February 17, 2017

Sardine Cakes with Mango Salsa

This, my friends, is a guest post. My first guest post, as a matter of fact (beer!!!). When you blog, inevitably you meet other bloggers in the blogesphere who do bloggery things and you end up talking blogs. This post comes from my friend, Jared. He’s over at TheHesitantChef. He’s one of my favourite people to talk blogs with. He’ll tell you all about how we met, but I’ll say this: I followed Jared’s blog long before he knew I existed. Talk about loyalty! Make sure you check out his site: it’s full of great beer recipes, fun foodstuffs, and plus, there’s Jared. 

Without further ado, I present to you The Hesitant Chef!

Sardine Cakes With Mango Salsa

I first met Jen last year at Food Bloggers of Canada Conference in Toronto. We quickly became friends and have stayed in touch since. We’re roomies for the next one, #besties. As you already know, Jen is all about living simply, eating clean, and the homemade. I love that. But if I’m honest, I’m only one of those three things that makes Jen awesome. I’m all about homemade food and drinks! One of my all-time favourite things to do is share good food and home brewed beer/cider with my family and friends. But, I’m not above eating a whole bag of Lays BBQ chips or box of Oreo’s. I love Oreo’s.

Apparently, one of the upcoming food trends in 2017 is the resurgence of the humble sardine. Don’t believe me? Do a google search; I dare you. Also, Jen and I are totally trendsetters, so we aren’t wrong, right Jen? Anyway, I have a feeling our recipes are set to lead the sardine bandwagon. I promise it’s not as packed as you might think. See what I did there?

I’m not going to lie; sardines are one fishy fish. These little guys pack a huge punch of ocean flavour. They’re no sea bass or tilapia that’s for sure. These guys smell and taste exactly like what you’d expect, fish. Depending on your tolerance to that flavour, this can be a good or bad thing. For me, I sorta hate seafood that tastes overly fishy. It’s a dreadful thing. However, sardines are one of the healthiest and sustainable fish you can consume, so it’s worth it to me to try and like them. Listen, They are low in the food chain. Meaning, they eat plankton (that’s a good thing), so they don’t acquire dirty metals, unlike tuna. They’re also packed with nutrition. In 1 can(84g) of Sardines, there’s 17g of protein, 25% of your daily calcium needs; they’re full of vital omega-3s and a good portion of Vitamin B12. So yeah, they’re worth eating if you can find a way to get over their flavour.

sardine cakes on plate with mango salsa


One of the things I take great delight in is taking cheap ingredients and turn them into something awesome. I consider it a challenge. For this recipe I stuck to what I had on hand in my pantry. Basically, I treated my kitchen like a giant Chopped box. Unfortunately, this recipe says a lot about what I stock in my pantry, it isn’t simple. Please don’t judge me. Like I said before, I’m only one third of the things that make Jen so fearsome. When we first talked about doing sardine themed posts for each other’s site I knew I was going to make a fish cakes. It’s one of the easiest ways to transform sardines or any seafood you’ve never encountered before, into something special. Making a fish cake out of sardines is a great way to heighten its potential and a fantastic way to feed a crowd. I’m happy to report I was successful in taking this undesirable ingredient and make it into something absolutely delicious. Ask my sister, she tried them.

Print Recipe
Sardine Cakes with Mango Salsa
Course Appetizers
Cuisine Seafood
Sardine Cakes
Course Appetizers
Cuisine Seafood
Sardine Cakes
  1. Mango Salsa: In a small mixing Bowl mix together all ingredients and set aside. You want this to sit for a bit so all the flavours can marinate. Make this, before you make your Sardine cakes!
  2. Sardine Cakes: In a medium sized mixing bowl mix together Sardine Fillets, eggs, bread crumbs, red pepper, celery, onion, garlic, chipotle peppers, and Zest of 1 lime.
  3. Mix it up until ingredients are well combined. Season with salt. Place flour and a bit of salt into a pie pan. You’re going to dredge your fishy cakes into this mixture.
  4. Using a soup spoon for measuring, spoon some mixture into the palm of your hand and form into roughly 2” in diameter cakes and dredge both sides in flour.
  5. In a large frying pan heat 1/4-1/2 cup Avocado oil over medium-high heat. You want to make sure the oil is hot but not smoking. Test the temperature of the oil by placing a small amount of the fish cake mixture into the pan. If you hear it instantly sizzle, you’re golden. Or should I say, your fish cakes will soon be!
  6. Place patties in pan and cook on either side for 2-ish minutes, or until they are golden brown on each side.
  7. Once all the cakes are cooked, serve immediately with mango salsa. Enjoy!
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sardine cakes with mango salsa on serving platter

 Want to see more of Jared’s stuff?? Check him out over at TheHesitantChef! While you’re there, you can also get a look at my sardine-a-riffic recipe for Sardine Pan Bagnat! Yum!

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  1. I love sardines. Yes they are a bit fishy, but done right could be the best fish you gave ever tried. When we are in Italy our first stop is the fish market and we usually leave with some sardines. Fried up in a flour batter are just amazing. I like the way you have prepared these cakes and add in the mango salsa which just brings in another dimension. Absolutely lovely. Love the friendship that has developed here! Great stor, great post!

    • Jen - 1 year ago

      Thanks, Loreto! Jared’s sardine cakes do look pretty good (and since I happened to have purchased many cans of sardines, they are on my menu to-do list!). Fresh sardines, fried, sounds so delicious! I don’t have a good fish monger near me and have to settle for frozen/canned. But one day… 😉

  2. kelliemacmillan - 1 year ago

    Hey Jen I read your post on Jared’s site this morning. Loved it! Humorous and educational both in one place- Well done.
    I went skating with my daughter’s Grade 4 class this afternoon which covers my AM time with Jared and being distracted by shiny things and my comment here late in the day. It doesn’t take much for the day to disappear.
    Any big plans for Fam Day?

    • Jen - 1 year ago

      Thanks, Kellie!No big plans for family day: with only one kid, I sorta feel like every day is family day! Haha that’s so sappy. I think we’re going to go for a hike…or a slushy walk…whatever! Happy family day to you and yours!!

  3. thefoodblognet - 1 year ago

    I just visited Jared’s blog, loved your post, and had to come right over to check out his recipe, too. These sound so good, and coincidentally I just posted a salmon cake. Sardine cakes seem much less boring and the mango salsa sounds so good with them. I know what you mean about the Chopped box, it’s like that in my kitchen all the time. 🙂

    • Jen - 1 year ago

      Glad you liked our recipes. I agree with you on the mango…and by the way, salmon cakes are NEVER boring!! I think any kind of fish cake is like the greatest seafood extender ever!!

  4. diversivore - 1 year ago

    I don’t make fish cakes often enough – but I think this is the approach to take. Just… use a good, cheap, interesting fish. I’m so into anything that gets people cooking more sustainable and lower on the food chain, and I think that reclaiming the humble sardine is a great endeavour. I’m really glad you two decided to do this guest post collaboration, and I’ve really enjoyed both of your posts!

    • Jen - 1 year ago

      Thanks, Sean! As Jared keeps saying: Sardines for the win!! When I was in Finland, it was herring everywhere! And it was delicious!! I think these tiny, more sustainable fish are so underrated. I literally have a dozen cans in my pantry right now and I’m determined to work them into one meal a week…it’s gonna happen!!

  5. My Kitchen Love - 1 year ago

    A few things here Jared. First, Oreos are truly the best food on the planet. Seriously. Secondly, I bet the mango salsa cuts through any perceived “fishiness” extremely well. Kind of a brilliant match. Finally, I’m a bit more of a herrings girl, probably because they are less “fishy”, but still a tin can bargain.

    • Jen - 1 year ago

      Jared does have a point about oreos…and agreed on the bargain level of sardines. Even the Pacific wild caught sustainable ones are very reasonably priced! (Plus, mangos right now are pretty cheap too!)

  6. killingthyme - 1 year ago

    Your intro to this post made my heart smile. I love tightly-knit blogger relationships and Jared is SUCH a stand-up guy. So glad to see you guys have bonded to well, and I can’t wait to get to know YOU more!

    Moving along, “I have a feeling our recipes are set to lead the sardine bandwagon. I promise it’s not as packed as you might think. See what I did there?” LOL. Right up my alley, bro.

    As a pescetarian, I really should be eating/blogging and touting the horn of sardines more often. My goal this year is to give salmon a rest on the blog, and you’ve just reminded me that sardines need to be added to my list. The nutritional value is huge, and yay for sustainability!

    Also, Jesus Murphy Jared, these PHOTOS. I love how you got yourself a solid camera and suddenly became a professional photographer overnight. Your styling is so on point. Way to make sardines magazine-worthy.

    I personally love fish cakes, so I think I’d love these. Also, like a total weirdo, I like certain types of fishy stink. Like, those smoked oysters in a can? Omg. Give me a can of those on crackers with mayo, and I’m in heaven — all while grossing everyone around me out completely 😉

    Amazing job! Now I must head over to Jared’s blog and see Jen’s fab ‘which!

    • Jen - 1 year ago

      Awww, thanks Dana! Jared IS pretty cool! And I’ve been pretty lucky to have a million random blog chats with him. #bloggerlife. I’m right there with you on those photos! <3 them!!

      Looking forward to seeing what you can do with sardines! I'm sure it'll be amazing! Go team fishy!! 😉

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