Dinner and recipe – sardines in tomato sauce with onion

I recently published a post featuring tinned mackerel. It’s now tinned sardine’s turn! :D

Years ago when I shared a flat with my eldest sister we sometimes cooked this dish for dinner – tinned sardines in tomato sauce with onions, served with rice. When I moved in with Jac, I cooked it for her and now she loves it as much as I do. To me, it’s a simple, delicious and very comforting dish. Every now and then, we have a real craving for it.

Sardines and onions in tomato sauce

I love my sardines in tomato sauce with onions on rice. I can eat them just like that, rice in a bowl, sardines, onions and sauce on top without anything else, but it’s lovely with green vegetables as well. I love it with steamed or stir-fried bok choy and garlic, or even something ultra-simple like sliced fresh cucumber, crisp and raw, straight out of the fridge. In the picture below, you’ll see Jac’s sardines and rice with fresh English spinach leaves and baked beans.

Sardines and onions in tomato sauce with rice, baked beans and salad

It may seem like too much tomato sauce – sardines in tomato sauce AND baked beans in tomato sauce. But both go so beautifully with rice! Jac had a rare craving for baked beans, while I can eat baked beans at any time. They’re one of my staples!

Sardines and onions in tomato sauce with rice and baked beans

We always make sure we have at least one tin of these sardines in the pantry so we can cook this dish whenever we get a craving for it. So along with SPAM, tinned corned beef, Heinz baked beans in tomato sauce and tins and tins of corn kernels, you now know we have tinned sardines in tomato sauce as well. Oh, and tinned cocktail frankfurts as well. I love those!

Sardines and onions in tomato sauce with rice and baked beans


This is so simple I don’t really think it qualifies as a recipe!

Sardines in tomato sauce with onion

1 large brown onion
1 425 gram tin of Ayam brand sardines in tomato sauce
Black pepper to taste (optional)

Slice the onion into rings, fry in a little oil in a wok or large frying pan.
When the onions are cooked, add the sardines in tomato sauce, including ALL the liquid/sauce from the tin.
Carefully stir the sardines, sauce and onion all together, making sure you don’t break the sardines up in the process. At this point, add black pepper to taste (optional).
When the sardines and sauce are heated through, the dish is ready to serve with rice and vegetables or other accompaniments of your choice.

See – I told you – so simple it’s not really a recipe!

TFP’s notes
I buy the Ayam sardines from Asian supermarkets.

I love these Ayam sardines – you get large, almost whole sardines in the oval tin (minus their heads and tails). They are much chunkier, firmer and meatier than what you tend to get in the western brands of tinned sardines, which tend to be more suitable for sandwiches or spreading on crackers.

You could simply just heat up the sardines in tomato sauce and eat them without the hassle of chopping and then frying onion, but really, the sweet fried onion is what makes this dish delicious!

This is not a sponsored post – I just happen to love the product!

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