Sardines Made Sexy

by Matthew Escosia
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By Abegail Genova


The same food that tends to be served everyday in the same way can start to feel bland and tiring for the palate. Canned sardines are now a staple supply in most households, especially this quarantine period. The product though recently became “sexy” for netizens when Ligo sardines from the Philippines converted its advertising budget to a donation for anti-Covid-19 efforts and published creative and timely digital content that engaged many Filipinos.

So, if your cabinet is now filled up with sardines, whether it’s by choice or circumstance, here are a few things you can do to spice up your meals with sardines or even inspire the chef in you!


1. Pasta fiesta: Sardine Spaghetti


Photo courtesy of Unsplash

On a low-budget seafood pasta? Mash your sardines in tomato sauce and season it with a bit of  dry chili flakes or cayenne pepper for a bit of spice and mix well in cooked spaghetti pasta.

Alternatively, if you have olive oil but no tomato sauce , you can create a simple Spaghetti aglio e olio with sardines. Simply saute fresh garlic into olive oil, season with salt and pepper, dry chili flakes then add your sardines chopped in smaller bits and then toss in your cooked spaghetti.

Serve your pasta with some grated cheese on top and garnish with fresh parsley if it happens to be available in your kitchen.

Recipe inspiration: Home experiments.


2. Make-do pizza: Sardine Pizza Toast


Photo courtesy of Needpix

Sardines, just like pepperoni, have a distinctive flavor to it. With just bread, a spread of tomato sauce (or your canned sardines’ tomato sauce if it comes in that flavor) with sardine bits and cheese for toppings together with a little sprinkle of ground black pepper, you can make your little make-do square pizza slices. Place your slices in the oven toaster till your cheese melts just how you like it.

For any other ingredient you desire to add, you are free to do so, it’s a make-do pizza after all!

Recipe inspiration: Home experiments.


3. Make it with egg: Sardine Sisig

Yeap, you read that right, sardine SISIG! If tuna can be a sisig dish, why not sardines?

Saute garlic into melted butter in pan, add and mash in sardines (can oil/sauce separated). Add in diced onions and saute until onions are soft. Add in garlic powder, ground black pepper and ground cornick/toasted corn for crunchiness, cook for about a minute. Add in a bit of mayonnaise and chopped green chillis, mix well. Then finally crack an egg for a sunny side up on top! Let it cook slightly then mix in before serving.

As for your separated sardine oil/sauce on the side, you can use that to flavor up some garlic fried rice to go along with your sardine sisig.

Recipe inspiration: Panlasang Pinoy


4. Fish in greens: Sardine Salad

Going green for going healthy? Add going simple! Easy peasy lemon-squeezy! (Actual lemon squeezing involved.)

Grill your sardines, flake and toss them in your salad greens and some sliced tomatoes. Season with a bit of black pepper, drizzle a bit of sardine oil (optional), then finally a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for a simple but interesting salad.

Recipe inspiration: Home experiments.


5. Go with potato : Sardine Fish Cakes


Photo courtesy of Freepik: Timolina


Yes, potatoes. What could go wrong with potatoes? Potatoes had been around in every cuisine, cooked in many different ways alongside with flavorful mixes and for this recipe, sardine will be its partner in crime.

For simplified sardine fish cakes, you will need to mix in your shredded sardines into mashed potatoes, seasoned with salt and pepper, add in finely chopped spring onions and sweetcorn-if available. Shape your potato-sardine mix into as many patties you can make, bathe all sides with egg wash, coat with panko or bread crumbs and then pan fry both sides until gold.

Recipe inspiration: Healthyfood UK


These cooking suggestions are very flexible and fun to do as you are free to add in flavors or substitute ingredients to your liking. Making a good dish doesn’t always require high-grade meat or top class ingredients. Being able to utilize what you have for ingredients can be quite helpful -variety goes a long way!


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