Best Ways To Prep And Eat Sardines

Sardines are small fish that have been around for centuries.

They are named after an island in Italy called Sardinia because of how abundantly you could find them there.

Also a powerhouse packed with omega-3 fatty acids.

They are pretty popular in Asia and Europe more than in the United States, but they are inexpensive and healthy food no matter where you live.

In stores and supermarkets, they come packed in oil, water, tomato juice, or other liquids in a can.

The canned ones often come when their head has been removed, leaving the lower body and skin for you to consume.

They are small and silvery with a high oil content too.

Also, something quite interesting about them, especially if you have been avoiding fish because of the mercury, is that sardines eat plankton, so they have shallow content. 

Health Benefits Of Sardines

Sardines may not be on your “delicious foods’ list, but their nutritional value is impressive.

If you are looking into changing your diet for healthy options, then sardines should be on your trial list.

Below are the health benefits of sardines:

  • Reduces inflammation and risk of disease. They are a source of EPA and DHA fatty acids that the body uses to reduce inflammation.
  • Rich in protein, of course. 23grams, to be exact.
  • Sardines protect bone health since they are a great of calcium. 2 oz. of sardines contain 217 mg of calcium. Impressive huh?
  • Sardines also help with appetite by preventing food cravings and unnecessary snacking in the middle of the day or night.
  • Promotes a healthy immune system through consuming sardine oil which increases the count of immune cells.
  • It also reduces insulin resistance.
  • Promotes brain health and function. Fish oil is considered “: brain food”.

Sardine Nutritional Value

Sardines are very nutritious and are healthy

According to the USDA, for five small sardines with bones (12g) canned in oil that’s been drained, you get :

  • 125 calories
  • 0g carbohydrates
  • 7g fat
  • 0g sugar
  • 184mg sodium
  • 0g fibre
  • 14.8g protein

Also Read: What To Serve With Tuna Steaks

This article will also provide information on how best you can prepare and eat them to your advantage.

Sardines Recipes

Grilled Portuguese Sardines

  • sardine 8, gutted
  • extra virgin oil 3 tbsp
  • red chilli 1, finely chopped
  • garlic three cloves, sliced
  • Rosemary 4 sprigs, leaves bruised and stripped
  • lemon ½ zested and wedged for serving
  • Smoked sweet paprika 1 tbsp
  1. Put your ingredients except for the sardines in a bowl and mix well with seasoning. Pour the mixture into a baking dish adding the sardines and tossing them well. Cover and let them chill for a few hours.
  2. Heat a griddle pan until it’s hot, then cook the sardines for 4-5 minutes, turning them. Put onto a plate, drizzle with oil and sprinkle some paprika that you left out. Use the lemon wedges by squeezing them over the sardine meal.
  3. Enjoy.

Pasta With Sardines

Pasta with Sardines

This will yield 4-6 servings

  • salt
  • ½ cup of chopped parsley and more to garnish
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • One onion, chopped
  • Two cans of sardines packed in extra virgin oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp drained capers
  • 1 pound long pasta
  1. Bring to boil a large pot of water and add salt to it. Consequently, put the oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring until they are golden and fragrant, then remove. Add remaining oil and onion in the same pan, sprinkle enough salt and pepper, and cook till softened.
  2. In your now boiled water, add the pasta and cook till tender. Drain and be sure to reserve some of that cooking water. Turn the heat low on the onion pan and add the lemon zest, sardines, and capers. Cook stirring regularly until they are heated through.
  3. Add your cooked pasta to the sardine mixture and toss to combine. Add your freshly chopped parsley and the bread crumbs, and the reserved cooking water to moisten if necessary. Taste and, if satisfactory, serve and garnish.

Sardines Fried Rice

  • 2 tbsp veg oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • One small onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • One garlic clove, minced
  • One can of sardines in hot sauce
  • 3 cups of cooked white rice
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the onions for 3 minutes. Then add the garlic and let them cook for a minute.
  2. Take your sardines and split them with a fork removing the bones. Drop them in the pan and fry for 2 minutes. Then stir the frozen vegetables in the sardines and allow to cook for another 4 minutes.
  3. Add the cooked rice stirring it. Add the soy sauce, the remaining hot sauce from the can, pepper and salt to taste. Mix them well and cook till the rice is dry and fluffy.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Sardine Sandwich Recipe

Sardine Sandwich
  • Three eggs
  • Cube for seasoning
  • One small chopped onion
  • Ten bread slices
  • Mayonaisse
  • Four sardines
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • One pinch pepper
  • One bunch lettuce
  1. First, boil the eggs in a pot of water and cook till hard. Peel the shell and place them in a bowl.
  2. Toast the bread in a toaster or pan on both sides.
  3. Smash the eggs, then the sardines, mashing and mixing them. Then add the chopped onion, tomato, mayonnaise, mustard, and pepper seasoning cube and mix them.
  4. Then spread the mayonnaise over the top of one sliced bread and then the lettuce. Scoop your sardine mixture onto the lettuce and cover with another lettuce. Take your mayonnaise, spread it over another slice of bread, and then cover the sandwich with the mayonnaise facing side down.
  5. Cut the sandwich into 2 or 4 parts and serve.

Sardines And Toast Recipe

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Half bunch of parsley, chopped
  • One garlic clove, chopped
  • 2*120g can of sardines drained in sunflower oil
  • Four slices of bread
  • One red chilli, chopped and deseeded
  • One lemon, zest, and juice
  1. Heat the oil in the frying pan, sizzle the garlic clove and red chilli, and then add the lemon zest.
  2. Add your sardines, heating them through for a few minutes till warm.
  3. Toat the slices of bread. Stir the parsley into the warmed sardines, squeeze the lemon juice, and then divide between your four toasts and serve.

Grilled Sardines

Grilling Sardines
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
  • Three medium garlic cloves finely minced
  • ¼ cup extra virgin oil
  • Fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 pound fresh sardines, cleaned and gutted
  • Lemon wedges for serving
  1. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, and black pepper in a bowl and whisk to mix. Arrange the sardines in a single layer on the bottom of your baking dish, and then pour the mixed marinade over them. Turn them to coat evenly, spooning some marinade into the fish’s cavity and let them marinate for 3o minutes maximum.
  2. Light a chimney of charcoal, and when they are all lit, cover with grey ash, then pour out and arrange the coals in an even layer on the charcoal grate. Set it, cover the grill and preheat for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the sardines from their marinade and grill over direct heat until well charred. Flip the sardines using a fish turner or spatula until charred on both sides. It may take almost five minutes to cook all through. Transfer them to your platter and season with salt. Garnish with the parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

Can Sardines Be Eaten Raw?

You can eat them canned as they are, and you would still get their benefits.

Just drain the liquid they come in, then probably add some oil, mustard or seasonings, then add in your salad or while grilling.

Sardines Vs Anchovies

Freshly Cooked Anchovies on a plate

It is very easy to confuse the two types of fish. They are small, oily fish that are larger than anchovies and have white flesh with a protruding lower jaw.

On the other hand, anchovies have darker, reddish-grey flesh since they undergo curing and are smaller in length.

They also taste different where sardines have a lighter, less intense flavour than the anchovies.