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How do you eat pilchards (sardines)?

My love of these little fishies is ridiculous. I do not like them heated, but am looking for different ways to eat them. What is your favorite way? Any particular sauces, crackers, breads, etc?

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  1. I've tried mashing them up with some mayo, mustard, and spices, tuna salad-style, to spread on Ritz crackers or in sandwiches, but I just prefer them drained of as much oil as possible and chilled in the fridge, eaten whole with a fork.

    1. As sardines are a sort of guilty pleasure for me, I can admit to eating them straight from tin.

      1. Whole sardine with a thin slice of sweet onion, followed up by a bite of tiny cornichon.

        Also, wrapped whole in a fizzy leaf of kimchee.

        1. if you can find them fresh, drizzled with a little olive oil and grilled is divine.

          1. I like them in a salad with capers, roasted peppers and vinaigrette.

            I second th recommendation of fresh sardines. Every year, we grill up a bunch of them after marinating in wine, onions, garlic and OO. They are served with plain boiled potatoes and more OO and vinegar. YUM!

            5 Replies
            1. re: NE_Elaine

              I want to try fresh sardines but I can't find them where I am, are they pretty similar to fresh mackerel?

              I like the canned ones in oil with a squeeze of lemon, wrapped in a slice of white bread.

              1. re: RealMenJulienne

                No - they're not nearly as fishy as mackerel, believe it or not.

                The difference between tinned and fresh sardines is as profound as the difference between tinned and fresh tuna.

                1. re: RealMenJulienne

                  Can you find frozen?
                  Frozen sardines are very close to fresh. In fact, I once bought fresh but later, could not justify the cost since it tasted just like previously frozen.

                  1. re: porker

                    I'll look around, the Asian store might have em

                    Thanks

                  2. re: RealMenJulienne

                    If you can't find them fresh, look for frozen in ethnic grocers. We get them in a Portuguese fish store, but I would think a Spanish or Italian market might have them as well.