Tinned Fish  The Facts

Tin talk: You can with a can! Our spectacular store cupboard staple

We all know the feeling – you get in late from work or the gym, maybe you’ve been running around like a headless chicken all day with no time to shop, and all of a sudden it’s dinner time. And the fridge is looking pretty bare.

​Don’t panic!

Make sure you’ve got a few tins of seafood stashed away in a cupboard and you’ll never get caught in a disastrous dinnertime dilemma again!

Putting fish in tins dates back to the late 18th century, at a time when people had a constant battle to stop food spoiling and to be able to transport it more easily. A French man called Nicholas Appert came up with the idea or putting food in sealed bottles to preserve it, but it took him 15 years of experimentation to get the cooking and bottling process exactly right! An English man called Peter Durand developed the process further in the early 19th century by using tins rather than bottles.

The first commercial tinned food factory opened in England in 1813 and we’ve never looked back!

These days you can buy tins of tuna, salmon, crab, sardines, mackerel, anchovies…the list goes on and on! Tinned fish is often very good value so it’s great if money is a bit tight at the end of the month. It has a long shelf life so stock up when you shop and you’ll always have a meal stashed away when you need it.

Tinned seafood usually either has the bones removed before it goes in the can or else the bones are so tiny and soft after they’re processed before canning (like in sardines) that you won’t even notice them. We all know how great for our health seafood is, and tinned fish is no exception. They’re packed with omega-3, so you’ve got a healthy energy boost just sitting in your store cupboard.

The range of tinned fish products available has really expanded in the last few years too and there’s some pretty fancy versions out there now – tinned fish in olive oil, spicy tomato sauce, sweet chilli sauce, teriyaki sauce, even curry sauce! These delicious bhajis are a real favourite of ours and they use mackerel that comes already packed in tomato sauce. Just add some finely sliced red onion, some herbs and spices and they’re ready to cook.

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Tinned fish is so tasty that they also benefit from just keeping it simple. Small oily fish like sardines and pilchards are lovely lightly mashed with a fork and served on toast – delicious!

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Tinned fish like salmon and tuna are great in sandwiches, salads, fishcakes, with pasta, on a pizza, and where would we be without the trusty tuna melt?

And tinned fish aren’t only convenient and healthy – they’re now trendy! A pop-up restaurant called ‘Tincan’ in London opened last year serving only, can you guess? Yes, tinned fish (although it is very fancy artisanal fish, imported from all over the world!) http://www.tincanlondon.com/ 

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There’s also a whole recipe book dedicated to cooking with tinned fish by Bart Van Olphen, who you might have seen knocking up super-fast fish recipes in his speedy 15 second cookery videos!

We reckon that this Mackerel Fillets in Teriyaki Sauce with Pak Choi and Chilli recipe is restaurant standard –  give it ago and find out for yourself just how delicious and convenient tinned seafood is!

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