HOWTO eat sardines

[video link]

Dustin "UPSO" Hostetler sent me this instructional video on eating sardines. All he wrote in the email was "FYI." Thanks, Dustin!


  1. Maybe it’s a regional thing, but for me it goes: saltine cracker + sardine folded in half + mouth

  2. If you’re going to be whining about how gross sardines looks, you might as well eat kipper herring. If you’re going to eat sardines the right way, buy the ones with skin and bones and floating in some kind of strange mustard sauce. Also, Scandinavian rye crisp is the proper cracker to use.


  3. I’m a big sardine fan. I have one thing I want to mention here… the sardines depicted in this video look like the cheapest ones available which are indeed pretty gross looking. Not all sardines look disgusting though! If you buy the sardines that cost about $3.50 a pack they look quite beautiful. The fish are smaller and very delicately packed in neat rows, their beautiful iridescent skins still intact. No hodge-podge of big random looking fish chunks like you get in the $1.50 cans. Remember, the first bite is with the eyes.

  4. I commonly eat sardines on toast (cooked under the grill) with Tobasco or Nandos sauce. It makes a decent lunch, but certainly not the best meal ever. The idea of eating sardines cold, though, makes me gag.

  5. That poor dog was waiting patiently that whole time. Give the little guy a cracker, at least!

  6. I love how he bends forward at the waist before he shovels that greasy, over-salted mess into his maw.

    Please, more how-to-eat videos!

  7. I used to think sardines canned in olive oil were the only way to go too, but my mama showed me otherwise: Dump a drained can of spring water sardines into a mixing bowl and mash with: finely-minced onions (garlic optional), some lime juice, salt & pepper to taste. Spread on anything crispy.

  8. i almost do this exact setup.

    except i use

    king oscar sardines
    rosemary and olive oil triscuits
    and sriracha sauce

  9. People that bask in canned sardines never had the pleasure of trying the real thing, freshly caught, just lightly salted on the grill and served with traditional “broa” rustic bread and baked potatoes.

    Just saying.

    1. I’m actually a huge fan of both, as well as the various salt cured, smoked, kippered etc versions I’ve run into. Small oily fish are just tasty any way you can get them, and actually stand up pretty well to canning. Try seeking out some better cans, the French and Portuguese ones are rather nice.

      The way I eat sardines: I usually split them into separate fillets and pull out the bones (a pointless and idiosyncratic thing I learned from G Pa). Then either toss the things on a chunk of baguette or make sandwich on rye with coarse mustard and fresh onions.

  10. Can of sardines + handful of crackers + dash of tabasco sauce = pretty much full for the rest of the day.

    Perfect compact camping food. And bonus if you happen to find some fiddleheads or dandelion greens as a side salad.

  11. I discovered sardines as an almost perfect anytime snack a few years ago. I’m sure a lot of people (like me) never considered them because of an “Ick- canned fish” or “You eat the bones?!?!” factor. They are delicious! Unfortunately- I turned out to be allergic to them. I really do miss them. Loved eating them with chopsticks and hot mustard, with or without a cracker. :(

    1. I too sadly ended up being allergic to the canned sardines. They were mighty tasty though. I still long for their salty goodness.

  12. Already skeptical at being shown how to do something I don’t need to be shown how to do, he lost me with his insistence on olive oil. I’ve been enjoying sardines packed in water for years. Maybe I missed out by clicking off 30 seconds in. If so I look forward to the chef’s next submission: How To Boil Water.

  13. Sardines are one of the best buys for high protein food. About 25g a can. Pretty close to what you’d get from a serving of ‘muscle powder’ even more so if you served them with a slice of hardboiled egg on the cracker.

  14. I like canned sardines on rye crisps myself, with no salt or hot sauce added. But the best sardines I ever had were in Madrid, deep fried and plated on a bed of crispy onions with a side of French fries. Probably not very healthy, but damn good.

  15. I occasionally have, with breakfast, kippers on big, thick Wasa crackers.

    I should try that with sardines someday.

  16. My only question is how long ago he bought that box of Triscuits. Ours look nothing like that up here in the north.

      1. that may well be a box you just bought, but I’m pretty sure it’s a promo they were running months ago. The copy is advocating growing something? There was meant to be a small packet of seeds on the back, but at my store all the packets were removed. At first I thought some other shopper just glommed onto them, but now I think they were probably sprouting on the shelves.
        Read the box and let us know.
        And each to his own, for sure, but that looks ghastly to me. I shouldn’t preach, with my cheese and pepperoni, but dude, go easy on the salt!

  17. If you don’t have fresh sardines, then the way to enjoy canned (even poor quality ones, but in olive oil or spring water) is to mix with chopped hardboiled egg, some mayo, a little ketchup, cayenne or hot sauce, lemon juice and a whole lot of chopped parsley. Curly, not flat leaf. Serve on toast, as a sandwich. Sounds like too much hard work? Available in most decent family owned sandwich shops in London since who knows when. Superb.

  18. OK, what’s a triskit? and are they ACTUAL sardines or ‘Canadian style sardines’. I’ve recently bought those in the UK and, while they’re very tasty (more so than actual sardines, I find), they’re actually herrings (latin name on the tin says so). And, in my humble opinion, Encona is superior to tabasco style sauces.

  19. Triscuits are a cracker with a shredded-wheat texture. Very salty and a bit oily. Love ’em.

    A picture (not mine) with detail of the texture:

    This guy needs to upgrade to kippered herring. He clearly wants more fat and salt on his fish, and kippers deliver. They’re like 2x (or more?) concentrated flavour versions of canned sardines.

    I use Finn Crisp crackers myself but I’ll have to try fish on a Triscuit. I’m afraid it would be too salty though – Cheez Whiz on a Triscuit is too much for me.

  20. Seconding the Portuguese sardines here!!! Sardines are one of the healthyest foods you can eat – loads of those omega 3 fatty acids.

  21. Oh I love little tinned oily fishes! I once had some sardines in barbeque sauce, and they were amazing! I like tomato sauce or oil packed sardine, but best of all is sprats, on toast with cheese on top, and grilled until the cheese is melted and browning a little. So good. Wish I had some sprats right now.

  22. Sardines were indeed a long time vice of mine .. then I discovered Kippers. In love all over again. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Sardines are no less awesome due to the new love, though.

  23. Somehow my dad managed to gross me out of sardines at a very young age. Another thing I was “made to try”. THis is the reason I am very careful, if not tactful about the way I introduce young people to new foods, because these days I LOVE me some sardines. Cheap, expensive, mustard, olive oil, crackers, toast, they’re all good to me. Thanks UPSO for this.

  24. Yes. YES YES YES! You are the Ramirez to my MacLeod. I am not alone. There can be only one…way to eat sardines!

  25. Pescovitz has found the new BB food editor!

    Frank’s hot sauce, olive oil and triscuits is the NEW San Fran cuisine. Just add a protein.

    Do the dog have a name?

  26. Sardines (or anchovies) on crackers smeared with wasabi and covered with slices of pickled ginger are delicious. Poor man’s sushi!

  27. This made me exceedingly hungry. Yes, I love sardines, and often find myself craving them. But more so, it’s probably that I ran 10.5 miles tonight and all I had for dinner afterwards was a protein bar and a V8.

    Man I want some damned sardines right now.

    King Oscar FTW! And get the ones with cool toppings, they are YUM!

  28. I haven’t had sardines since I was a kid. Watching him chow down and relish it like that got me thinking about buying a can and giving it a whirl. I happen to have a tabasco plant; I wonder if I minced a green one in with the sardines if that might be good? Tabasco, maybe a little cracked pepper. What do you think?

  29. Folks just remember that sardines are QUITE high in cholesterol, so you probably don’t want to have them more than a couple-few times a week.

    1. From what I can see, sardines lower triglycerides and are recommended for people with bad lipid profiles.

  30. Sardines in tomato sauce mashed
    1/4 onion finely chopped
    1 tsp olive oil
    1 tsp tomato puree
    1/2 red chilli
    Pepper and Salt
    2 slices of good bread

    Mix all together
    Toast bread on one side, flip, cover with sardine mixture, grill.
    Serve with chopped parsley and lemon

  31. beethoven’s sixth makes an odd accompaniment to this video. conjures up images of wiesbaden and old germans cramming chicken hearts into their mouths.

  32. Best sardine eating scene in a movie: The Burbs. Tom Hanks goes bonkers after choking one down on a pretzel.

  33. Curried sardines on toast.

    Take one can of sardines in oil. Drain the oil into a saucepan, add a little flour and some curry powder to taste and stir to thicken it up. Cook this a bit like gravy. Add in the sardines and moosh it all together into a paste. Serve on toast. YUM.

  34. I was a caveman before this enriching video. To think, I can actually put food on a cracker and season it! What’ll they think of next? Thanks, Dude.

    1. Oh yeah, my dog loved sardines, and the cats go crazy for them too. I think sardines are good for you. I knew a couple of people who had accidents and scraped off large amounts of skin who were told to eat a lot of sardines, so I guess they do something useful for regenerating tissue?

  35. After 68 comments on a topic of little interest to me (I dont eat sardines) I feel strangely compelled to share that I have a 2 euro saupiquet tuna can sitting in the fridge which I shall consume after I finish my Gouda-Sandwich.

    Bread of the day (and presumably tomorrow, its half a kilo) is a delightfully soggy 3-grain-bread with pumpkin seeds. Works great with the cheese, will be great with the tuna.

    P.S. not that I don’t like salty fish, I’ll just eat a big heaping bowl of salt on the side ^^

  36. I loves me some sardines on top of plain saltines, with yellow mustard. Moved cross-country and for five days, that formed a large part of my diet as it was cheap, easy to pack, and could be eaten anywhere (motel rooms or on the road).

    King Oscar cross-pack are the best kind; small, succulent, packed in olive oil, and not as gross-looking as the cheaper ones. But they all taste good.

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