Just as nasi lemak bungkus is ever present in daily Malaysian life, sardine sandwiches are conspicuous at parties and functions throughout Malaysia. During my schooling years, every class party was replete with these crustless, rectangular or triangular sandwiches. No party would be complete without them. Usually two to three families would step up to the plate to provide enough sandwiches for a class of forty to fifty students. They were popular, a treat for special occasions. Most kids grew up on a rice based diet and dainty sandwiches were not their usual snack in those days. They were indelibly etched in my memory.
To see a picture of my elementary class party, please click here.
My last class party was more than two decades ago. Sadly, these sandwiches seldom made an appearance in all this time. It isn’t as if they are difficult to prepare but more so that I needed a reason to make them. When it was my turn to specify the theme for this month’s cook-out with Denise, I immediately suggested sardines. She agreed but was apprehensive right from the start that we would both come up with the same recipe. She knew that I knew that she knew what I was going to do with my can of sardines, but I went ahead anyway. I really wanted to eat these sandwiches.
Three weeks have gone by since Denise and I made kerabu, a Nyonya or Malay salad for our first virtual cooking meet. The idea of this get-together was rather spontaneous. Within a week, both our posts Kerabu Kacang Botol and Kerabu Tang Hoon were up. It was fun and we would like this to continue. Hence, we have decided to give our collaboration a name and a badge. Credit for the badge goes to my hubby, Ro-Ri San who also designed the logo for this blog.
After some deliberation, we settled on the name Nona-Nona which pretty much describes both Denise and I. We have each created a page with brief details of our individual backgrounds and how Nona-Nona came to be. You will also get to read about the name and the logo. Do check it out.
And so I happily ran off to the Asian grocery store to buy a few flat oval cans of sardines in tomato sauce. Sardines in these cans are of the smaller variety and are packed whole in the cans. Sardines in the cylindrical cans are of the larger variety with coarser flesh. Only a portion of the fish is packed into each can. Sardines packed in flat rectangular cans found at the regular grocery stores can be used but they do taste different.
For some, sardines can be a little fishy. Lime juice and chopped red chilies help reduce the fishy odor. Butter combines very well with the filling and makes the sandwiches very tasty.
- 1 can (7.5oz/215g) sardines in tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- ½ red chili, seeds removed and chopped (optional)
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 8 slices of white bread
- 3 tbsp butter
- ½ cucumber, thinly sliced into disks
Transfer sardines from can with about a tablespoon of the tomato sauce. Discard the rest of the sauce. Remove bones from sardines. Add lime juice, chopped red chilies, salt, and pepper. Mash and mix everything up with a fork.
Butter the 8 slices of bread. Spread an even layer of mashed sardines on 4 slices of bread.
Place about 6 slices of cucumber on top of the sardines and sandwich with the remaining 4 slices of buttered bread.
Slice off the crust on all sides with a very sharp knife. Cut the sandwich into half to form rectangles or triangles. Serve immediately.
One of the most fun part of this get-together is that neither of us know what the other is preparing. There is always the “fear” of us making the same dish and it is funny how we would drop hints but always careful never to “let the cat out of the bag”. Hence, the anticipation until the big reveal on the day of posting. Let’s head over now to Singapore Shiok! to see what Denise has prepared.
One more thing before we hop over. See this cute book cover on the left? This cookbook by Denise will be at the bookstores very SOON. If you would like a pre-release copy, please check Denise’s blog for details of an upcoming giveaway. I heard there will be several copies up for grabs.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 8)