With the Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown, it has now been my mission to figure out P50-meals for a family for 4 or 5 pax. The Covid-19 relief packs being distributed mostly contain sardines and Filipino families are already clamoring, “sardinas na naman?” So, I thought of transforming what used to be the lowly sardines into gourmet dishes that are below P50. What do you know? It is possible. So here’s another one – Sardine Java Rice. Check the recipe below.
Other Sardine Recipes
- Sardine Spaghetti Aglio Olio Recipe: 50-Peso Dish During Family Quarantine
- Spicy Sardine Frittata: 50-peso-Dish for a Family of 5 from Covid-19 Relief Packs
Why Gourmet Dishes
Why would I suggest these gourmet sounding dishes while people are on Enhanced Community Quarantine amidst the threat of Covid-19?
The Covid-19 has changed all of us. Nobody is the whole world is exempted. Rich or poor, nobody is immune to physical, mental, psychological, spiritual, and economic consequences of the virus.
For the average Filipino household, they are reduced to waiting for relief goods that usually contain rice, sardines, noodles, and some eggs. News reports have been showing that many people are already complaining about having sardines everyday.
So why not show them that the seemingly lowly and cheap can of sardines can still be elevated into something tasty, elegant, and yet still affordable? It’s a boost to the senses and to the sinking morale of the people.
To make the dishes healthier, I try to incorporate malunggay (Moringa oleifera) — a common leafy vegetable that can be found in our communities. We can survive the Covid-19 pandemic. We are strong and resilient. But we need to encourage one another–and this is my way–through COOKING.
God bless us all!
Sardine Java Rice
Last time, I showed you how to make Sardine Spaghetti Aglio Olio. So many people like that recipe and I got a lot of feedback over it. It’s simple, classy, and special. And it fits our P50-budget.
- 1 can sardines in tomato sauce
- 1 head garlic, minced
- 6-7 cups cooked white rice
- 1 Tbsp. turmeric
- Anato oil
- 1 egg, scrambled
- Malunggay, optional
- Chili, optional
- Green onions, for garnish
Budget Meal Cost
Below is an approximation of how much the Sardine Java Rice costs. It’s below P50 and is already a budget meal for the family. Read:
- 1 can Sardines – P 17.00
- Garlic, turmeric, and oil – P 8.00
- Rice – P15.00
- Egg – P8.00
Total budget: P48.00
Note: You may opt to skip the egg. You can further save P8.00 on this dish and still enjoy your Sardine Java Rice. Imagine, this P40-budget meal can feed up to five people?
- Related: Teaching Kids How to Budget Money
I chose this recipe because we Filipinos are rice eaters. Most of us cannot live without rice. So this is really yummy and filling for a lot of families.
Remove the bones, innards, and scales from the sardines.
Heat oil in a small pan and add the minced garlic. Stir-fry for a minute then add the sardines. Mash fish until they become flakes. Fry until the fish has browned and is a bit toasty.
When the fish is almost done, stir in the malunggay leaves and allow to wilt for about 2 minutes. The malunggay makes this dish healthier because of its nutrients. It also gives you some fiber in your diet.
By the way, I added chili because we like our dish spicy.
For the Fried Rice:
You have the option to cook the sardines together with the rice. You saute the garlic first, then the sardines, add the rice, and the condiments. But I didn’t do that for presentation purposes.
Instead, I placed six cups of cooked white rice directly onto a different pan. Then I sprinkled the turmeric powder and salt. Drizzle about 4-5 Tbsps. of anato oil (recipe below) all over.
Place the pan on the stove and cook over low heat while mixing the rice. Taste it if it is seasoned enough. If not, add a bit more salt. Same goes true for the anato oil and the turmeric. Turmeric is a good cooking herb with lots of health benefits. You can add more powder for more color instead of the anato oil.
Cook-stir the rice until everything is heated through. Divide the rice in individual bowls for the whole family or place everything in a big bowl or platter. Then top them with sardines, sliced scrambled eggs, and some green onions.
If you want fried rice, you may saute the sardines in the big pan and add the rice. Then mix everything together until cooked. However, for aesthetics’ sake, I prepared mine this way. Looks much better on the table and of course, in photos.
What do you think of my Sardine Java Rice?
How to Make Anato Oil
We live in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental where the Bacolod Chicken Inasal is a signature dish. The chicken inasal is usually paired with rice made yellow with “chicken oil” and eaten with our hands. But chicken oil is no longer made of chicken fat. It’s really just anato oil, or oil colored by achuete.
To make anato oil, just fry dried achuete seeds in oil. When it’s cool, I store this in a bottle container along with the seeds. If I run out of anato oil, I fry the achuete seeds again with additional oil. You can re-use the seeds for as many times that it will give color.
Other Homecooking Recipes in this Blog:
Meanwhile, check out the other recipes in this blog that might interest you.
- Arroz Caldo Recipe: How to Liven Up This Comfort Food
- DIY Shabu-shabu Hot Pot Recipe for the Family
- How to Cook KBL (Kadyos, Baboy, Langka): Ilonggo Comfort Food
- Health Benefits of Oyster Mushrooms + Recipe
- Suaje on the Rocks Recipe
- Creamy Baked Scallops with with Sliced Potato Recipe
- Balut Recipes for the Craving Mama
- Cha Misua | Chinese Birthday Misua Recipe
- Baked 40-Clove Garlic Chicken Recipe (Modified)
- Cooking with Crab Fat Paste (Aligue)
- Cooking with Chorizo | Cocina Estella Spanish Chorizo
- Shrimp Etouffee: A Cajun Seafood Recipe