Fresh Sardinas: Quick Cook and Tasty
Tuloy, Tamban, Sardine. A very inexpensive type of fish that most of us Filipinos would normally just fry and eat with the standard soy sauce with sili. I love this fish so much because it’s inexpensive but I admit, it takes time to clean and prep for cooking. But the effort that you make to prep this fish, makes up for the delicious and healthy benefits of this ingredient.
So I decided to put up this recipe because I think this tuloy (or sardine fish) deserves a spotlight. This sardine recipe is easy to follow, doesn’t require many ingredients, and it actually puts the humble sardine a step up.
Fresh sardine - 1 kilo (with innards and gills removed)
Extra virgin olive oil – about ¼ cup
Finely chopped garlic – 4 cloves
Chilis – 3 pcs (chopped)
Salt – 1 tablespoon
Ground Black Pepper – 1 teaspoon
Kalamansi – 5 pcs.
- Remove the gills and innards of the fish. I found that using a scissor to remove the innards is the easiest way rather than using a knife.Note: make sure to have a separate container where you can put in all those innards. Don’t throw them out in the trash right away btw, because they are going to stink like death. Literally! Boil them first, then feed it to a cat or dog.
- Then remove the scales by going to the opposite direction of the fish scales. Once done, rinse with water and set aside.
- Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees for 5 mins.
- In a large bowl, add the chopped garlic, chili, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and ground black pepper. Followed by squeezing the calamansi into the mixture. Mix until all ingredients are combined.
- Then add the cleaned sardine fish. Lightly toss it with the marinade mixture to ensure that the marinade mixture is thoroughly mixed to the fish meat. Set aside for 30 minutes.
- Now on a baking tray, drizzle some of the olive oil, and spread it out evenly on the tray. Doing this will avoid the fish meat from sticking together once cooked. Then lineup the fish meat to the tray.
- Add thin slices of garlic, more chopped chilis (depends on how spicy you want it), and also add the squeezed calamansi peelings from earlier. Go drizzle some more extra virgin olive oil.
- Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes.
- Fish is done. Serve it as is on a tray, or transfer to a serving dish and with the drippings too!
Now I also made another variation of this. For the 2nd half of the fish, I added some dried fennel seeds just to give it that aromatic Middle Eastern twist, which actually came out pretty good as per our 3-person-table voting over dinner.