Plate of pasta topped with sardines
How To Easily Mellow Out The Fishy Flavor Of Canned Sardines
Canned sardines are a versatile, accessible ingredient, but if the canned fish tastes a bit too fishy for you, the easiest way to mellow their flavor is by adding acid.
The source of the fishy smell and briny taste is a chemical called trimethylamine (TMA). Introducing acid breaks down the TMA into water and an acid salt, which then dissolves.
You can tailor the acid to your preferences, from a classic squeeze of lemon juice to tartar sauce, vinegar, or tomato juice, all of which can temper the fishy flavor of sardines.
Since the canned fish are already cooked, you don’t have to waste time with a marinade. Instead, add the acid directly to your meal in a sauce, spread, or drizzled on top.