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Bought frozen sardines...now what?

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Saw frozen sardines at the local Asian market today. Bought on a whim. Now what do I do with them? Never had a sardine before - haven't worked up the gumption to try the canned ones even though the husband loves them - I just can't get past the look of them. What would be the best way of preparing them?

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  1. I would marinate them in a little white wine, onion, garlic and parsley and grill them. You need to grill them over low heat and have a water bottle for flare-ups. We have a special sardine grill because the smell does tend to linger. I would then serve them with boiled potatoes and a salad with vinegar and olive oil.

    3 Replies
    1. re: NE_Elaine

      Don't have a charcoal grill. Think they'd be ok on a gas grill?

      1. re: Jen76

        They would be fine, you will just need to burn off the oils that before you use the grill for anything else.

        I also helps if you have one of those fish-flippy-thingies. You know, the baskets that keep the fish in a single layer that and you flip the basket rather than trying to turn each fish.

        1. re: NE_Elaine

          That's my new favorite term: fish-flippy-thingies. Gives me an excuse to buy one, too!

    2. I love grilled sardines, although most people I know (including Mrs. Porker) really don't like them.
      If you can't even try the canned, I guessing you won't like the fresh (OK, OK, previously frozen), but hey, maybe you're husband will!
      With that said...
      I first cooked sardines indoors about 20 years ago. The wife (same Mrs. Porker) has forbidden this practice ever since (as Elaine says, the odor can linger), so I grill them outside over charcoal. I like to first drizzle the fish with olive oil and crushed garlic then place them over hot coals. Yes, there are flare-ups which crisp the skin, but turn frequently and you'll be fine.
      They're easy to eat and sometimes you'll find yummy roe sacs (or, rarely, stomach full of tiny shrimp - two meals in one!).

      Once in a while, I'll put the cooked sardines in a brine (1/2 white vinegar, 1/2 water, bay leaf, tumeric, fresh thyme, peppercorn) overnight for a lightly pickled fish.

      1 Reply
      1. re: porker

        I can't logically explain my aversion to canned fish (with the exception of chunk light tuna). It isn't logical in any way, shape or form. I love salmon, but have not been able to bring myself to try canned salmon. I do much better with "fresh" fish.

      2. Cooked quick and hot over charcoal in the Andalucian style is my preferred way. They need nothing more than a squeeze of lemon and a chunk of bread. Bit fiddly to eat with all the bones but delicious - possibly easier to eat with your fingers than using a knife & fork, and certainly more fun.

        If you prefer to fillet, you can bake them in next to no time in hot oven. Put them skin side up in a dish, drizle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with thyme and sea salt. Ready in about 10 minutes. Maybe a simple tomato and onion salad on the side.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Harters

          This is what I suspected - simple is best. I also found this recipe that looks beautiful in the pictures. Maybe I'll try both. I have quite a few of the little buggers!

          1. re: Jen76

            Sardines can spoil quickly; so do not slack out, (defrost), at room temp. do it in the cooler and pack with ice when nearly defrosted.