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.
Generously cover milkfish with salt and set aside for at least one hour.
Rinse fish with running tap water.
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.
Bring close to boiling point then lower the heat. Close the pressure cooker then cook for 45 minutes.
This sounds wonderful – I have only ever had them out of a can.
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.
I guess homemade food always taste better than their tinned counterparts, not to mention healthier too, without all that preservatives !
I’ve only ever eaten them out of a can as well!
can I use sea bass instead of milkfish?
I think it is possible but it will not have the same texture
can i use fresh galunggong?
Yes you can, my mom used that fish as well
How about maya maya(white snapper)? do u think it could probably work too? TIA.
I think so but the bones will be too big so I am not sure if it will be soft like the bangus and galunggong
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.
Why do you generously cover the fish with salt then rinse it before cooking? I love spanish sardines. thanks.
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.
Can I omit the white wine or use alternative! coz i’ m living here in Saudi Arabia and wines are prohibited.
I haven’t tried but I guess you can it will just a different flavour
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.
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.
Cooking rack is like a layer of metal placed below so fish would not touch the bottom plate and burn. And for the glass inside pressure cooker, I never had tried them and yes it sounds dangerous.
The height of the rack then is critical if the amount of liquid has to cover everything. Am I imagining it right?
Yes it is, usually the rack comes with the pressure cooker and its low profile
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
Hi Edrea, sorry but we dont have a you tube channel.
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!
thank you for this wonderful recipe
You are much welcome
While cooking in pressure cooker.. Should i remove the air coming out from the vent or leave it to vent out itself?
Leave it to vent
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!
Wow this is a hard question as I never used a digital pressure cooker. So honestly I really dont know, sorry about that.
Thanks for taking time in answering my query Raymund. Hope you keep on sharing your recipe. It’s all good!
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!
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
Hi Raymund, is the white wine optional?
No but you can try to replace them with 1:1 ratio of apple cider vinegar and water
Aside from olive oil, what alternative oil that I can use. Olive oil is a bit expensive.
You can use soy bean oil but the taste will be different.
how about canola oil or corn oil, will that be a great alternative?
or can i do to mix olive oil and canola oil in preparing the dish?
A mix of olive and canola would be better
Thank You Raymund. Really appreciated
Thank you for your recipe sir. What is the difference bet cooking it with water and without water?
Youre welcome and to answer your question water is not even optional, white wine gives it a better taste.
Thank you, Raymund, I will try your recipe, I love those ingredients, sounds all very healthy!!
You’re welcome, hope you will like it
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?
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.