Garlicky Plantains with Sardines in Tomato Sauce

This is food made fast not fast food.

20151018in good taste logoI make garlicky green plantains often and most of the times I eat it just like that. It is filling, satisfying, and very easy to make. All you need are green plantains, garlic, salt, and for good measure, hot pepper. These plantains will make you think of Mofongo and Foo-foo due to the pounding.

The Sardines in Tomato Sauce, well, there is no mystery there, just get yourself a can of your favourite brand of Sardines in Tomato Sauce and you’re in business. This combo is great for a weekday meal, especially if you get home tired. It’s good for a weekend late-breakfast too.



Mortar and pestle

Serves 2 to 3




Garlicky Plantains with Sardines in Tomato Sauce (Photo by Cynthia Nelson)
Garlicky Plantains with Sardines in Tomato Sauce (Photo by Cynthia Nelson)

For sardines:

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large can sardines in tomato sauce
  • ½ cup hot water


For plantains:

  • Oil for shallow frying
  • 4 – 5 large cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thinly
  • Minced hot pepper to taste
  • 4 large green plantains
  • Thinly sliced scallions (white/purple and green parts)



For sardines:

  • Add oil to pan and place over medium heat until hot.
  • Add onions and thyme along with a sprinkling of salt and black pepper, toss to mix and cook until onions are softened and golden.
  • Add sardines along with sauce.
  • Rinse the can/tin with hot water and pour into the pan. Gently stir the ingredients in the pan, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 5 – 7 minutes or until the sardines are heated through and the sauce is to your desired consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Shut off heat and cover to keep warm.


For plantains:

  1. Add oil, garlic and pepper to cold pan and place over low heat. Let the ingredients heat up gently until the pan becomes fragrant and the garlic turns golden (do not let it brown). Remove the garlic and pepper from the pan and set aside.
  2. Raise heat to medium; meanwhile, peel and cut plantains into 1-inch thick rounds. Fry in batches in heated oil.
  3. Working in batches, pound some of the softened garlic, pepper and plantains along with a pinch of salt until fully incorporated and the plantains are mashed. Repeat until all the plantains, garlic, and pepper are used up.
  4. To serve, make a bed of the plantains on each plate or in each bowl, top with sardines and spoon sauce over the fish and plantains. Sprinkle with scallions/green onions and serve hot.



Lorha and sil works for the pounding too or a sturdy rolling pin and a wooden bowl (hold the rolling pin upright to pound).

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