Spanish Style Sardines

Spanish Style Sardines is a different variant of cooking sardines where fish is pressure cooked in oil, other methods known is cooking in brine or tomato sauce. 

Spanish Style Sardines is a different variant of cooking sardines where fish is pressure cooked in oil, other methods known is cooking in brine or tomato sauce.  This food item is known for its preserved or canned versions which are easily available in supermarkets and even convenience store so it is seldom prepared at home.  But for this post we will make our own home made version of the Spanish Style sardines.  In fact the title is a bit misleading as sardines is a type of fish and that’s not the fish I will be using for this recipe, but since it is a popular term in Philippines to use sardines as the dish rather than the fish I will be using it otherwise.

When I was a child I remember my mom always cook this dish as it has a longer shelf life and I must say they taste better than tinned counterparts, she always uses the small sized milkfish (bangus) which is not available here in New Zealand, so I will opt in for the larger version we will just slice it up, they are the same fish anyways the only difference is the size.  The fish is filled with bones everywhere that’s why I guess it never became popular for use in Western cuisines even it has a really good taste, deboning the fish will be a nightmare as the bones don’t just reside in the central part it is also evenly distributed in the meat, they are also as thin as a hair strand but still tough that it can prick your tongue.  That’s why I guess this is the most appropriate cooking method for this fish as when you pressure cook it, the bones will just melt when you start to eat it.  So if you want to enjoy the taste of a better sardine, try this at home.


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Spanish Style Sardines 2

Spanish Style Sardines

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 9 reviews
  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Filipino


Spanish Style Sardines is a different variant of cooking sardines where fish is pressure cooked in oil, other methods known is cooking in brine or tomato sauce.


  • 2 pcs milkfish, sliced into 1.5 inch thick pieces
  • 1 pc carrots, sliced
  • 12 pcs pickled cocktail onions
  • 2 large pcs pickled gherkins, sliced
  • 4 pcs bay leaf
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 pc birds eye chillies
  • salt


  1. Generously cover milkfish with salt and set aside for at least one hour.
  2. Rinse fish with running tap water.
  3. Place the cooking rack at the bottom of the pressure cooker (this prevents fish from sticking at the bottom), then place fish, chilli, bay leaf, carrots, cocktail onions and pickled gherkins. Pour white wine, fish sauce and olive oil. Make sure you fit everything nicely packed at the bottom and you have enough to cover the fish, otherwise add more white wine.
  4. Bring close to boiling point then lower the heat. Close the pressure cooker then cook for 45 minutes.



46 Responses

  1. This sounds wonderful – I have only ever had them out of a can.
    :-) Mandy

  2. its surely the type of sardines we get here, either the canned version or the small fresh ones. With eye chillies in your recipe, simply my taste for sure. Sardines for me at home is either spicy fried with curry powder or curried version.

  3. crustabakes says:

    I guess homemade food always taste better than their tinned counterparts, not to mention healthier too, without all that preservatives !

  4. Christin@purplebirdblog says:

    I’ve only ever eaten them out of a can as well!

  5. Lerma says:

    can I use sea bass instead of milkfish?

  6. gliceria baldres says:

    can i use fresh galunggong?

  7. Jay says:

    How about maya maya(white snapper)? do u think it could probably work too? TIA.

  8. WW says:

    Thank you for this recipe I tried it tonight and it was good. But maybe I should have increased the cooking time since the bones were not that soft . Or maybe I need to study my pressure cooker more :) thanks again for sure this will be a regular in my weekly menu.

  9. Ronald W. Dayot says:

    Why do you generously cover the fish with salt then rinse it before cooking? I love spanish sardines. thanks.

    • Raymund says:

      It gives a very distinct flavor to the fish similar to salt curing bacon compared to frying a thinly sliced belly with salt. The curing process lets the fish draw out moisture while injecting concentrated flavor into the fish which helps a lot when youre stewing it in oil not water.

  10. MsRN says:

    Can I omit the white wine or use alternative! coz i’ m living here in Saudi Arabia and wines are prohibited.

  11. Mattie Schipper says:

    My friend made this exact same as your recipe but she used olive oil instead of white wine. It turn out really good ans so I bought some angus today and making this tomorrow. Thanks for the recipe.

  12. Joey says:

    What is a cooking rack and is it safe inside a pressure cooker. I’ve read similar recipes where you put the fish and the mix in a glass bottle before you put it in the pressure cooker. Just wasn’t brave enough to try for fear that the bottle might explode inside the pressure cooker.

  13. edrea says:

    hi raymond sorry im dyslexic so im having problems with the instruction. do you have video instead? i’ll be happy to click the youtube link

  14. Lou says:

    My sister has been making sardines and I helped her this weekend. So far we haven’t tried it with white wine. Would any white wine work? Thank you!

  15. edu says:

    thank you for this wonderful recipe

  16. Lito says:

    Hi Raymund.. thank you so much for the recipe. I’ll be using a digital pressure cooker. What do you think is the correct temperature and time setting? Would appreciate very much for your suggestions. Have a great day!

  17. Jerica Dianne says:

    Hi! Just passed by this blog now. Aside from milk fish, whatelse can we use as substitute? Currently living in the middle east and haven’t seen sardines. Im not a fan of milkfish either (because of the fish bones!). Is mackerel a good substitute? Thanks!

    • Raymund says:

      Mackerel is a good substitue. Also dont worry about the bones when you make them into sardines the bones will disintegrate easily, will melt in your mouth

  18. ROMINA says:

    Hi Raymund, is the white wine optional?

  19. Jam says:

    Aside from olive oil, what alternative oil that I can use. Olive oil is a bit expensive.

  20. Jam says:

    Thank You Raymund. Really appreciated

  21. Mahal says:

    Thank you for your recipe sir. What is the difference bet cooking it with water and without water?

  22. gina says:

    Thank you, Raymund, I will try your recipe, I love those ingredients, sounds all very healthy!!

  23. Marilyn says:

    Hi Raymund, I always love all your recipes and tried them and they are great. Please keep up sharing your recipes.
    Just wondering, can I use salmon fillet in this recipe?

    Thank you

    • Raymund says:

      I am afraid that salmon is quite soft and has a strong flavour for this dish, pressure cooking it might give you a mushy texture. If you want to try it with other fish, I suggest try mackerel or skipjack tuna, you dont need the fillet as the pressure cooking process will make the bones soft and edible.

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