These sardine patties are SO TASTY. Better yet, they are so incredibly easy to make and only require a few ingredients. Sardines are so nutritious and an easy, cheap snack. If you're wanting to incorporate more sardines into your diet but not too crazy about eating them on their own, this recipe is for you.
Why you should eat sardines:
Sardines are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamin B12, healthy fats, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin D, and calcium.
Sardines are low in mercury.
Since you're eating the whole fish, bones and all, you get a lot of calcium.
The calcium is absorbed even more by sardines' prevalence of vitamin D.
Many people are deficient in vitamin B12 these days because they don't eat enough meat. That's why vegans and vegetarians must supplement vitamin B12, because there's no natural source of it in plants.
Or you could just eat sardines and organ meats!!
Selenium is an anti-oxidant and phosphorus is responsible for tons of bodily functions that are crucial to our wellbeing.
Sardines vs. Depression:
Eating sardines has been associated with increased memory, cognitive function, heart health, and a great tool for fighting depression and anxiety.
One study found EPA, one of the 3 types of omega-3s, to be as effective at treating chronic depression as a common antidepressant drug.
I remember being on a road trip once, stuck in construction traffic in the middle of Montana, having skipped breakfast in a hurry and now feeling the desperate hunger set in.
Luckily I had a can of sardines nearby. After eating it, I felt this feeling of calm wash over me.
It put me in a great mood for the rest of the day, and my previous hanger plans of stopping at the first gas station or fast food restaurant I could find were dashed by my lack of hunger.
Since then I've made it a point to keep a couple can of sardines in my car in case of emergency. My 2 and 4 year old nephews love snacking on sardines, which says a lot for a couple of picky-eater toddlers. And it says a lot about intuitive eating.
Sardines are such easy snacks to bring along with you, if you enjoy eating them plain or on crackers or on a salad.
But if you're wanting to reap the health benefits of sardines without eating them plain, these sardine cakes will be perfect for you. Especially because I like adding a can of tuna as well, to fill out the recipe and add a variety of flavor and texture.
Which type of sardines and tuna to buy:
I love the Wild Planet brand of tuna and sardines. We buy this brand at Costco.
My second choice is the Season brand of Sardines.
Avoid tuna or sardines in vegetable oil. See my post on toxic seed oils for more information.
Avoid "vegetable broth" as it can contain soy, which I consider to be harmful and simply an unnecessary ingredient in a can of tuna or sardines.
The more money you spend, the more likely it is you're actually getting the type of fish on the label and no extra unhealthy fillers or added ingredients. People fuss a lot about how "expensive" tuna and sardine is, but when you consider how nutrient dense these foods are, in my opinion they are well worth a few bucks.
Ingredients for sardine patties:
- 1 can of sardines
- 1 can of tuna
- 1 egg
- 1-2 tblsp mayo
- 1 tblsp mustard
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 tblsp pickled ginger
- 2 green onions, chopped
- about 1 cup breadcrumbs
- black pepper
- oil to fry patties in (I use olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil)
Making the patties:
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix with your hands or a spoon. If necessary, add more bread crumbs until you can easily form patties that will stay together as it cooks. Heat about 1-2 tblsp oil in cast iron pan over medium heat. Add patties. Cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes, then flip. Add more oil if necessary, to ensure that pan isn't too dry. Cook other side until brown and serve immediately. You can serve these on their own as a snack or appetizer, or serve with one of the side dishes below. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to about 5 days.
Options for side dishes:
- green salad
- potato wedges
- toasted bun for open faced sandwich
- avocado oil potato chips
- for dipping, I like mayo
This is one of my favorite recipes for many reasons. It's so easy to make, with cheap ingredients, and it's filled with nutrients. I feel warm and nourished when I'm eating this, and I forget how cheap of a meal it is because it tastes so fancy and gourmet.
If you're a fan of salmon patties, try these tuna sardine patties next. If you're not a fan of sardines but you want to be, this could be the introduction recipe you need to become a super fan of this super food.