Canned food series : The humble sardines

Rainy season is here. So, is the canned foods like sardines, baked beans, Rex chili squids (best one around), dace, luncheon meats, Yeo’s curry chicken and etc.

Over here in Penang, we experience thunderstorms almost every evening. When the rain is too heavy, plans to go out for dinner have to be scrapped at the last minute. Sometimes, there is no supply of fresh foods like meat, fish and vegetables for me to prepare a proper meal.

So, we will have a feast of canned foods and eggs. Frankly, canned foods are mighty delicious if you do not have to depend on them as staple diet. It is a treat, really.


The first thing I am featuring is the sardines. Over here in Malaysia, we are used to have our sardines in tomato sauce and sometimes, chili sauce.

Usually, I prefer the Botan (white flower brand) or reliable companies like TCBoy, Ayam and Yeo’s. Some brands provide mackerel which has a coarser texture.

Here’s a quickie way to enhance the flavour of the canned sardines:


1 big onion, cut into chunks

small piece of tamarind – make into juices

bird’s eyes chillies

1 big canned of sardines

sugar to taste


Heat a little oil and fry the onions and chillies till fragrant. Add in tamarind juice, sardines and flavour with some sugar. Leave to simmer for a few minutes. Serve with hot rice. Yummy! Hot, sour and a little sweet.

Sardines is a very versatile food packed with protein, calcium and other minerals.

This food is a good source of Niacin, Calcium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Protein, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 and Selenium.

It tastes good in sandwiches and can be easily made into tiny sardines puffs with some frozen filo pastry. One just need to flavour it with some sourish taste to take away the fishy smell. Usually a squeeze of lime juice will be super.

Post Author: Lilian

Food, travel, recipes. Chinese Malaysian, blogger, photographer and writer.

7 thoughts on “Canned food series : The humble sardines


    (December 5, 2005 - 2:51 pm)

    During my collge days, a friend of mine also taught me how to make super quick fish curry using canned sardines and a little tamarind juice. Put them together with curry paste and voila! A nice tomato-y, sourish and spicy dish. Doesn’t cost alot too.

    Jeremy C

    (December 5, 2005 - 4:05 pm)

    I lurve canned food…esp luncheon meat, spice cubes and, of course, the perennial classic, sardines:)


    (December 5, 2005 - 4:18 pm)

    Kak lilian
    Recently I found a new way of cooking canned sardines (not by my inventions, found through blog hopping recently). Masak lemak cili padi sardines. Hish, gotta tell you. The hotter the cili padi, the merrier *grins*. And like you said, it is darn good if it is not a staple. Kalau hari-hari makan mau muak la jadinya hehehe.


    (December 5, 2005 - 10:35 pm)

    hehe i love luncheon meat too..and sardines of course. I have a recipe for sardines with ABC on my blog, check it out..Reminds me of the sourish taste of szechuan soup.


    (December 5, 2005 - 11:47 pm)

    i stopped eating sardines after OBS and that was like 3 years ago.

    Had to eat sardines with rice when we were out camping. Got phobia already



    (December 6, 2005 - 2:04 pm)


    one of my fondest childhood memory of my mom’s good friend was eating sardine & simple omelette with just-cook-hot siamese rice at her house. So when I was over at her house in KL last week & she wanted to cook seafood lunch for us, I said no need… she immediately knew what I wanted! Tapi she tak sampai hati to feed just that to my other half, so macam2 la dia masak on top of the sardine… I must have eaten almost a can worth of sardine!


    (November 22, 2006 - 12:03 pm)

    Lilian, you should try out the mackerel too. Besides the mackerel in tomato, there is one grilled mackerel in fried chili sauce, just a small can.I can’t remember is that TCboy or Ayam brand. Anyway there is only either one of the brands which offer this. It’s harder for the mackerel but the sauce taste is quite nice that I feel umppphhhh. Reminder: it is salty taste too.

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