Yes…kelaguen…with sardines. Don’t knock it ’till you try it. 🙂
This is one of my favorite foods. If you know what kelaguen is and you’ve never tried sardine kelaguen, you’ve got to try it now. If kelaguen is new to you, the basic recipe for this island favorite is quite simple. Chop up your favorite meat or seafood, then season ti with lemon or lime juice, salt, onions, and hot chili peppers. Optional ingredients are freshly grated (or store-bought unsweetened) coconut. All ingredients (except for the meat and/or seafood) is added to taste, meaning if you like your kelaguen more on the tangy side, add more lemon or lime juice. Like it salty? Add more salt. Like it mouth-on-fire-hot? Add lots of hot chili peppers. See, it’s simple.
Click here to view my recipes for different types of kelaguen.
As for sardine kelaguen, you use canned sardines. The photo below show “fish steaks” — this is fine too; the “steaks” are small, bite-sized herring that works just fine in this recipe. While you most certainly can use sardines packed in water, I really prefer sardines packed in soybean oil, and it’s what I recommend for this recipe.
I have a family of four, but only three of us like this (my extremely picky daughter won’t get near this with a 10-foot pole). That’s okay, though — that just leaves more for the rest of us. 😉
Remove the sardines from the can, pouring off the excess oil. Split the sardines in half, lengthwise, then remove and discard the bones (I also remove the stomach but leave it in if you like that kind of stuff). Place the cleaned sardines into a bowl.
I like lots of onions — sliced green onions or diced white or yellow onions — it doesn’t matter; add your favorite kind. I added both. 🙂
Add lemon juice, salt, and hot pepper, to taste.
I love this with hot, steamed white rice, or served as a dip with tortilla chips. You can also make tortilla wraps (I recommend soft corn tortillas) or one of my favorites, stuffed in taco shells with lettuce leaves or mix salad greens.
Give my recipe a try. I think you’ll like it. 🙂
- 6 cans sardines packed in oil
- The juice of 2 lemons (more or less, to taste)
- Salt, to taste
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- *You can also use sliced green onions; add as much as you like
- Crushed or sliced hot chili peppers, to taste
- Grated coconut, as much as you like
- Remove the sardines from the cans; remove and discard the bones. Place in a bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients; stir to combine.
Hafadai, Ms. Annie.
I love your variety of recipes! It helps curb my
longing for Chamorro dish my soul food especially
when I am feeling homesick.
Recently I tried your sardine kelaguen.
I couldn’t find the Beach Cliff Fish Steaks
you featured photo on your site at my go
to grocery store; so, I opted to use the next
available sardines in olive oil instead.
I think I did okay.
May I request that you help put together another type of empanada and this time using all purpose flour?
I have been longing to eat those over the course years of
living out here on the Mainland. I looked online and I only found the Masa Harina recipe online.
I have tried your spam kelaguen and that was a big hit among our friends and family.
Funny you should ask about empanadas using a flour dough. I have one in draft form; I just need to dust it off, make it again, take some pics, and post it. 🙂