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Mar 27, 2011 01:00 PM

Need recipes for canned sardines

We are upping our consumption of this healthy fish. It's tasty, but a bit strong tasting, ya know?

Here's the challenge, though: NO GRAINS. I can find many recipes for eating them on crackers or bread and while that would be an easy answer, it will not work in our case.

A big bonus would involve chopping or mashing them up with other ingredients, because otherwise (due to spousal pickiness) I have to pick out the tiny, edible bones and scrape off the skin.

So, got any ideas or links to share?

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  1. You can mix them in a blender with 16 ounces of cottage cheese per can of sardines to make a sardine smoothie, though you need the sardines that are packed in spring water.

    7 Replies
    1. re: redfish62

      I'm trying to figure out if this is a serious or joke suggestion--I can't tell. I also can't wrap my mind about a smoothie that doesn't contain fruit, ginger juice, coconut milk, and the other ingred's I put into our almost daily breakfast smoothies. Creative idea though!

      1. re: Enso

        I think it's more "out there" than the Sardine and Beet salad I posted...I don't think I could get it down to be honest. And Redfish62, I do not mean this in a nasty or derogatory way...I'm just saying I doubt I could drink sardines...(flashback to old SNL's BassOMatic) ack!

        1. re: Enso

          Didn't Dan Aykroyd do that with the "Bass-O-Matic"?

        2. re: redfish62

          Huh. I wouldn't drink it, but I can see this mixed with some wilted greens, maybe garlic and onions, and tossed in a casserole, topped with buttered breadcrumbs, and then baked. I think that would make a nice side to a simple pasta, or served with a good bread . . . garlic bread or bruschetta.

          ETA: The bread/crumb was a suggestion for anyone, like myself, lurking for idea using sardines in cooking. And if the OP can use quinoa, that might be a nice mix-in.

          1. re: redfish62

            I sort of laughed at this. My friend eats them just mixed in cottage cheese. My husband just likes them on bread(I know), with butter and onions.

            Mix them in a salad like a farmers chop suey. With lettuce radishes, green onions, etc., put in the sardines with cottage cheese, little sour cream and seasonings like onion powder, garlic,etc.
            Try some of the other sardines, like in tomatoe sauce, chili peppers, etc.

            1. Okay, this one is kind of "out there" but wow...I eat tons of sardines, salmon and kippers and this recipe for Sardine and Beet Salad has been looking SO interesting to me and I WILL try it probably this week...Only drawback I can see for your spouse is that the fish is left in chunks or whole pieces. I've also really enjoyed the Epicurious recipe for sardines with fried capers and dill but they put it with pasta, not acceptable for you but that is a very good combo, the capers and the sardines, just's the Sardine and Beet salad:

              2 Replies
              1. re: Val

                I never heard of frying capers--interesting! I might could try leaving out the pasta and breadcrumbs and put the rest on a salad, perhaps.

                I bet the pickled beets - not to mention horseradish - hold up well to the taste of the sardines...might try this one also.

                1. re: Enso

                  The quintessential Sicilian dish for many is "Pasta cu' Le Sardi" with mudega (toasted bread crumbs ) and Bucatini macaroni. Fennel fresh or dried,capers ,raisins,good olives and e.v.o .Lemon slices and Pelegrino or wine of choice.

              2. Pasta might be categorized as a "grain", so I don't know how non-grainy you want to go. To the point, sardines work well in casseroles (you can use potatoes in place of pasta) or in a wide range of pasta dishes. Use them in spaghetti sauces (in place of anchovies) or on pizza, chopped into a sauce of mayonnaise/mustard/sweet pickle for sandwiches, chop them into scrambled eggs or add them to a frittata, include them in salads (instead of tuna or other fish).

                7 Replies
                1. re: todao

                  hmmm....sardines with scrambled egg...might be a nice change-up for my breakfast, todao...thanks for the idea which I'm sure I've seen on the boards before but am branching out on how I eat those little fishies, so that might also be one to try this week. Am envisioning some sriracha sauce somehow in there too......

                  EDIT: omg...look what this cute young guy Leeshawn is making, Spicy Scrambled Eggs with sardines, ENSO, this might also work for you and spouse?:


                  1. re: Val

                    Will have to listen. The spouse-ster does like curry, though!

                    1. re: Val

                      Like the scrambled egg idea. Dollop with creme fraiche, a little red onion and little capper.

                    2. re: todao

                      Sorry, but no "might" about it. Pasta is made almost 100% from flour, which is made from a grain called wheat, so it's not an option for us. Ditto for sandwiches. Or pizza.

                      And - oops! - I didn't mention it previously, but potatoes are also off the table.

                      I did try them once in an omelet, with a filling of sardines, tomato, bell pepper, and Spanish-styled seasonings. Wasn't bad, but would need tweaking to repeat, and I haven't been able to figure out what to change...

                      1. re: Enso

                        Pasta can be made from a lot of things. YOu need to be more clear if you are avoiding wheat, or all grains, or gluten, or seeds as well. People use "grain" pretty widely.

                        1. re: JudiAU

                          JudiaAU, sorry to learn that you are confused by my post and/or the term grain. Did you have a specific question, or just wanted to quibble?

                          May I recommend you avail yourself of a good dictionary; I believe there are several easily accessible online.

                          Which "pasta" were you thinking of, that IYO does not contain grains (or potato, as I added)?

                          1. re: Enso

                            I think the point being made is that pasta is made from flour, but not all flour is wheat flour.

                            The request for clarification would allow us to offer you the widest array of suggestions possible....but I think that we're clear that no grain- wheat or otherwise- is desirable for you. The additional detail in subsequent posts is helpful.

                            For others perusing this thread who only have a wheat allergy, or a gluten intolerance, but not a need to avoid all grains, this clarification might open up some restrictions that they may have thought they had as they are considering their options.

                    3. Make a salad and stuff into an avocado. I use 1 can tuna and 1 can sardines in olive oil, but you can use straight sardines (which is the way I had it in a v good restaurant). Use lots of minced celery for crunch, a little minced green onion, capers, mayo, the juice of a lime and a shot of Tabasco. It is basically the way I make a tuna salad. You can mash the sardines to the point that spouse will never notice bones and skin! Stuff into avocado halves, serve on a bed of lettuce. Delicious.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: MazDee

                        And another great idea!!!! For me, anyway...thanks MD!

                        1. re: MazDee

                          +1 on this. A shot of Dijon mustard can help here too.

                          1. re: Joebob

                            Mmm, great idea. I am going to add some next time.

                        2. I'm also trying to eat more sardines but agree the taste can be quite strong. I've tried eating it with mayo, avocado, wasabi, tomato sauce etc but it still tasted too sardine-y. This combination hid the fishiness, and the spaghetti squash makes it almost as satisfying as pasta:

                          1/2 onion, sliced
                          1 tin sardines in oil (I use the headless boneless skinless kind, discard the oil and rinse lightly in lemon juice)
                          about 2 cups cooked spaghetti squash
                          1-2 tablespoons Trader Joe's General Tso sauce
                          small handful kimchee, chopped (or chili or hot sauce if you don't like kimchee)
                          handful chopped green onions or spinach (optional, for color)

                          Stir fry onions in a little oil till cooked, then add the rest of ingredients to taste and heat through.

                          It's not very sophisticated and does have sugar from the sauce, but for the first time I actually enjoyed sardines instead of forcing myself to eat it for the health benefits. (I should add I do have a sweet tooth)

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: gemsquash

                            Can you list what's in the General Tso sauce?

                            1. re: Enso

                              Sorry, I don't have the ingredient list right now - it tastes a bit like bbq sauce so I would imagine sugar, tomato, vinegar, spices would be in there.