Mama’s Sardines – Ca Moi cua Me

Mama always make the best out of canned sardines with tomato paste back in the 80s when we first came to the United States. This is the fish dish I ate the most during the first ten years of my life.  It’s great with French baguette or mixed with steamed jasmine rice. Now I’m passing it on to the third generation and my toddler likes it too.  

Cook and prep within 15 minutes.
Serving size:  I used a nonstick 10-inch pan. Each canned sardines contain 3-4 sardines.


3 small Marock canned sardines

2 medium white onions

1 bunch scallion

1/2 cup ketchup

1+ cup water 


1/2 Tbsp Viet Huong fish sauce 

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder or minced garlic

1/8 tsp black pepper

1/2 Tbsp oil



1.   Heat oil and onion on high until onion turns color. 

2.   When onion turns color, add in water, ketchup with fish sauce.  Stir well. 

3.  Add in the seasoning (garlic powder, salt, sugar, black pepper). Simmer on medium heat for 2 minutes until sauce thickens a bit. 

4.  Add in sardines from can. Fill water in each of the empty cans and pour it into the pan.

5.  Turn heat to medium-low and add in scallions.  Simmer for 2-3 minutes until onions are done.

6.  Serve with French baguette or steamed jasmine rice!  Enjoy!

I toasted the French baguette in my air fryer.

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