Sauteed Sardines with Chickpeas is an easy meal to prepare for breakfast. I use canned sardines in tomato sauce made from the Philippines. I remember, when I was a kid, sauteed sardines was one of my favorite breakfast dishes. I always liked the taste of the tomato sauce that comes with the sardines. When I migrated here to the U.S., I tried several kinds of sardines that are typically found in the U.S. grocery stores but for some reason, I was not able to find anything similar to the sardines I grew up with. This is why at least once a month, my husband and I will go to the nearest Asian store to buy Asian foods and one of them is the Ligo sardines.
Canned sardines specifically the “Ligo Sardines” are popular canned goods in the Philippines because it’s not only cheap but also a very easy meal to make. There are two kinds of Ligo Sardines, the green Ligo sardines and the red Ligo sardines. The difference between the two is that the red Ligo is the spicy version of the green Ligo. Among the two, the Red Ligo sardines in tomato sauce is my favorite and my husband to my surprise, fell in love with it as well.
Filipinos usually sauté the sardines in onion, garlic and oil. However, in my version of this recipe, I added soy sauce, paprika, sesame oil and lime juice to remove the fishy taste of the sardines. This also adds a savory flavor to the dish. Chickpeas are also added to the recipe because I wanted to have a high protein and high fiber breakfast.
I started cooking the sauteed sardines with chickpeas when I decided to change our breakfast menu and got inspired by the Japanese Traditional Breakfast Menu. Since then, it has become one of our regular breakfast menu items. The Sauteed Sardines with Chickpeas is usually served with steamed rice and Breakfast Soup Loaded with Vegetables.
Sauteed Sardines with Chickpeas
- 2 5.5 oz can Ligo Sardines
- 1 15 oz can Chickpeas
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 small lime
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 medium red onion thinly sliced
- 3 gloves garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oil in a pan. Add garlic, onion and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add chickpeas, season with paprika and a pinch of salt and pepper.Stir fry for another 5 minutes.
- Stir in the Ligo sardines, long with water, soy sauce, sesame oil, and lime juice. Turn the heat to medium low and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes.
- Remove the pan from heat and transfer in a serving plate. Best serve with steamed rice or fried rice.