curry your sardines with curries like these

Curry your sardines to make life worth living again

On those days when you’re done with the usual lunch but you don’t have time to cook up something different, sardines offer endless possibilities. One of my favorites is curried sardines. Not just my favorite, actually, but my eight-year-old daughter’s, too. She never turns them down and always cleans the plate when these are served. When it comes to two-minute meals for you or your family that bring totally new flavors to the table, you can’t ask for more than that.

Step 1: Ready your sardines for curry jubilation

There is nothing special about the sardines that you need to use for this treat–everyday supermarket sardines in a can work just fine. Boneless and skinless are a safe bet for the newbies out there, but the spices of strong curry will hold up well and complement the bolder flavors of whole canned sardines with the skin on as well. The sardines aren’t sold curried (maybe they should be!). So we will curry them ourselves. And the flavor of the fish makes a rich partner to the bold Indian spices on top.

Now I said this would be simple–and it is. Just take your everyday can of sardines and drain it as usual.

sardines for the curry process

Step 2: You forgot the curry for the sardines, didn’t you?

Now, consult your pantry (or local grocer) for a jar of curry simmer sauce of your choosing. I happened to have this coconut korma today (I have a personal weakness for korma), but have had great results with tikka masala, Goan coconut, and jalfrezy as well. Did you think we were going to spend all day shopping for and grinding expensive spices for curry? Thankfully, this time that will not be necessary.

curry for the sardine process

Step 3: Sardines and curry live together in perfect harmony

The preparation is really very simple. Put the drained sardines in a bowl and add about 1/4 cup of the curry sauce. This should be enough to give the right flavor balance without the sardines becoming too runny–a problem if you plan to eat them in a sandwich, wrap, or on crackers. You’re looking for a consistency that is just a bit more watery than tuna salad, but not much.

sardines and curry, loving one another

Step 5: Sing your mashing song

Now it’s time grab a fork and sing your mashing song. Mash, mash, mash sardines, when you have no time. Mash, mash, mash sardines, mash them into slime.

curried sardines on the way to glory

Step 6: Curry your sardines, and eat them.

How you serve them is really up to you. My kids’ favorite way just cold, either plain or with crackers, but the curry is also great in a wrap with baby spinach, sliced onions, or other veggies of your choice, preferably heated up. You can also put a neat twist on the old-fashioned sardine melt sandwich by substituting the curry for mayonnaise. Don’t blame me when you never go back to the original.

Curried sardines

Recipe by Sardine FreakCourse: LunchCuisine: Indian, sustainable, healthyDifficulty: Easy


Prep time






  • 1 can of whole or boneless sardines

  • 1/4 cup of curry simmer sauce

  • bread, crackers, or a wrap (optional)

  • the sweetness of danger


  • Open and drain sardines; place into bowl.
  • Add curry to bowl, taking care not to make the sardines too runny.
  • Mix curry and sardines while mashing sardines with a fork.
  • Serve plain, with crackers, on a sandwich, or in a wrap.
  • Heat if desired.

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