Easy Smoked Sardines Recipes
Smoked sardines are a fantastic meal you can prepare in no time! They are one of the healthiest foods you can consume. Did you know that they are packed full of omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA? That is more than most other seafood.
Sardines also have some other health benefits. For example, they are an excellent source of vitamin D and B12 content. This fish is also high in minerals such as selenium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. Because of its nutrition, it is essential to add them to your diet as they are high protein and low carb source.
So, in this article, we will explain how to make your own homemade version and show you the most delicious smoked sardines recipes.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the different ways you can eat this seafood.
How to Smoke Sardines
What You Will Need:
- Gutted, fresh sardines
- Water, 4 cups
- Salt Kosher, ¼ cup
- Honey, ¼ cup
- Bay leaves, 4 to 5
- 1 chopped finely, grated onion
- 2 smashed cloves garlic
- Chopped cilantro or parsley, ½ cup
- 3 to 4 hot, dried, crushed chiles
- 2 tbsp. peppercorns
- First, you need to gut and wash the sardines. If you want, you can split them up and remove the ribs and backbone. Although this step is useful, you might have difficulties to deal with it in the unit. So, we recommend not to remove the bones from it.
- Next step is to prepare the brine. Use all the ingredients and place them in a pot over medium-high heat. Bring to boil and turn the heat off. Stir the mixture well to combine correctly. Cover it and leave it at the room temperature to rest.
- Submerge the fish in it, when it cools off, in a non-reactive, covered, large container. Sometimes you won't have enough brine for the food, but this can easily be fixed. Just prepare the second batch. You can place more salt and water in the exact ratio as the first one: to ¼ cup goes 4 cups.
- When you have finished this step, place the sardines in the refrigerator and leave them to soak overnight or for about twelve hours. Make sure you don’t leave them for too long, or they will be too salty.
- After you have done that, take them out of the brine and rinse under cold, running water. Use a paper towel to pat dry properly. Place them on a rack and leave it to dry in a cool place. You can also use a fan for about thirty minutes. We leave them for about an hour just in case. Turn the sardines over a couple of times to ensure equal drying. That way you will form a pellicle, which is a layer on the fish’s outside that will help smoke adhere to the food.
- When your meal is shiny and dry, they are ready for smoking. Place them in your appliance, and make sure they are not near the heat. We recommend to cook them on low heat, slowly over almond wood for about four to five hours. If you prefer you can also use some other wood such as apple, hickory or maple. Bear in mind not to use the pine.
- Smoke the sardines gently at 140 degrees F of the internal temp. It is essential to do it slowly. You must be wondering why. Well, it is vital for the healthy omega-3 fatty-acids to stay in the sardines. Smoke will penetrate the meat so that the oils don’t weep out of the fish.
- After four or five hours they will be ready. Remove them from the electric smoker, and leave them to cool at the room temp. To store it properly you need to use an airtight plastic and seal them. That way the sardines can keep for two to three weeks in the refrigerator. If you place them in the freezer in a vacuum-seal container, you can keep them up to a year.
- Another way to store your fish is to remove their heads and place them in a Tupperware or a jar and then pour in the oil. If they are completely submerged, they can last for months in the fridge.
1. Smoked Sardine Brandade
- Peeled russet potatoes, cut into one-inch chunks, ½ pound
- 2 peeled garlic cloves
- Coarse salt
- Smoked Pacific sardines, stored in olive oil, 4.25 ounces
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice and finely grated zest of one lemon
- Cayenne pepper, pinch
- 1 sliced loaf crusty multigrain, small bread
- Pour the water into the medium saucepan and add garlic and potatoes. Season it with salt according to your personal preferences. Bring this to boil, then low the temperature and simmer for about 8 to 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. When you drain it, you need to reserve water and return the pasta to the saucepan. It is enough to set aside 1 cup of liquid.
- Add sardines and all their oil. Stir this mixture, so it combines well, and then stir in oil. Use the reserved water and add it to the pan. Whisk in zest and lemon juice. Season the mixture with cayenne to taste.
- Set the broiler and preheat it. Use the olive oil to brush the bread and smoke for about one to two minutes, or until crispy and golden brown. It is best when this meal is served with branded and hot. Bon appetite!
2. Pasta with Lemon and Sardines
- Smoked whole sardines, 2 4 ounces
- Linguine or some other dried pasta, 12 ounces
- 4 tbsp. divided olive oil
- 4 finely chopped, garlic cloves
- 1 finely chopped, small shallot
- ¾ tsp. red pepper flakes, crushed
- 4 quartered, trimmed radishes
- Baby spinach or kales leaves, 2 cups
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice, fresh
- Freshly ground pepper, kosher salt
- Lemon zest
- If needed, clean the sardines, by splitting in half and removing the backbones. Set them aside so you can make the rest of the recipe.
- In a large pot pour the salted water and bring to boil. Cook the pasta while frequently stirring, until it is done. Drain it, and reserve the cooking liquid. About one cup.
- In the meantime, heat two tablespoons oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add red pepper flakes, garlic, shallot and cook for about two minutes or until the mixture is fragrant. Don’t forget to stir occasionally.
- Add ½ cup reserved cooking liquid, half of the sardines, kale, radishes, and pasta to pot. Cook at the medium-high heat adding more pasta water if needed, until the sauce covers all the pasta. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle the meal with pepper, salt and if you want, add more lemon juice. Top with remaining sardines and lemon zest. Serve when it is hot. Bon appetite!
3. Mediterranean Sardine Pasta with Chili Flakes, Capers and Lemon
- Spaghetti pasta or angel hair, 8 oz.
- 6 tablespoons, virgin olive oil, extra
- Minced shallots, ¼ cup
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes spicy, crushed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Smoked sardines in olive oil, 4.375 oz.
- 3 tablespoon rinsed capers
- 5 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons chopped basil or fresh parsley
- According to the package directions, cook the pasta. When they are done, drain and reserve one cup of cooking liquid. Under cold, running water, rinse the pasta so you can keep the noodles loose. Set it aside.
- Use a large saucepan, sauté or sauteuse and over medium temperature, heat the olive oil. When it is warm enough, add salt, crushed red pepper, lemon zest and the shallots. Cook until the shallots are translucent and soft. But be very careful with them because they can easily burn!
- When you have done this step, you should add capers and sardines to the pan. Cook until warmed through or for about two minutes. As you stir, break up the fish into smaller pieces.
- Slowly stir in lemon juice, when the sardines begin to turn golden brown. Add basil or parsley and cooked pasta to the pan. To evenly cover it with sauce, toss the pasta and mix it well with other ingredients. You can add the reserved pasta liquid if needed to loosen pasta a bit. It can’t be heavy or thick, and the noodles need to be coated with oil. Not too much, just lightly covered.
- Add chili pepper flakes, lemon and salt to taste according to your needs. And that’s it; the meal is now ready to be served. Bear in mind that it is best when it is hot! Bon appetite!
Most of us know that essential omega-3 fatty acids which are found in sardines, are very healthy and a vital part of a well-balanced diet! The best part about them is that they are also very delicious. And you can make them with anything you prefer. A recipe is just a starting point from which you can improvise. Feel free to combine your own ingredients into these fantastic dishes. Enjoy your meal!
Check out here for more great recipes with electric smoker.