Canned Sardines Salad

31 Jul

As it is rainy season in Goa, I remembered my mom’s canned sardines recipe called Sardinhas a Portuguesa (Sardinhas em Molho de Tomate) that she would make. Growing up we ate fish that was seasonal as we had no other options. Goan’s did not import foods as they do now a days. Our exposure to other cuisines was very limited. It was only when friends and family visited from outside Goa or India we got  a chance to taste other foods.

canned-sardines-goan-recipe-fish-salad-sardinhas-portuguesaUsually in July-August sardines were available and at least once’s a year my mom cooked her Sardinhas (Portuguese). She would also make sautéed sardines with tangy and sweet recheado masala, curry and crispy fried sardines coated either with rava(cream of wheat ) or rice flour, salt and turmeric. This recipe is also made in Goa with Fire Roasted Sundried Salted Mackerels (“Karem” in Konkani).

canned-sardines-goan-recipe-fish-salad-curry-sardinhas-portuguesaSince I am not that privileged with easy access to fresh sardines in LA, I do use the canned one’s along with canned tuna to make this salad. My kids enjoy it with tortilla chips and I like it as a side with my rice and fish curry or Goan Pulao. As kids we called it “Mama Arroz” as it was cooked by my mom on Sundays which was her day off.

 canned-sardines-goan-recipe-fish-salad-sardinhas-portuguese-pulaoAnother recipe of the canned sardines we made was a smooth paste with room temperature butter. We would make sandwiches or spread it on Ritz Crakers as appetizers for birthday parties.

canned-sardines-goan-recipe-fish-salad-sardinhas-salsa-low-fat-tortillas-chips-dipsServing Size: 4-6


1 large can of sardines in tomato sauce

1 medium onion diced

2 tomatoes diced

1 jalapeno chopped finely (optional)

10 springs of fresh cilantro chopped

3 tbsp of vinegar

Salt to season


Drain the fish out of the sauce. Add all the chopped ingredients along with vinegar and salt in a bowl and mix well.

Finally crumble the fish and add to the mixture. Mix gently as not to break it up too much. Chill in the refrigerator till ready to serve.

Enjoy it as a side along with rice or as a canned fish salsa with tortilla chips which my kids enjoy.

Ps: This recipe is for those days when you plan to chill out at home 🙂

canned-sardines-goan-recipe-fish-salad-triscuit-snacks-ideasHere is the Sardine Butter Paste Recipe made for parties with 1 can of drained out sardines mashed with 3-4 tbsp of room temperature butter and then topped with quickly pickled crispy fresh veggies like beets, bell-peppers and sweet white onions. I have topped it on a Triscuit. We also made sandwiches with the sardine paste.

If you have a sardine recipe please do share in the comment section 🙂


71 Responses to “Canned Sardines Salad”

  1. joannathemontrealer July 31, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

    This looks delicious!

    • Nandini July 31, 2015 at 6:26 pm #

      Thank You so much Joanna for your kind words. You have a great weekend 🙂

  2. cindy knoke July 31, 2015 at 5:44 pm #

    Delicious & gorgeous!

    • Nandini July 31, 2015 at 6:27 pm #

      Thank you so much Cindy that is very sweet of you to say. You have a great weekend 🙂

  3. andy1076 July 31, 2015 at 5:47 pm #

    I like the butter paste recipe, Love finger foods especially witch such a delicious treat! 🙂

    • Nandini July 31, 2015 at 6:28 pm #

      Thank You so much Andy. I love it too. It’s so light and buttery. You have a great weekend 🙂

  4. dmariebates July 31, 2015 at 5:47 pm #

    I grew up on sardines but we just put them on crackers. I like your recipe.

    • Nandini July 31, 2015 at 6:30 pm #

      Thank You so much DMarie. I am happy to know you like what you see 🙂 You have a great weekend.

  5. kstorm93 July 31, 2015 at 7:37 pm #

    This is great post. My wife is Portuguese and naturally loves Sardinhas. I’m not a fan and always tease her as to how she eats them.. 😃. I just showed her your post.. Guess what will be made very soon. Lol..

    • Nandini July 31, 2015 at 9:57 pm #

      Thank You so much. I am happy to know your wife approved my recipe specially since she is Portuguese 🙂 Do let me know her feedback when she makes it.

      • kstorm93 July 31, 2015 at 10:01 pm #

        Will do! Have a great weekend.. Boa Noite!

  6. youthfoodblog July 31, 2015 at 9:47 pm #

    Very creative!

  7. misterbeebop August 1, 2015 at 12:21 am #

    Yummy! Looks doable too! Might try it soon =)

    • Nandini August 1, 2015 at 9:33 am #

      Thank You! Let me know when you do 🙂

  8. Tanushree Ghosh August 1, 2015 at 12:43 am #

    Oh lovely! I never thought a sardine dish could look sooo good.. definitely will try as soon as I can get my hands on the ingredients.. wonderful indeed!

    • Nandini August 1, 2015 at 9:34 am #

      Thank You Tanushree for your kind words. I hope you do give it a try someday soon 🙂

  9. amandawren70 August 1, 2015 at 3:09 am #

    I love your pictures! Mine are very amateur. Great summer recipe too.

    • Nandini August 1, 2015 at 9:41 am #

      Thank You so much Amanda. It is very kind of you to say. You do have beautifully plated food pictures as well 🙂 You have a great weekend.

  10. Stan the man August 1, 2015 at 3:30 am #

    Bonjour Nandini!

    AGOSTO DESGOSTO. Not really, Your CANNED SARDINE SALAD looks STARTLING. What a start to the month of AUGUST. Me late mum would do a lot of dishes with sardines, as they were readily available in abundance in the month of august. She used to call them TALLE. In Spain they barbecue the sardines by the seaside. You can buy 10 or 15 sardines for 2euros. Your sardine salad is HEAVENLY. And Your photos make it look amazing. I think the salads complement the sardines. As Goans are fish eaters, this dish will be every Goan’s dream. I could go on and on and on about this fab dish. By the way it is GOA DAY tomorrow in the U.K There will be a lot of food and music at the venue. Goan Sausages, sorpotel,bebinca,doce, prawn balcao and so on. There will be some NUTCASES drinking like mad. Have a BRILLIANT WEEKEND.

    With My kindest best wishes,


    • Nandini August 1, 2015 at 9:51 am #

      Thank You Mr Stan for your kind words. It was hard to decide how I wanted to style the pictures because when you mix the sardines into the salad it does get messy and I wanted the images to be appetizing. Yes it is “Talle” time in Goa. I was talking to my mom and she was saying that they now get it in July since they import the fish from Karnataka and other states. I know sardines are very popular in Spain and grilling them with some salt and little oil is delicious. Looks like tomorrow will be a good day for you with all the good Goan foods 🙂 .Have a great time and regards to Mrs Stan and yourself.

  11. vanbytheriver August 1, 2015 at 3:58 am #

    Thanks for these. I love them, right out of the can, with a side of fresh tomatoes and onion. Smoked herring is also a favorite. ☺ Van

    • Nandini August 1, 2015 at 9:56 am #

      That is so good to know Van. They do taste equally good just out of the can. I had my first taste of Herring recently on a trip to a Danish village called Solvang out her in California.

  12. laflor5233 August 1, 2015 at 8:06 am #

    Growing up we always had canned sardines, and sometimes canned salmon. I still eat sardines, not so much the canned salmon, I prefer fresh. Thanks for showing us what you can do with the canned sardines.

    • Nandini August 1, 2015 at 9:58 am #

      You are so welcome and Thank You. I hope you will enjoy the recipe. You have a great weekend 🙂

  13. fromthefamilytable August 1, 2015 at 12:51 pm #

    Great idea. We don’t get fresh sardines in the high desert, but canned sardines are plentiful.

    • Nandini August 3, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

      Thank You Darryl. Have a great week 🙂

  14. mihrank August 1, 2015 at 1:38 pm #

    wow – I admit you are the top and elite page sharing these valuable and delicious…I adore your page:)

    • Nandini August 3, 2015 at 3:39 pm #

      Thank You Much Mihrank for your kind words.

  15. edgarone2 August 1, 2015 at 9:57 pm #

    I love the sardines.

    • Nandini August 3, 2015 at 3:41 pm #

      That is awesome 🙂

  16. deutschtrailer August 2, 2015 at 3:46 am #

    Mmmhhhh delicious, thank you very much Nandini….💗💗💗

    • Nandini August 3, 2015 at 3:41 pm #

      Thank You so much. You have a great week 🙂

  17. Cris August 2, 2015 at 4:24 am #

    Mmmm, so delicious!

    • Nandini August 3, 2015 at 3:43 pm #

      Thank You so much Cris 🙂

  18. John August 2, 2015 at 10:05 am #

    My mouth is watering!

    • Nandini August 3, 2015 at 3:44 pm #

      It is a delicious recipe indeed John 🙂

  19. renxkyoko August 2, 2015 at 8:15 pm #

    I love sardines. I actually have a question for Filipinos…. What’s with sardines, corned beef and Filipinos ? LOL (It’s like, what’s whith Spam and Hawaiians ? )

    • Nandini August 3, 2015 at 3:55 pm #

      That is so good to know 🙂 I guess it’s the same as Goan’s. We love our fish and sausages 🙂

  20. lindaravello August 3, 2015 at 11:33 am #

    Lovin the jalopenos wth the sardines idea – perfect for the very hot weather we’ve been having : )

    • Nandini August 3, 2015 at 3:57 pm #

      Thanks Much Linda! It is perfect as it’s a light salad 🙂

  21. Nandini, your post brings back memories of my childhood days. Salted mackerel and sardines were common in our household.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Nandini August 4, 2015 at 6:41 pm #

      Thank you so much Noel. I am so happy to hear that 🙂

  22. ledrakenoir August 3, 2015 at 11:10 pm #

    So tempting, looks really delicious… 🙂

    • Nandini August 4, 2015 at 6:41 pm #

      Thank You so much 🙂

  23. Mei August 4, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

    This is also a comfort food from when I was a child. My mom would make a sauce with shoyu (soy sauce), apple cider vinegar, chopped onions, and minced garlic. Then she would have steamed rice, the sardines in tomato sauce, and cherry tomatoes cut in half. It was simple meal, but those are the meals that fond memories are made of.

    • Nandini August 4, 2015 at 6:45 pm #

      Wow! Thank you for sharing. It sound equally delicious. I will definitely give it a try. It’s truly amazing for me to see how we all are related through food 🙂

  24. Allthatcooking August 5, 2015 at 2:43 am #

    Hi ! The first picture got my attention and made me hungry. I like the rest too as I’m a lover of sardines. The simple is often the best !
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Nandini August 5, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

      Thank You so much Oli. I appreciate your kind words. You have a great day 🙂

  25. creamcili August 7, 2015 at 2:39 pm #

    Another similarity to Malaysian cuisine..we are surely closely linked to Portuguese 🙂

    • Nandini August 7, 2015 at 7:00 pm #

      I am sure they influenced Malaysian since they were in Hong Kong 🙂

      • creamcili August 8, 2015 at 2:29 am #

        Malaysia was briefly invaded by Portuguese (or Portugis in Malay) in 1500s, but for food assimilation to happen and remain for so long…that’s really interesting!
        Thanks Nandini through your blog, I’m learning to look at my food history in a newer perspective 🙂

        • Nandini August 8, 2015 at 8:59 am #

          Oh wow! Thank you for sharing your part of history which I did not know. It’s about the same time they came to Goa and were there for 300 years. We used to have a Malaysian restaurant by the previous place where we lived called Belacan Grill. My husband and me really enjoyed the food specially the beef rendang. You have a great weekend 🙂

  26. urbanmonique August 21, 2015 at 5:32 pm #

    Those little guys are so good, done right (like this)

    • Nandini August 21, 2015 at 6:43 pm #

      Yes they are and so versatile. I only wish I could get them fresh.

  27. CV ARISTON KUPANG August 22, 2015 at 5:58 am #

    You must be a great chef Nandini…..I share your recipe to all my facebook follower……appreciate for this good and inspiring blog

    • Nandini August 22, 2015 at 10:34 am #

      Thank you so much for your kind words and for sharing my work. I appreciate it very much. My uncle used to live in East Timor Dili for 50 plus year till he passed away in early 2000.

      • CV ARISTON KUPANG August 22, 2015 at 9:49 pm #

        I never been there Nandini….I am so close to your uncle in location…..probably a lot of thing has done by your uncle…..

        • Nandini August 24, 2015 at 4:45 pm #

          He was a missionary priest and very involved with the community. I only have a few pictures of him. Hopefully one day I will get a chance to visit and see all of his work.

  28. Tortilla for tea August 31, 2015 at 1:14 am #

    I love sardines cooked in a whole range of ways, from grilled ones served at a beach hut in Portugal to Portuguese fish paste on their lovely sourdough bread toasted to tinned sardines in tomato sauce, mashed on toast with a splash of vinegar and put under the grill. So I would love to try out your recipe!

    • Nandini September 1, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

      That is awesome. I will look forward to your feedback when you try it out 🙂

  29. A Londoner from Afar September 13, 2015 at 9:55 pm #

    Such great ideas!

    • Nandini September 15, 2015 at 4:53 pm #

      Thank You Much 🙂

  30. Harry...the Man! October 15, 2015 at 1:09 pm #

    That looks simple and effective. Hmm, if only the fish that I had as a kid was like this.

    • Nandini October 16, 2015 at 6:00 pm #

      ThanksMuch Harry 🙂

  31. alisonamazed April 22, 2016 at 9:22 am #

    Oh my have to try these sardines recipes!

    • Nandini April 23, 2016 at 12:40 pm #

      I would encourage you as along as you do not mind the fishy smell.

  32. alisonamazed April 22, 2016 at 9:37 am #

    I can’t link to the sardine butter recipe…

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