Mack the Knife…

I love sardines – fresh ones and even those canned ones in tomato sauce. I love the latter in sandwiches, preferably with slices of tomato…or in baked rolls or puffs. My daughter is not a fan as she does not fancy the idea of eating the bones – something that we thought was such a novelty when we were kids like it was some kind of a major achievement and we were so amused by it.

Ever since Β I was small, my mother would cook the canned sardines with sliced Bombay onions, adding a little bit more tomato sauce to enhance the flavour. To this day, I still do the same except that I may add some sliced chillies for that extra kick. Once I even used the sardines to cook fish curry using the Yeo’s canned curry gravy, adding vegetables like ladies fingers and brinjal to it…and I remember how I enjoyed that.

I do not mind the Ayam Brand ones but my favourite is still the Marina Brand. However, my missus bought this the other day…

AYAM mackerel 1

…and claimed that the mackerel tasted better than sardines. I did not find any difference between the two – I like them both.

In fact, it was only after I got married that I started eating sardines without cooking them. Instead of cooking the sardines, my missus would cut a few shallots and chillies and spread the slices all over the fish in a plate and after that, she would cut some calamansi lime and squeeze them over everything in the plate. I had a post on this a long long time ago but the other day, I opened the can of mackerel in tomato sauce and did the same…

AYAM mackerel 2

The lime would drown out the canned smell of the fish a little bit and the sour taste plus that of the raw shallots and the spiciness of the chillies go a long way to enhance the enjoyment of the dish.

AYAM mackerel 3

Actually, if you use that to make sandwiches, they will taste great as well…but do make sure you do not talk to anybody at a very close range after you have eaten that. LOL!!!

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

43 thoughts on “Mack the Knife…”

  1. wow the shallots are cut nicely! I like it raw with this kind of spicy/sour dish. Really goes well together. But i must remind myself not to put on contact lenses after cutting chillis/onions T.T

    Ya…my work is usually quite halus one! Hehehehehe!!! …..Oh? You wear contacts? Ooooo…so vain eh? Hahahahahaha!!! I know – sometimes when cutting chilli, I may get it on my fingers and when I accidentally rub my eyes, it is like hell. Have to rinse with lots and lots of water to get rid of the sting.

    1. Please eh, not that vain k. Outdated la u… all the cool hip youngsters wear them πŸ˜› But I partly wear them coz specs is so annoying! Especially when im studying or cooking and it keeps slipping. Ok scratch the studying bit xD

      Hahahaha!!! Ok, handsome…point taken! πŸ˜‰

  2. Again cikgu, this reminds me of my younger days, when we were poor. Back then mom used to buy a can of sardines with tomato sauce, she would campur water into it, cut shallots into it, heat it, then it would be our only dish for the whole day……

    Same for us…but I don’t think we had water added – but still it was a can a day for the whole family – lunch and dinner. I think it was one of the cheapest then…but these days, all that talk about how good fish is – all the prices of canned sardine, mackerel, tuna shooting up like nobody’s business.

  3. I only eat sardine when I am out camping. πŸ˜€ But it is delicious because we can eat the bones too.

    Why not at home? Actually when out camping, so hungry…everything will taste so good!

  4. but mami said cannot consume too muchy of can foods. no good no good :S

    I know. All the preservatives…and what’s worse, these days they are not really cheap. It’s more for the convenience than anything else…and some can be quite nice. Once in a while, should be ok… πŸ˜‰

  5. Haha, this reminds me of my girl guiding days. First thing I ever ‘cooked’ at the age of 9 …. the exact same recipe too. Remember making it for the entire family upon reaching home and forcing everyone to eat it … hehe

    LOL!!! But it is very nice what… No need to force me, I’ll eat it! πŸ˜‰

  6. I think the Norwegian sardine are about RM7 per kg. And if you are health conscious, just grill or bake them and they are still very nice.

    Only RM7? That’s so very cheap! The pomfrets will cost up to around RM20-30. Hmmm…must go and see one of these days. My missus is not so adventurous – will only buy the same old things every week… 😦

  7. I prefer to cook them first. somehow don’t fancy eating cold canned food except tuna! haha

    Between the two, I prefer it cooked…but I don;t mind eating it like this – quite nice also. But when I use to make sandwiches, I do not cook it either – just mash and put on the bread and add slices of raw tomato (and/or sliced chilli and shallots)…and eat. Nice! πŸ™‚

  8. Eeww but I hate shallots! Or red onions! They give a bad aftertaste πŸ˜› I still prefer to fry the sardines before eating them .. LOL!

    Why? Nice taste… You can put in your coleslaw or potato salad for that extra fragrance. Will give it an extra kick… Of course, Saucer wouldn’t wanna kiss you after you’ve eaten that… Hehehehehe!!!! πŸ˜‰

  9. my children will not take canned sardine…long ago my maid used to mix to the rice to feed the dog… the small tin ones cost less than a dollar. they think its dog food

    What about fresh sardines? Some people don’t like also because of the “sardine smell”… Today, small tin also more than a dollar…but I guess it is still cheaper than the canned dog food that people buy to feed their dogs these days. Some actually smell quite nice…like corned beef!!! Hehehehehehe!!!

    1. LOL! Pollie, your dog got kelas lah! gourmet dining eh!

      Yalor…kesian we people in college last time – one small tin, must share two persons…. Sobs!!! Or they opened all and mashed it up and served one person one spoon…. 😦

      1. *blush* I oso share one small small can of sardine with my husband when we were still studying…. $$ shortage ma… oredi have anak that time oso. LOL. (sometimes, really wish I knew the rest of the hantus that time… hahahaha… wun hv to day in day out makan craps. LOLOLOL!)

        Maybe those days, they also the same… Not eating all the nice stuff they cook these days. Like me lah…when young, if could get to eat a plate of kampua mee, like going to Heaven already!!! Sheer ecstasy…. πŸ™‚

  10. Ohhhh… I like them in my sandwich too… enjoyed them a lot when i was a kid. But my husband is not a fan, unfortunately. 😦 Sometimes, i would make something like the one you make too… but… I will cook it with some sambal and add in some diced potatoes along with bombay onions and loads of chillies and lime juice… sedap. LOL.

    Ah! Sardines with potatoes! Melissa learnt to eat that in Sg Petani…and tried cooking it once when she was home. She ate that at some Indian stall across the road from her institute. Nice also…

    1. Yea… very nice… I learned to cook that from my mum… and she would serve it with rice or her home made chappati back then… gosh.. heavenly, I tell you. Simple food, but taste really nice…

      My family were not so well off back then…and my mum had to improvise on the dishes she served… usually she will feed us cheap, but the food, will taste amazingly nice. I wonder if kids these days have the same kind of joy?

      Another way to eat this stuff is to make a fried popiah filling out of it… ooo… my anak likes this a lot leh… along with pan grilled sardine sandwich. But each time we makan that… my hubby will buat muka… hahahah… say smelly. Cis! He tarak tau enjoy good food lah!

      Young people today eat salmon…and have things like sashimi…and all the expensive stuff that I never heard about during my time. My time, we were so deprived… But hey! You are young too! You certainly do not belong to our era of canned sardines and Ma Ling luncheon meat…and Great Wall corned beef. Yum! Yum!

      1. Hahahahaha… I only started to ‘enjoy’ eating out when I was in college… before that… day in, day out, all mum’s cooking, even when our family financial gets better. Don’t know what magic spell she put inside, no matter what, wanna eat her food, no matter how simple and cheap it is. I certainly ‘belonged’ in that era. Tarak kenal salmon, sashimi, tempura until 2002! LOL.

        I do go out and try new stuff…but at the end of the day, I still think home cooking is the best…even when entertaining friends. But now old already, very tiring…so just go and eat outside, easier.

  11. Remember to ask the fish seller whether they are Norwegian because some are not and not as nice. Stuff some lemon grass into the intestine and grill and see how you like it.

    Ok…thanks for the tip. Must go to the market one of these mornings. Haven’t been for ages… Real lazy – let my missus do all the marketing and then I complain and complain about what she buys! LOL!!! πŸ˜‰

  12. I like canned Sardine. Sometime i prepare that for my lunch box. Simple and yummy. I will fried the shallot..then add in Sardine…then add some more tomatoes sauce and chili sauce and little bit of soy sauce and vinegar! Yummylicious!!

    Ah! Like my missus! She will add soy sauce…not me. I think it can do without that. LOL!!!

    1. Soya sauce and vinegar? That means after put vinegar dun nid to put lime juice/calamansi juice?

      I suppose so. I hardly use any vinegar in my cooking…

  13. Not a fan of sardine. But My mom used to cook like that too. just add some onions and lime

    Nice. You modern generation lah…only Da De Noh best! Hahahahaha!!!

    1. Kat, sedaplah…goes well with chappati too… eeee… *drool*

      They even have roti canai sardin, right? Never tried that though…

      1. Yea… they call it ‘roti sardine’. Would cost you around Rm2? Or Rm2.50 depends on whether you asked for big roti or small roti. I used to eat that when I was in college… but it was somewhat a gourmet to me… hahaha… cuz much more expensive than the regular roti canai ma…student that time… couldn’t really afford to eat so expensive. LOL.

        Well, can’t blame them. Canned sardines aren’t cheap anymore these days…

  14. I like this canned sardine too especially my hub…but after eaten it, the smell in the mouth really hard to get rid of it….So no kissing for the entire day…wahahhaha

    Hahahahaha!!! Kesian… Lucky he’s not like my missus – must eat sambal cili every meal – lots of it…with lots and lots of garlic! Habis…not only no kiss, vampire also run away! Hahahahaha!!!! πŸ˜€

    1. Yalorr… no kissing after eat.. omg, the sardine and the bawang punya smell. My hubby not a fan of this… but my son and I really get kicks out of canned sardines. Sedaaaap! LOL.

      Lucky you’re not like my missus…or ur hubby will surely run miles away!!! My daughter used to grumble – the mouth so smelly…from eating all that garlic!

    2. Oooo.. they called me a vampire… but this vampire likes garlic punya… all sort of bawangs oso she makan. Hahahaha… mutated species! LMAO… Alamak… kenot sleep… 2.30 am… dono wud to do, come here…wait for your post… cis… still long, wun keluar so fast! Arrrghhh!

      My post 5.00 a.m., you know already what….

  15. i love this brand. i usually will put in a lot of bawang putih. yummmm

    Bawang putih? That’s new. Usually when cooking, we use the big Bombay onions…but when served like this, we use the small shallots. Maybe can try garlic one of these days…

    1. Eh? Yalah… put bawang putih… I never hear before… must try and see nice anot…I never tried that.. only either use shallots or bombay onions… I prefer bombay onions more… cuz I make sambal out of it. πŸ˜›

      Sambal with Bombay onions? I use shallots – more wangi…

  16. We always do this. We eat the sardines without cooking it because their are times when we are lazy to cook. We also the same procedure. We add the calamansi to make it taste better. You could even add more things there to make it look like you have plenty of food.

    How to make it look like you have plenty of food? Add lots of onions, potatoes, cut tomatoes…??? πŸ˜‰

    1. Hahaha… add in diced potatoes, lots of sliced onions, throw in chillies and yea… tomatoes too. Den can look like can feed a few ppl liao! LOL.

      Ya…good way to serve if a lot of people suddenly turn up at the house and forced to ask them to join for lunch or dinner. πŸ˜‰

    2. Yes my friend. You load the sardines with lots of add-ons to make it look plenty. Well, that’s my mother’s strategy when we are just kids. We are four kids just eating one can of sardines.

      Ya…then there will be enough to go round. Like when cooking meat in soy sauce, we add eggs. Watch out for the post – coming soon. LOL!!! πŸ˜‰

  17. I remember eating lots of canned sardines when I was young especially when my mom was too busy to cook. My parents always buy the Ayam brand. I remember most of the time we didn’t cook. We added soya sauce to it. Very delicious with rice. Brings back sweet memories of my childhood πŸ˜€

    Ya…Ayam is still the most popular, available at all shops…but I prefer Marina – only available at some places though. Not so famous…or perhaps, marketing not as aggressive.

    1. Eh, you keep mention the Brand Marina… I saw before but never tried, always buy the Ayam Brands wonder which one is nicer? The ayam brand or the Marina? And like ur Missus… I prefer the mackerel… taste the same, but usually the mackerel are bigger in size… while the sardines, kecik kecik oni, tak rasa puas makan. 😦

      I like Marina – I think the smell isn’t as strong…but dunno if they have mackerel or not. But often we would just buy Ayam as it is available in most shops – too lazy to go round hunting for Marina.

  18. I like canned sardines with bombay onions and my mom used to cook this during our younger days. Simply delicious… I prefer Ayam brand as I used to buy some other brands (cheaper brands) and they were full of scales.. Yucks!

    Gee! Scales? Never seen that before…but the cheaper brands – the smell and the taste are really awful.

  19. i like sardin and its easy to cook like urs n came out very tasty…more chilies n onions…btw i still think the brands if im not mistaken red canned “kings” the best i like…hehe…not cheapo house brand like giant…

    Ya…somebody said it’s good – A1 King Cup. Never tried. Once I liked A1 Botan, Japan sardines…and my housemate went an bought A1 something as I said A1 was good – it turned out really horrible! King Cup also has A1 on the tin – that’s why I never dare to buy it… Scared it’s like that one we bought long ago. Never tried the cheap Giant ones.

  20. gosh..u made the sardines look so fresh and yummy!!! last time one of my malay colleagues told me that she fried potatoes and then put them in the sardine sauce too.. wonder how the taste is…

    My daughter did that – cooked sardines with potatoes. She picked up the taste in Sungai Petani. Not bad…quite nice also.

  21. oh that looks lush… love love love sardines…that’s it. need to get me a can from chinatown

    LOL!!! I’m surprised. Your mum’s so health-conscious I thought canned food would be a big no-no in the house… πŸ˜‰

  22. *points accusing finger* Now you see what you made me do? You made me go to the 24hr mart at 12am so that I could get my hands on a can of mackerel. Haizz… come here too often til the picture makes me crave for some grilled sardine sandwich… *sobs*

    12 midnight? The people at the shop must have thought this was one Hungry Ghost sesat…forgot to go home with the rest – so skinny, long hair…hope you were not wearing white!!! Muahahahaha!!!!

  23. always see ayam brand cans.. but never opened one before.. haha =)

    You…young people today. High class, expensive tastes…where got want to eat sardines one? LOL!!! πŸ˜€

  24. 2.37am… and I am eating sardine sandwich with loads of onions in it., and I got my hubby to makan it too… (he kebuluran and I refused to cook… so no choice) Bwhahahaha… your blog is lethal… better not let him know why I suddenly wanna eat canned sardine in the middle of the night! Hahahahahaha!

    Luckily your hubby also ate – both smelly so either one will not feel it. Otherwise, habis…no kissing liao!!! Muahahahaha!!!!

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: