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Watercress Sardine Tea Sandwiches

Watercress Sardine Tea Sandwiches

Watercress sardine tea sandwiches |

While I adore both foods featured in this month’s Recipe ReDux theme: “Sea What You’ve Been Missing with Seaweed and Little Fishes,” I feel obligated to encourage our readers to stock canned sardines as a pantry staple. I do. And they make for delicious dinners even faster than tuna. This is because one of my kids doesn’t care for canned tuna – so I have to think rather long and hard in order to create a dish she will eat; but she will eat sardines. Sardines flake into a smaller ‘grain’ than tuna and so are easier for young children to chew; good-quality sardines (like King Oscar) are (surprisingly) more mild tasting than most tuna. They are so mild, in fact, I could even drink a cup of tea with these Watercress and Sardine Tea Sandwiches.

A few other tips for softening the ‘fishy’ flavor of canned sardines:

Add dairy: Greek or regular lowfat yogurt slightly coats your tongue making the fish flavor less forward.

Add lemon juice: The acid also slightly disguises the fish flavor – but also helps make all the flavors in a dish meld and sing together.

Add sweet onions: Chives, sweet onions or red onions are a fresh pairing for canned fish.

Add another strong flavor: If you think the fish still needs a little disguise, add bold dark greens like kale to a pasta dish with sardines; or add watercress or arugula to a sardine sandwich. (I chose watercress here because it’s one of the few green things that has popped up in my garden.)

Serve sardine sandwiches on hearty bread or crackers: Our Scandinavian friends typically eat sardines on dark whole grain breads or crisp crackers. Take a clue from them – and serve a bold cracker that stands up to the flavor of the fish.

Shop around: If you don’t care for one brand of sardines, try another. I like King Oscar, but Brunswick is also good. Imported canned sardines from Spain (like Goya) or Mexico tend to be stronger in flavor. Try different flavors like sardines in tomato sauce, in chipotle or wasabi; taste the difference of sardines packed in oil or packed in water.

Watercress sardine tea sandwiches |

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Watercress Sardine Tea Sandwiches

  • Author: by Deanna Segrave-Daly, RD
  • Yield: 8 small tea sandwiches 1x


Watercress tea sandwiches are classic British fare, these are modernized for American tastes and even made deliciously a little healthier.


  • 1 can (3.75 oz) sardines, drained (I used King Oscar Sardines in Olive Oil)
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I used Chobani 2% Plain)
  • 1/2 cup watercress, finely chopped
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon chives, finely chopped
  • 4 slices of sandwich bread, crusts removed


  1. In a bowl, flake sardines with a fork (removing end of tails if desired.) Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Divide filling between 2 slices of bread; top with remaining 2 slices and cut each sandwich into 4 triangles.

Sardine Tins

Krystal Herrera

Tuesday 20th of March 2018

Love making something like a quick snack and I think this is one of those perfect recipes that I definitely need to try. Anyways, thank you for sharing this. It looks good. Cheers!

Bryan @ Mega Sardines

Monday 10th of November 2014

This are great recommendations on how to pair other foods with sardines. I, especially, love the pairing of sardines with crackers. Still haven't tried greek yogurt, but I will now !

Serena Ball

Monday 10th of November 2014

Thanks for stopping by Bryan...or shall I say 'new sardine lover'?!

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Emma Stirling

Tuesday 22nd of May 2012

Ooooh you have had a refresh and doesn't it look purty! Love the redesign girls. Excellent tips on sardine eating. And excellent brand choice. We always stock King Oscar as that's Master 7's name!

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