Categorized |Fish

Oh lovely sardines from a can?

trinidad sardine chokaFish is a serious turn off for a lot of people and even more unattractive is when that fish comes in a can. But if you’re a regular on the site, you’ll know that I have a series that I call “lazy man” dishes (Corned Beef / Salmon). And today we’re about to add a new member into the family. Since it’s one of those meals you can put together in mere minutes and it’s very delicious. Providing you’re not afraid to try something a bit different.

My Trinbagonian people will know that this is a common snack type dish and everyone seems to have their own way of putting this together. No real cooking is involved, and you can experiment with ingredients as well.

BTW, fellas this is not something you eat before that big date your special someone. The combo of sardines and onions on your breath will not win you any points.

You’ll Need…

1 can sardines (I like the ones with the peppers made by Brunswick)
1/2 tomato sliced thin
1 scallion sliced thin (optional)
Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
Black pepper
1/4 onion sliced thin
1/4 hot pepper sliced (I used a habanero – you can use whatever you have or like)
2 tablespoon vegetable oil (I like using olive oil)

Let’s see if we can do this in 3 steps.

Step 1.

Slice the onion, tomato, scallion and hot pepper very thin and set aside.

trinidad sardine choka (2)

Step 2.

Open and empty the sardines into a bowl. The following step is optional, but this is the way I saw my mom doing it… break each sardine down the middle (length-wise) and remove the middle bone (can be left, but I find that it gives the dish a gritty texture that I don’t like) and secondly you must remove the inside of the belly (there’s no polite way of saying “guts’). Then break apart each fish so you have chunky pieces.

trinidad sardine choka (3)

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trinidad sardine choka (6)

Step 3.

Top with all the stuff we sliced earlier, squeeze in the lime or lemon juice and add a dash of black pepper. Then on high heat, heat the oil in a small frying pan and allow to heat until you’re about to start seeing smoke. Now pour the hot oil over everything and stir well. YOU’RE DONE!

trinidad sardine choka (7)

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trinidad sardine choka

You can call this a salad, choka, talkarie or as in my case… a lazy man’s dish. Works well as a topping for Crix (a locally made crackers), on sandwiches, with roti , pita… you get the point.

I’d love to hear how our friends from the other islands and around the world make this (if you do) so please leave me a comment below and don’t forget to join us on Facebook. Our goal is to have 25,000 fans by the end of the year. Please help us make it happen.

Happy Cooking


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62 Responses to “Oh lovely sardines from a can?”

  1. Zara Maratheftis says:

    I cannot get your cookbooks in the UK?

  2. Maarten vos says:

    Yes it is really delicious :)
    Thank you chris for sharing all those luvely recipes with us !!!

    Goodday :)

  3. Danielle Godfrey says:


    I did a simple version of this with oinion and hot pepper, salt & pepper. That’s it but your version sounds much better so i will try it!!!

  4. Barb says:

    I love sardines! I usually eat them right out of the can ~ “guts” and all. I will definitely give this recipe a try. Thanks!

  5. Jason says:

    I literally just finished eating this dish made from your recipe. I’ve never enjoyed sardines so much before. Quick, easy and delicious. Very interssting how u added the hot oil after. Will deffinitely be looking forward to more from you. Keep it up.

  6. Pauline Allen says:

    Thanks chris i love fish so will be trying this dish.

  7. Sherry says:

    I love sardines any how especially fried dry I tried this an love it

  8. Hiliare says:

    Hi Chris, love your recipes. For this one I normally sautee the same vegetables plus sweetpeppers and then add the sardines, along with some ketchup. Or sometimes I mix all the ingredients dry and add mayonnaise to it, pretty much like how one would do tuna.


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