Spanish-style Sardines Bangus in Oil

Spanish-style Sardines Bangus in Oil in Oil is easy to make in the pressure cooker and so delicious with steamed rice! And great for gift-giving, too!

We kicked off our holiday recipe series a few weeks with a party-worthy ham with pineapple made easy in the slow cooker and today, I’m following it up with a spicy sardines bangus in oil that’s sure to thrill your tastebuds!

Sardinas is not exactly what comes to mind when planning a Noche Buena feast and if you’re wondering why I’m including it on our list, it’s because like my yummy tropical magic bars, Spanish-style milkfish are great for gifting. If you’re on a tight budget this year or just want to make something special for the people in your life, homemade food gifts are a delicious way to spread Christmas cheer.

Ingredients

You can adjust the amounts to suit your personal tastes and double or triple the batch depending on the size of your pressure cooker.

  • Bangus/milkfish- if you have access to baby bangus, so much better!
  • Olive oil- or other neutral-tasting oil such as corn, canola, or vegetable oil
  • Carrots-cut into florets for a decorative touch
  • Green olives-pitted
  • Sliced Pickles- use sweet gherkins for a touch of sweetness
  • Garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves-for depth of flavor
  • Thai chili peppers-add more or less depending on the desired level of heat

Cooking instructions

  • Clean and gut the fish, but leave the scales intact. Slice into serving portions, keeping in mind the size of the jars you’re using for storage.
  • Soak in a salt solution for about 30 minutes to improve flavor and help the fish retain moisture.
  • Make sure to use rock salt and not regular table salt.
  • Layer the bay leaves, carrots, and garlic on the bottom of the pressure cooker first to keep the milkfish from sticking.
  • Arrange the fish in a single layer over the carrots and aromatics. Top with the sliced sweet pickles, pitted green olives, chili peppers, and peppercorns.
  • Season with rock salt. If using regular table salt, decrease the amount.
  • While you can make this homemade sardines in a regular pot over low heat,  pressure cooking allows even the bones and scales to become soft and tender without the fish falling apart.
  • The cooking time begins when the pressure cooker valve whistles as it means the inside has come to pressure.
  • Most pressure cookers have a safety mechanism that keeps them from opening until the pressure is released. Carefully lift the valve with tongs until all the pressure dissipates.
  • DO NOT try to open the lid during cooking.

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