Childhood picnic recipe revisited


Refreshing tweak to sardine spread served with cold soup

MY FAVOURITE childhood memories are the picnics in the 1980s and 1990s to Batu Ferringhi, Penang, during the school holidays with my siblings and cousins.

We would often buy snacks from our local sundry shop for the picnic, but the one must-have during this beach sojourn was the humble sardine sandwich.

The ingredients for sardine pate (right) and cucumber gazpacho. — Photos: LOW LAY PHON/The StarThe ingredients for sardine pate (right) and cucumber gazpacho. — Photos: LOW LAY PHON/The Star

For many of us, our favourite sardines came out of that recognisable red and yellow oval-shaped tins.

My mother was the one who often prepared the sandwiches – the sardines neatly nestled between fresh slices of cucumber in soft, fluffy white bread slathered with butter.

It was a delicious and wholesome snack to savour during family bonding time.

Sardine pate on French baguette (left) can be served as a pre-meal canape with gazpacho, a cold soup (right).Sardine pate on French baguette (left) can be served as a pre-meal canape with gazpacho, a cold soup (right).

I really enjoyed eating this sardine sandwich cut into triangles that was popular among many other Malaysian students during recess in school.

Back then, tuna was not readily available and was more expensive.

Tinned sardines are blitzed with shallots and green chillies to make a pate.Tinned sardines are blitzed with shallots and green chillies to make a pate.

Some may complain of the fishy smell, but with tinned sardines soaked in tomato sauce, the trick is to be generous with the lime juice as this will get rid of the fishy smell and taste.

Just remember to discard the tomato sauce.

The fresh and tangy factor of the sardine paste can be achieved by adding shallots, green chillies and a gentle seasoning of salt and black pepper with the lime juice.

Olive oil is added to the sardine pate for depth of flavour.Olive oil is added to the sardine pate for depth of flavour.

For this recipe, I added some Kashmiri chilli powder, which is less spicy than regular chilli powder.

As Christmas is around the corner, instead of a sandwich, I refined the recipe to serve as a pâté on sliced French baguette paired with a refreshing shot of cucumber gazpacho.

Slice French baguette to serve with sardine pate.Slice French baguette to serve with sardine pate.

Gazpacho, a cold soup widely consumed in Spain and Portugal during summer, is a great way to celebrate the versatility of cucumber and balance the strong flavour from sardines.

You can have fun with this to suit your tastebuds, which is why I used green grapes to lend a fruity finish.

The garnish of apple and yoghurt jazz up the look and add texture.

Sardine pâté

Ingredients

4 shallots, peeled

2 green chillies, deseeded and sliced

Juice of one lime (Key lime or limau nipis)

1 tin sardine in tomato sauce, 400g

1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder

¼ tsp ground black pepper

1 tbsp olive oil

½ tsp salt

2 tomatoes, sliced

1 cucumber, sliced thinly

Baguette, sliced to ¼ of an inch

Spreadable butter

Garnish

1 green chilli, thinly sliced (optional)

2 sprigs of coriander (optional)

Method:

Drain sardines from the can and set aside in a separate bowl. Blitz shallots, chillies and lime juice in a food processor until roughly chopped.

Add sardines and chilli powder. Add salt and black pepper. Blitz again until well mixed.

Check if the taste is balanced. Transfer to a bowl. Add the olive oil and mix again to combine. Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

On a separate plate, arrange the sliced baguettes. Spread a thin layer of butter.

Arrange one slice of tomato followed by cucumber on each baguette.

Using a teaspoon, scoop the sardine paste and place on the baguette. You can flatten the paste with the spoon and then place one coriander leaf and sliced chilli.

This can be served as a pre-meal canape/appetiser.

Cucumber Gazpacho

Ingredients

1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped

1 large cucumber, cut in half

½ white onion

1 garlic clove

1 green capsicum, deseeded and chopped

3 green grapes

1 cup of cold water

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp ground black pepper

Juice from half a limeGarnish1 small apple, cored and finely chopped

Plain greek yoghurt (optional)

½ tsp olive oil

Salt to taste

1 tsp lime juice (optional)

Method:

In a blender, add all the 10 ingredients and blend until it achieves a smooth soup consistency. Decant and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Pour gazpacho into shooter glasses or small cups to serve with pate.

Garnish with coriander leaf, drizzle of olive oil and chopped apple.

You can also mix the yoghurt with the lime juice and salt and add a small amount to top the soup before serving.

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!

sardine sandwich , gazpacho , cucumber , retro recipe ,

   

Next In Food News

Tang yuan soup with savoury twist
Swedish chef brings Scandinavian creations to KL
Chinese radish cake
What do chefs eat?
Random but useful tips
Fine European aura
The madhatter is back
A world of possibilities
A surprise at every turn
Season for festive luxury

Others Also Read