This Homemade Spanish Sardines recipe became a big hit in the Philippines for some time when fish also became a popular choice since these types of food are always readily available almost anywhere.
Preparing these is one of the most convenient ways to eat especially when you’re always on the go. But since it’s not always the best choice when it comes to family dinner, why not make it extra special? After all, anything homemade is special in its own way.
In this article, we will share with you our best way of making homemade Spanish sardines. Whether you want it freshly made to be eaten immediately, or made to be eaten at a later time. This is the perfect recipe!
Below are also some tips on how to make it even more delicious, and also some alternatives for ingredients you might want to try.
What is Homemade Spanish Sardines?
Spanish-style sardines is a type of dish where the fish–in this case, sardines–is either pressure-cooked or slow-cooked. This is usually prepared using a brine which consists of olives, tomatoes, alongside a number of other herbs which give the dish an even more delightful taste.
These are actually available in your nearest local stores or in the supermarket. But of course, here, we’re going to do what we do best, and that is the homemade style.
What’s also good about this homemade spanish-style sardines is its shelf life. It is definitely a cheaper choice of dish compared to any other because you can store it and put them in jars to be eaten at a much later time.
A very good idea when you want to give love to your friends and family. You can even make a business out of it since it’s quite easy to manage.
Slow Cooking vs. Pressure Cooking
As said earlier these sardines can be cooked in two ways. One is pressure cooking, and another is slow cooking. For the sake of availability, this recipe teaches you to make these sardines slow-cooked, as this one is more accessible to most people.
Despite the intimidating aura of the word slow-cooked, this dish is very easy to make and you’ll be finished cooking this in no time! Oh well, in some time!
But when you’re going to use the pressure cooker, it will only take almost half the time (about 20 to 30 minutes) compared to slow cooking.
If you’re a little short on time, it is definitely handy to have this so you can prepare the dish faster. But take note that the fish tends to crumble so you better keep an eye out while cooking.
How To Make Spanish Sardines?
To make things simple, we will break down the process in two easy steps: Adding flavor to the sardines (or making the brine), and of course, cooking the sardines.
For those of you who don’t know, brine is what you call a liquid solution–usually mixed with spices and some vegetables–wherein you soak in the fish or meat to absorb its flavors.
Now to add flavor to the sardines, all you have to do is put all of the spices and some vegetables in the cooking pot. Take note that the recipe is not as strict, so you can add in or remove some of the spices. After adding those ingredients, we then put the sardines.
Pour in the olive oil once you’re done with all of the sardines and make sure the sardines are fully soaked in the liquid afterwards. You can pour in some water if it seems not enough.
All you have to do now is cook the sardines! The technique here is to just use low-medium heat and wait for the liquid to boil. To add more taste to the sardines, you can add in vinegar.
Since we’re slow cooking it, it will usually take about 45 minutes to an hour to get done. A good indicator is when the liquids are reduced to about a half or if the oil is the only one left. And that’s done!
Bottling of Homemade Spanish Sardines
This is only optional but this one is transferring the sardines into a bottle. Just be sure to sterilize the whole thing, keep the sardines sealed, and put them in the fridge.
It will last days or even weeks as long as you do this right.
If you’re planning to sell Spanish sardines commercially, it is a good idea to invest in good machines to seal your bottles, or even cans, to make sure that they will be clean and will get a longer shelf life. So do take note of that.
Alternative Fishes You Can Use
As the title says, the fish we use here is the sardines. However, the fish we use can vary, depending on what you want. A recommended alternative is milkfish since it has a unique taste in itself. You’re going to want to debone it first to avoid problems when cooking and eating.
For a quick reference about this recipe, see the recipe table below:
Homemade Spanish Sardines Recipe
- Cooking Pot
- Pressure Cooker (Optional)
- 12 pcs medium-sized sardines, we used tamban
- 1 cup green olives
- 3 tomatoes, cut crosswise
- 5-6 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 pc medium-sized carrot, cut into flower shapes
- 3 pcs bay leaves (laurel leaves)
- 10-12 pcs whole peppercorn
- 2 pcs red chili
- 1 cup pure olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- Clean/ gut the sardines, you may opt to remove the heads or not.
- At the bottom of a cooking pot, arrange some of the olives, tomatoes, carrots, bay leaf, chili, peppercorn, and garlic.
- Then lay 3 to 4 pieces of sardines on top. (you may layer more if you have a wider pot)
- Repeat this layering until all sardines are used.
- Pour-in the olive oil over the sardines.
- Add enough water to make sure that the sardines are submerged in the liquids.
- Apply low-medium heat and bring to a boil
- Once it boils, add-in the vinegar.
- Let it cook for 45 minutes to an hour or until the liquids are reduced to half and only the oil is left.
- Transfer to a serving bowl or allow to cool if you're bottling it. Enjoy!
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