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19 Finest Canned Sardine Recipes from Across the World


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Canned sardines are beloved all over the world. Though they’re typically eaten straight from the tin, it’s additionally potential to prepare dinner with them with scrumptious outcomes.

You will discover canned sardine recipes in every single place — from India to Portugal — in on a regular basis meals, as conventional snacks and for entertaining.

Though some individuals think about them a cheap meals of final resort, canned sardines can style wonderful. Well-known cooks equivalent to Martin Berasategui and Jamie Oliver even function this humble fish of their cookbooks and eating places.  

Collage of six sardine dishes with canned sardine recipes text overlay for Pinterest..

Whether or not you’re already a sardine fan or are attempting sardines for the primary time, you’ll discover plenty of inspiration on this assortment of scrumptious canned sardine recipes from all over the world.

We’ve chosen the highest pasta dishes from Italy, a wholesome omelet from Spain, a road meals snack from Morocco and several other scrumptious spreads and dips.    

Any one in all these appetizers, entrees and sides are positive to make you a sardine lover very quickly in any respect!  

Variations between Sardines, Pilchards, Sprats and Brislings 

Sardine and pilchard  are small fish which are members of the herring household. Though they’re each widespread names for the sardinus pilchardus sardines are usually youthful, smaller fish (as much as a most of 15 cm or 25 cm relying on the classification system) whereas pilchards are bigger and older. 

Sprats, additionally known as brislings, are even smaller than sardines. Sprats, brislings, pilchards and sardines all have a powerful flavour and are oily and comfortable in texture.

There are literally 21 completely different species of marine fish that are canned as sardines. For recipe functions, we think about all of those small, tinned fish as sardines. 

Named for the island of Sardinia in Italy the place the sardine inventory was as soon as plentiful, their reputation dates again to the fifteenth century when, very like salted cod, it was an necessary meals for lengthy ocean voyages. 

In trendy instances, a tin of sardines is a helpful ingredient to have in your pantry due to its extremely lengthy shelf life, versatility and low price. 

Selecting the Finest Canned Sardines

Canned fish, paprika and olive oil from Spain.
Tinned fish is among the hottest meals souvenirs from Spain. (Credit score: Michele Peterson)

In relation to making a canned sardine recipe style good, the bottom line is high quality elements. Use the easiest tinned sardines you may afford.

Whereas it’s potential to buy a tin of sardines for only a few {dollars} and a can of premium sardines can price as a lot as $20, it’s effectively definitely worth the funding in the case of flavour and texture. The method of canning sardines not solely preserves the fish, it intensifies its flavour.

Though my fellow North Individuals may argue that Canadian sardines–which embrace manufacturers equivalent to Brunswick–are the perfect on the earth, for my part the perfect canned sardines come from Portugal and Spain.

European manufacturers of sardines are bigger, firmer and meatier than these canned in North America. They’re out there in bars, eating places and just about each grocery retailer all through Europe.

Spain’s canned seafood — which may embrace octopus, anchovies, sea urchins and even child eels — is sourced primarily from the pristine waters of Galicia on Spain’s Atlantic coast.

Clerk in the Conserveira de Lisboa shop in Lisbon.
A wall of selections of tinned fish at Conserveira de Lisboa in Lisbon. (Credit score: Michele Peterson)

On the cannery, the fish are washed, the heads and tail are eliminated, and the fish are then smoked or cooked, both by deep-frying or steam.

They’re packed in both olive, sunflower or soybean oil, spring water or in a tomato, chile and even mustard sauce.

For many recipes, go for sardines packed in olive oil. Search for manufacturers from France, Spain or Portugal in a speciality store.

Or order a high quality model equivalent to Matiz Gallego Sardines or these from a connoisseur line equivalent to Chef José Andrés Meals on-line by means of Amazon.

The best way to Eat Sardines Straight from the Can 

A tin of wild brisling sardines on a board with a knife, a sliced lemon and capers.
Brisling sardines packed in olive oil with black olives and herbs.

Are you able to eat sardines straight from the can? Sure! They don’t have to be cooked or cleaned. They’re able to eat.  

As a result of canned sardines are so moveable, they’re good for a fast meal should you’re travelling, tenting or on a hike. A sardine can is just about indestructible, opens simply and is able to serve so is helpful for travelling or as a boating snack.

Whereas the heads of sardines are eliminated earlier than canning, they’re not normally gutted or deboned. There’s no have to separate the bones from the sardines. 

A lot as with tinned salmon, the bones soften in the course of the canning course of, they’re completely edible. 

Nevertheless, if you wish to take away the principle bone you may elevate it out by beginning at thickest a part of the fish quite than the tail. 


One more reason to depart the bones in canned sardines is that they comprise calcium. Sardines are a powerhouse of goodness as additionally they comprise protein and a number of precious nutritional vitamins and minerals. They’re particularly excessive in heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin D, selenium, B12 and niacin. 

Nevertheless, tinned sardines are sometimes fairly excessive in sodium and energy. And, like all fish they comprise purine compounds which may elevate uric acid ranges in your blood and trigger issues if in case you have gout, a type of arthritis.

Verify the wholesome consuming pointers at Arthritis Basis for suggestions on high-purine meals equivalent to sardines, lobster, scallops, tuna, haddock and salmon.

Sardines are an Eco-friendly Meals 

You too can be ok with consuming sardines environmentally. In accordance with the WorldWatch Institute, a corporation selling a extra sustainable world, sardines are a wild, sustainably-sourced fish.

They reproduce rapidly and aren’t farmed. As a result of they’re low on the meals chain, they don’t accumulate excessive ranges of contaminants equivalent to mercury or PCBs as the massive ocean fish.

Search for sardines that carry the blue MSC label. Meaning they arrive from fisheries which have been independently licensed to the MSC Fisheries Customary

The best way to Put together for Cooking and Storage  

Close-up of canned sardines with a knife, lemon and capers on a board.
Tinned sardines can be utilized straight out of the can with out eradicating the bones. If there may be a number of oil, drain earlier than utilizing in a recipe.
  • As a way to put together the fish for cooking in canned sardine recipes, it’s best to drain the oil, tomato sauce or water. 
  • Whereas some recipes might name for utilizing the vegetable or olive oil within the tin, utilizing it is going to make the recipes style fishier. So for some individuals, draining the oil from the sardines makes them style higher. 
  • Pat the filets barely with a paper towel to dry them and take away extra oil. However don’t take away the pores and skin.  
  • Don’t fear about making an attempt to take away the bones. They’re edible and truly present precious nutritional vitamins and minerals. 
  • Most recipes name for one full tin of sardines. If you happen to do have leftovers, deal with canned sardines like recent fish as soon as the tin is opened. Take away from the tin and retailer any unused sardines coated in a plastic or glass container within the fridge for as much as two days.  

19 Finest Canned Sardine Recipes from Across the World

Continuously Requested Questions 

How do you make canned sardines style higher?

Start by buying the highest quality tinned sardines you may afford. They’ll be meatier, have a firmer texture and a much less fishy flavour.

To eat them straight from the can, place a filet on a cracker or crostini, add recent lemon juice, some finely chopped pink onion and fresh-ground black pepper.

Or use sardines in a recipe equivalent to pasta or fish truffles the place the flavour isn’t as pronounced. 

Is it wholesome to eat canned sardines day-after-day?

Whereas millionaire enterprise capitalist and “sardine freak” Craig Cooper claims that consuming 5 cans of sardines day by day helps maintain him at peak efficiency, there are a number of causes you may need to eat canned sardines sparsely.

Whereas they do have a number of vitamins, they’ll additionally excessive in ldl cholesterol, purines, sodium and energy. Verify with the Arthritis Basis and/or the Coronary heart and Stroke Basis for wholesome consuming pointers.    

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A collage of international sardine dishes with text overlay for Pinterest of the Best Canned Sardine recipes from Around the World.




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