Cheap and delicious – Sardines

Most times I find it very fulfilling after a hearty yet simple home cook meal.  While dining out is a pleasure, eating at home gives me great satisfaction especially when I am eating basic simple food that I was introduced to as a child and not eating much of them presently.

There are some nice canned food that you can whip out quick and fast to add to the menu in Asian dining.  The staple is rice and a couple of dishes as accompanies.  Besides the popular Ma Sing Luncheon meat and Black Beans fish, my favourite is Sardines in Tomato Sauce.

I recently stumbled upon a particular brand of Sardines in Tomato Sauce that are the best I ever tasted.  They are our local supermarket home brand readily available in New Zealand and Australia.  The ‘sardines’ are actually mackerel.  They are so ‘fresh’ and juicy and beat those other brands of sardines produced by the Asian markets.

The best way to enjoy these sardines is to add some dark soya sauce, red (or white) onions chopped into small bits, squeeze a lime/lemon juice, a couple of small chillies chopped in pieces (optional).  Instead of lime/lemon juice, you could add a tablespoon of brown vinegar instead.  Heating in microwave for 1 min is optional.  This dish is cheap yet simple and I often have second helping of rice with it.

I guess eating canned food once in a while is not too bad.  They often bring back good memories too.  I enjoyed my sardine dish as much if not more than a $40 main in a four star restaurant.

“Some of the best dishes in the world’s cuisines came from the necessity to eat cheaply.”  Linda Giuca

Is there any canned food that you like?

sardines1 maling luncheon meat blackbeanfish

11 thoughts on “Cheap and delicious – Sardines

  1. Growing up in Malaysia my mum would prepare Ayam Brand sardines straight from the can for dinner every now and then. She would microwave it for a minute or so and serve it to us. I don’t mind eating them, but it’s not my favourite as the tomato sauce is too sour for my liking.

    Ma Ling luncheon meat! I really can’t get enough of that! Absolutely loved it so much as a kid. My mum would cut it up into slices and fry it with a beated up egg 😀 Sometimes if I was a good kid she would let me eat a few raw pieces of it before she cooked it up. Also used to buy slices of it in the primary school canteen. I think over the last decade it came out in the news Ma Ling didn’t really have much meat in it and banned in some places… *sniff*

    Lovely post, Jess. Happy holidays and take care ^^’

    • Hi Mabel, I use the thick sweet soya sauce on the tomato sardines and that dilutes the sourness. 🙂 The Ayam brand is popular in Malaysia but you ought to try this home brand from Woolworth, Aust (Foodtown in NZ) and it’s much juicer and not sour at all.
      Merry Christmas and happy holidays, Sweetie. 🙂

      • Thanks for the sardine tip. I will have a look at Woolies next time I’m there (multiple times a week to buy snacks…). I always love your food posts. They always take me on a trip down memory lane.

        Enjoy the holidays, Jess. Talk soon ^^’

  2. When my grandparents came to Canada, they found ways to stretch grocery $ and my grandmum’s favourite was Klik and Spam (like your Ma Ling, pork loaf in a can). She also loved canned sardines. When cooking meat, she used the leftover bits and made aspic (yech, I hate it) but they wasted nothing. Thanks for sharing Jess – I’ll try your recipe too 🙂

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