I just wrote up some information for Angelo Coppola of Latest in Paleo, and I thought I'd share here too (It's my first time posting, and I'm a bit shy).
Obviously fresh is best, but if you're buying canned sardines, there's a trick finding the good, tasty stuff. You have to know that so much of what is canned and labelled as sardines ARE NOT REAL SARDINES! That's why you get the nasty, over-powering fishy taste. The secret is that you have to find double layer, bristling sardines. I use Oscar Brand, which can be found at Wal-Mart for $2.50/can. Below is my comment to Angelo, which talks more about the real vs. fake sardines problem:
Angelo - thank you so much for an always enjoyable and informative podcast! I listen to you religiously. So, when I stumbled upon a potential solution to your sardine conundrum (your not caring for the taste), I had to share. I've also got a recommendation for several other ways to enjoy small, fatty fishes that the Paleo community might not be aware of.
My father just made for me a super simple and scrumptious sardine dish I think anyone can appreciate. It's his simpler, less expensive version of the Sherried Sardines recipe by Alton Brown on his "Good Eats" show: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/sherried-sardine-toast-recipe/index.html The trick to finding tasty sardines is this: You MUST buy DOUBLE LAYER BRISTLING sardines (ex: Oscar's brand, from Walmart, $2.50/can, has a yellow wrapper, in olive oil). Quality is everything. Regular, cheap $1.00 cans of sardines are usually not real sardines at all - just some random small fish labelled as sardines, which is where the nasty, over-powering fishy taste comes from. You can tell real sardines by how they fit in a double layer in a can because they are smaller than the cheap substitutes. They taste far less strong and fishy - they're remarkably subtle, not fishy at all really. Double layer, bristling.
Sardine Recipe: - Drain one can of double layer bristling sardines & arrange on a plate - sprinkle liberally with granulated garlic or garlic powder - sprinkle liberally with lemon or lime juice - sprinkle liberally with dried parsley leaves - top liberally with spoonfuls of a Mexican hot tomato sauce, which you can find for $1.00 a can in the Mexican section of most grocery stores.
This can be eaten as is, or if -and I know this is heresy - you are a bit naughty and following the 80/20 principle (or you are amenable to some carbs on occassion) it's delicious on top of some low-carb toast, which is how it was originally intended to be eaten. I use toasted rice bread or tapioca bread.
Here are my other two suggestions for eating more cheap, small fatty fishes - REAL homemade Ceaser dressing is cheap, easy, and delicious, if you have a taste for Ceasar.
Anchovie Ceasar dressing recipe: It involves blending 1/2 to one whole can of anchovies, a raw egg or egg yolk, some lemon juice, some pepper, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, a teaspoon of tangy mustard (Dijon is perfect), a crushed or diced garlic clove, and roughly 1/4 cup olive oil. Drizzle over Romaine lettuce, top with grated parmesan, if you eat cheese. The nutritional value here is beautiful.
Last, here's a secret I"m not sure the Paleo community has cottoned-on to, but that our British cousins from across the Pond are well aware of: Kipper snacks! Sauteed fish for breakfast! Kippers, if anyone isn't aware, are smoked herring, another fatty omega 3 fish. For the Harry Potter fans, throughout the books Harry is mentioned occasionally as eating sauteed kippers for breakfast.
I recommend the POLAR brand, which is dirt cheap, usually $1.00/can, and can be widely found, especially in Dollar Stores. It's a German product that is naturally smoked and includes no additives or preservatives.
Sauteed Kippers recipe: Typically the kippers are sauteed in butter with onions and diced potatoes, but the potatoes can be left out if one avoids them.
(As an afterthought that didn't appear in my original comment, I've also sauteed kippers and onions and mixed them with some scrambled eggs, which is also delicious).
asked byJuliebgood (30)
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on April 15, 2012
at 09:50 PM
I really prefer the Wild Planet brand sardines, BPA free. Particularly these ones: Wild Planet Wild Sardines in Marinara Sauce, 4.375-Ounce. The ingredients are very bare-bones and paleo-friendly, and the sauce makes them tasty enough to simply toss over some salad and be set.
Not mega fishy, either. Mmm.
on April 15, 2012
at 11:55 PM
Should we care if our sardines aren't technically sardines? After all, they still highly nutritious food even if they're not.
Also: smoked kipper snacks are awesome.
on April 28, 2012
at 02:05 PM
In the UK brisling are canned under the name skippers (not kippers - different thing, as mentioned by OP). Smoked, in sunflower oil.
Pour off the oil, obviously - although the can says omega-3 is about 1/3 of the polyunsaturaed fat in the can. Guess that means 1:2 omega-3/-6 ratio.
Much less fishy than canned sardines.
on April 16, 2012
at 02:15 AM
thanks, this is really helpful actually. I used to like sardines as a kid but haven't eaten them in years. I bought some since going paleo/primal and hated them (FISHY!!!) so I am betting this was the problem. I will give it another go and look for your recommended brand at wally world!