Do you like Canned Sardines? Well, I love them and I’m pretty sure that many other people do too! Do I eat Canned Sardines? Not if I have a choice! In India, especially the part where I live – Kolkata, a city on the banks of a river with a seafood loving population, there is plenty of fresh fish right throughout the year! So I get fresh Sardines and cook them at home and they taste exactly like what the canned version does.
Beware! Canned Fish companies will tell you that you get a whole bunch of Omega 3 which is vital for proper functioning of the human body but what they don’t tell you is how much sodium and preservatives have been used to keep a piece of fish from turning rotten for over a period of 6 months or even longer than that. Think about it – if you put a piece of fish in a sealed can with nothing else and open it after 6 months, what do think will be in the can? A stinky and rotten piece of fish! To keep fish seemingly fresh for such a long period of time, it needs plenty of preservatives and you end up eating those preservatives when eating canned food!
If you are lead to believing that Canned Sardines are a low-calorie snack, think again! Sardines are soaked in oil, canned in that oil, and stored in that oil till we eat it and we consume all that oil with a tiny serving of Sardines! Yes, the health risks are low but why eat food with health risks attached to it when you can eat food the healthy and fresh way?
So if you really like the way Canned Sardines taste then I’ll teach you how to make it right at home, in your pressure cooker, minus all the harmful stuff! If you want to learn how to buy the freshest fish from the fish market do all about it in my earlier post THE BEST SURMAI (KINGFISH) RECIPE. Here’s how you can make Sardines just like the ones you get in the can at home and all you need is 3 simple ingredients besides the fish!
- Sardines - 500 Grams, Cleaned with Heads Removed
- Salt - To Taste
- Pepper - ¼th Teaspoon
- Oil - ½ Tablespoon (Optional)
- Pour about 300 ml of water into your pressure cooker.
- Place that little plate with the round holes in it at the bottom of the cooker with the side with the holes facing up.
- In a bowl large enough in which the fish will fit comfortably and small enough to fit in the pressure cooker, place the fish and add just enough salt to taste and pepper.
- Pour in the little bit of oil or leave it out completely.
- Cover this bowl with a plate large enough to keep water from getting into it.
- Lower this bowl into the pressure cooker and make sure this bowl is covered properly.
- Place lid on pressure cooker and steam on low heat for 1 hour.
- After an hour, remove the lid and check on the sardines.
- The sardines will have a little liquid in them which will form during the steaming process. Do not discard this liquid.
- The sardines will be absolutely soft to the touch and will break up easily just like the canned version.
Believe me, they’ll taste exactly like Canned Sardines but without the bitter aftertaste which processed Sardines sometimes have! And yes! It’s so simple to make them!
Enjoy as a sandwich or make them into a curry, it’s entirely up to you! Sardines are good to eat and steaming them helps them retain as much of their goodness as possible. The liquid which forms in the steaming process is packed with flavor so do not discard it. It will also keep the Sardines moist when and if you do decide to refrigerate them!
Do make this recipe. It’s a thousand times better, tastier and healthier than what you’ll ever get in a can or tin!