best fish to eat. How do I eat them? Straight out of the tin? I am not really a fan of fish but I do try to eat it.

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  1. you must have read the Eating Well magazine article ;)

    yes, many of us do enjoy them straight out of the tin - happens to be one of my favorite snacks. HOWEVER, given that you said you're "not really a fan of fish," i wouldn't recommend this approach for you because sardines are quite fishy. i'd suggest taming them with a sauce or other ingredients to acclimate yourself to the flavor. they pair really well with tomato or mustard sauces...and a generous hit of acid (vinegar or lemon juice depending on the other ingredients) can help offset the pungency and oiliness.

    take a look at these threads to get some idea of the different ways people eat them:

    1. I like them mashed with a fork (like you would canned tuna) and tossed with some good olive oil and lots of lemon juice and fresh chopped parsley.

      3 Replies
      1. re: mels

        Mels, I usually eat them out of the can but when I want to *get all fancy crazy* I do what you do with slight variation...drain, mash with fork, add some dijon mustard, chopped red onion, lemon juice and put on Hint of Salt Triscuits...LOVE IT!!!

        1. re: Val

          Val, try adding a few chopped fried capers and a pinch of cayenne - *crazy* good. and even better if you have some fresh dill on hand.

          OK, now i'm craving sardines. guess i know what i'm having for dinner! :)

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            Thanks...will try that little fried caper spin very soon!

      2. Straight out of the can...or dumped into a plate.
        A little Louisiana Hot Sauce is good here and there.. as is a good pepper sauce.
        Hoop Cheese, Saltine Crackers, and Vidalia Onions round out the repast....

        1. Drained and mashed on toasted whole wheat bread with slices of avocado and onions and a dash of hot sauce.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Duppie

            Had this for lunch on french. Fantastic! I had some Fl sweet onion from the produce stand.

            1. re: Old E.

              My wife thinks it's gross, but some times I mix it up by putting sliced pickles,cucumbers or a squeeze of ketchup. I know. I know.

          2. on lightly toasted whole wheat bread with a little hot sauce and lemon juice!

            1. On toast w/ melted cheese, mixed w/ mashed potatoes for fish cakes, on Greek salads, blended w/ calameta olives, garlic and olive oil for a pasta sauce, mashed w/ pistachios in the hollow of avocado halves, with my fingers on kayaking trips! Call me lefty.
              We eat about 4 cans a week.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Passadumkeg

                Ok, lefty, some good eatin' there. Maine sardines?

                I like sardine sandwiches with mustard, and I have to remove the little backbone.
                I'm a wuss, no bones. Good for breakfast to get you going.
                I also like the sardine/toasted (panko) bread crumb/garlic/red pepper flakes/parsley combo tossed with pasta.

                1. re: bushwickgirl

                  I used to get cases of 48 at the cannery, with no labels painted on the cans, for 4 bucks. Them war the days.
                  I've kept beautiful Norwegian poster/calendars from the 80's, when I lived in Stavanger, showing all the old antique labels of Norwegian brands of sardines, all against a high gloss black background. I should get them from the attic, photograph them, and put them on line, some year.

              2. As an ingredient in tossed salads, pasta sauce, or "chips-n-dips", salad dressing prepared in a food processor, etc. Mashed with a wide range of other ingredient possibilities for sandwich spread, dipping sauce, in egg salad or just right out of the can with crackers or a good French, Jewish, German or Italian bread. Speaking of bread, prepare a very wet pizza/focaccia dough and top it with whole sardines (and a little sauce if you like) and bake as usual.

                3 Replies
                1. re: todao

                  "Mashed with a wide range of other ingredient possibilities for sandwich spread..."
                  white beans or avocado are two good places to start.

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    That would be real good; especially to avocado. Gotta try that one.

                    1. re: todao

                      it's delicious. i've been eating it that way for years, but apparently Alton Brown combined the two on a sandwich when he did a "diet" episode last year, and now it's all the rage!

                      just don't forget the hot sauce, and some chopped red onion.

                2. Tinned sardines make a good sandwich - mash, mix with pepper and malt vinegar, eat.

                  They also make one of my "poorly" foods - a little something to eat when I've been unwell. Dust with flour and quickly fry. You really the sardines in oil for this - doesnt really work with the ones that are in water and, of course, won't work at all with the ones in tomato or other sauces.

                  Best sardines, of course, are the "real ones" from the fishmonger - again quickly fried or put on the BBQ, Mediterranean style.

                  5 Replies
                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                      I buy the double layer, packed in olive oil. Then my favorite is on a saltine with a slice of pickled jalapeno on top. Or a dash of tabasco.

                      You can make a simple fish dip by mashing them up with a litle mayo and some spice. great on a saltine.

                      Wish I could find fresh sardined down south.

                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                        Havnt seen bloaters for years. Always used to be around when I was young - including jars of bloater paste ready made for sandwiches.

                        1. re: Harters

                          Had them at a Fawlty Tower's Hotel in Scotland for breakfast. I still have never told my wife that that the bar bill was more than the hotel charges.

                      2. re: Harters

                        A dish that's slowly disappearing from the Italian American kitchen is the Sicilian (national dish) Pasta cu' le Sarde http://italianfood.about.com/od/fishs... here in N.Y. they have an imported canned mixture it's ok but I like making it from scratch with eithe canned or fresh sardines .....my dinner tonight

                      3. As a kid we ate them right out of the tin -- tails and all!

                        1. I also like to eat them right from the can, particularly if they are Baltic sprats. I also like to eat them mashed on a bagett with butter. Actually, I like them any way they are served.

                          1. i mash them up with cream cheese and spread the mixture on a bagel

                            1. I too am not a fish fan but I do eat sardines. I don't think they're that fishy-tasting--think a slightly stronger version of canned tuna. I make them like I would a tuna salad, mashing them up with celery and mayo. If you have whole ones you can mash everything in. The sardines in tomato sauce are good too.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: MandalayVA

                                Saw the postings so...had a can last night - SEASONS brand in olive oil - with some matza left over from passover
                                buttered the matza - a little salt and 4 cherry tomatoes off the vine- just heaven
                                My kids thought i was insane- Told them i remember the tin used to be packed with a key to open the can.They said I made that up

                                1. re: caterman

                                  'Oh, sweet bird-brains of youth.'

                                  1. re: Joebob

                                    I wish they still had the key. Something fun about that.

                              2. Glad to see this thread--I got on the bandwagon after seeing Alton Brown's episode on healthy eating. The avocado/sardine toast looked so good, as I love avocados, and I do love high-protein eating.

                                But alas, I just can't make myself do this regularly, and I have to force myself when I do eat them like this. I am bookmarking this thread with the intention of eating the two tins of sardines I bought in a fit of zeal for sardines. If there are other ideas, please post away!!

                                3 Replies
                                  1. re: IndyGirl

                                    I've been doing sardine sandwiches with avocados, tomato slices, a bit of mayo on French baguette bread, with salt and pepper to taste. It sounds like a lot of fancy ingredients, but I get the bake-and-brown French bread from Trader Joe's (I think it was less than $1.50 for a two-pack), and one of the loaves makes two sandwiches. The fresh bread (any fresh, warm bread would probably do) and the fresh veggies really mellows the sardines out a bit and the flavors mesh well. No vinaigrette needed.

                                    1. re: yfunk3

                                      My mom does this and when I was younger and I thought it was the way everyone else used canned sardines. She'd open the lid (usually a pull tap) and drain off some of the oil. Then she'd put in a small spoonful of sugar and then pour a small bit of soy sauce over the sugar. Then she'd put the can over an oven burner for a bit of time to heat up the sardines. It also helped to incorporate the soy/sugar into the fish. It had this tasty salty/sweet tang with the fish. We'd eat it with sticky rice.

                                  2. Well, if it's the canned variety in tomato sauce, I just dump it over rice and go at it.