How to cook a sardines meal

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Let’s just admit it, some of us do crave for sardines once in a while. Hubby bought two large cans of sardines and he was planning to do something with them. Ya, right…. I convinced he was reminiscing about something when he decided to buy two large cans of sardines.

I had to cook this meal twice and he only ate just a small portion once!

I am actually reluctant to prepare a sardines meal or even the sandwich because my youngest daughter hates sardines AND durians. I agree that both items have the exotic smells.

For those who are not aware, a sardines meal could also be an emergency meal or it can be considered as a luxury meal during tough times. Don’t forget the instant noodles. Depending on where you purchase the sardines, a large can of sardines cost about RM8 per can. By looking at the quantity from the large can, the sardines can be shared by 3-4 people.

This is my version of cooking sardines.

I like to cook the sardines and the gravy separately.

I  like to do this because:

the ‘strong smell’ from the sardines will be reduced and

also to avoid the sardines from breaking up while cooking.

Usually, i add potatoes in the sardines meal, but if you don’t want to do that, you can compliment the meal with an omelette or you can still make the omelette if you like.


(for 3-4 people)


  1. One large can of sardine. Pour all contents into a bowl.
  2. Potatoes. Cut the potatoes into cubes and boil them until half-cooked (picture).
  3. Small red onions. Mince
  4. Garlic. Mince
  5. Ginger. Mince
  6. Yellow onion. Slice
  7. Cherry tomatoes
  8. Bird’s eye chillies or you can substitute them with red chillies for less hot taste. Slice them and get rid of the seeds.
  9. Tomato OR chili sauce OR BOTH. You need at least 6 tablespoons each or combined.
  10.  1-2 pieces of lime leaves OR a few drops of halved lime juice.
  11. 4-5 tablespoons of cooking oil. (You can adjust accordingly)
  12. Some water.
  13. Salt.



  1. In a pan, heat up the oil.
  2. Slowly add in all the minced ingredients and sliced yellow onion.
  3. Sautee until halfway cook.
  4. Add in all the sardines only, let them cook for a few seconds. Be gentle when turning them over.
  5. Take out the sardines and put them in a bowl so that you can concentrate on cooking the gravy.
  6. Add in all the gravy from the can.
  7. Immediately, add the tomato AND/OR chili sauce.
  8. Stir and add in some water so that all the ingredients mix well. Adjust the thickness according to your preference.
  9. Then, add in the potatoes, cherry tomatoes and lime leaves. The main purpose of adding the lime leaves or the lime drops is to eliminate as much ‘unfavourable’ smell as possible.
  10. Stir and taste the gravy before adding back the sardines into the pan. Add in some salt first if necessary.
  11. Turn off the heat.

*It is important that you don’t put in too many lime leaves or too much of lime juice. The sardines taste will disappear.





If there are some leftovers sardines, don’t throw them away. You can either:

give the leftovers to the cats (I don’t have any cats but there are cats who come to visit our house occasionally for food or play)

or eat them with bread, turn them into sandwich.

By the way, this is just a basic sardin cooking. Use your own creativity to turn it into a more interesting meal.


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