Spanish Style Sardines


Spanish Style Sardines

Spanish Style Sardines is a different variant of cooking sardines where fish is pressure cooked in oil, other methods known is cooking in brine or tomato sauce.  This food item is known for its preserved or canned versions which are easily available in supermarkets and even convenience store so it is seldom prepared at home.  But for this post we will make our own home made version of the Spanish Style sardines.  In fact the title is a bit misleading as sardines is a type of fish and that’s not the fish I will be using for this recipe, but since it is a popular term in Philippines to use sardines as the dish rather than the fish I will be using it otherwise.

When I was a child I remember my mom always cook this dish as it has a longer shelf life and I must say they taste better than tinned counterparts, she always uses the small sized milkfish (bangus) which is not available here in New Zealand, so I will opt in for the larger version we will just slice it up, they are the same fish anyways the only difference is the size.  The fish is filled with bones everywhere that’s why I guess it never became popular for use in Western cuisines even it has a really good taste, deboning the fish will be a nightmare as the bones don’t just reside in the central part it is also evenly distributed in the meat, they are also as thin as a hair strand but still tough that it can prick your tongue.  That’s why I guess this is the most appropriate cooking method for this fish as when you pressure cook it, the bones will just melt when you start to eat it.  So if you want to enjoy the taste of a better sardine, try this at home.

Ingredients

1 kg milkfish, sliced into 1.5 inch thick pieces
1 pc carrots, sliced
12 pcs pickled cocktail onions
4 pcs bay leaf
freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup white wine
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 pc birds eye chillies
salt

Method

1. Generously cover milkfish with salt and set aside for at least one hour.
2. Rinse fish with running tap water.
3. Place the cooking rack at the bottom of the pressure cooker (this prevents fish from sticking at the bottom), then place fish, chilli, bay leaf, carrots and cocktail onions.  Pour white wine, fish sauce and olive oil.  Make sure you fit everything nicely packed at the bottom and you have enough to cover the fish, otherwise add more white wine.
4. Bring close to boiling point then lower the heat.  Close the pressure cooker then cook for 45 minutes.

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13 thoughts on “Spanish Style Sardines

  1. its surely the type of sardines we get here, either the canned version or the small fresh ones. With eye chillies in your recipe, simply my taste for sure. Sardines for me at home is either spicy fried with curry powder or curried version.

  2. I guess homemade food always taste better than their tinned counterparts, not to mention healthier too, without all that preservatives !

  3. Thank you for this recipe I tried it tonight and it was good. But maybe I should have increased the cooking time since the bones were not that soft . Or maybe I need to study my pressure cooker more :) thanks again for sure this will be a regular in my weekly menu.

  4. Why do you generously cover the fish with salt then rinse it before cooking? I love spanish sardines. thanks.

    • It gives a very distinct flavor to the fish similar to salt curing bacon compared to frying a thinly sliced belly with salt. The curing process lets the fish draw out moisture while injecting concentrated flavor into the fish which helps a lot when youre stewing it in oil not water.

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