How to Preserve Fresh Sardines

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Sardines can be eaten fresh or canned.
Sardines can be eaten fresh or canned. (Image: sardines image by Claudio Calcagno from Fotolia.com)

Sardines are one of the most popular kinds of canned fish worldwide. They are believed to have been first canned in the 19th century when Napoleon needed to preserve food during his conquests. Today, canned sardines are available whole and smoked, fried, or packed in oil or mustard sauce. They are also available as skinned and deboned filets. To can sardines yourself you will need a few ingredients and a few hours to prepare them.

Things You'll Need

  • Fresh Herring approximately 6 inches in length
  • 1 Cup water
  • 3 tbsp. mustard
  • 1 tsp. canning salt
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • Canning Jars with lids
  • Pressure cooker

How to Preserve Fresh Sardines

Scale the fish. Remove the heads and internal organs located within the chest of the fish, such as its heart and lungs, and their abdomens. Pack the scaled fish into canning jars.

Mix the water and mustard together and distribute it evenly into each canning jar until the mixture is gone. Add 1 tsp. of both canning salt and lemon juice to each jar. Fill each jar to 1 inch from the top with vegetable oil. Set the lids on top of each jar and place all jars in a pressure cooker or canner.

Cook the canned sardines in a pressure cooker for 70 minutes at 15 pounds of pressure. Let the pressure cooker cool completely (overnight is best) before touching it or attempting to remove jars so as not to injure yourself from the very hot steam inside of the cooker. Canning preserves the nutritional values of the sardines which are rich in potassium, vitamin B6, niacin and calcium. Place your canned sardines in your pantry and enjoy them anytime in the next six months.

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