This Czech rustic style spread from canned sardines is one of the most popular spreads in the Czech Republic. Our family recipe for this particular type of "rybí pomazánka" includes – aside from sardines – also cream cheese and chopped onion.
My dad always made this sardine spread as a snack because it’s quick and easy to make.
My husband’s family prepares this fish spread generally in the same way, my mother-in-law uses tinned sardines mashed with softened butter and adds some fresh herbs.
🍲 More Czech recipes:
- Česneková pomazánka – Czech garlic cheese spread
- Obložené chlebíčky – Czech open faced sandwiches
- Rohlík – popular Czech white bread rolls
Please note that I’m basing this on ingredients available in Czech grocery stores. Anyway, I think they’re common ingredients available all around the world!
- Canned sardines; in vegetable oil. Sardines are generally tinned in sunflower oil in the Czech Republic.
- Cream cheese; in the Czech, we often use „Lučina“ or „Pomazánkové máslo“. Every fresh cheese should work just fine.
- Onion; finely chopped with a knife, NOT fully ground. Chopped onion gives the spread its typical rough texture.
- Lemon juice; freshly pressed.
- Salt and ground pepper; to taste the sardine spread to your liking.
If you find the onion too intensive, change it out for spring onion or shallot, both of them will work perfectly.
I don´t recommend omitting onion in the sardine spread, it would lose its charm!
Making this healthy sardine appetizer is easier than you think. Progress mainly depends on the quality of canned sardines you bought in a store.
When I was young, canned sardines needed some preparation. My dad always strained the oil from the sardines, cut the skin off, and took the backbones out.
Today, sardines with soft skin and bones can be bought in the Czech Republic. Because of this, I use the sardines as-is and don’t prepare them in any way.
Once you have the sardines ready, you’ll have the spread in no time.
- Take the sardines out of the oil a place them in a bowl.
- Chop the onion finely and toss it into the bowl.
- Add cream cheese, lemon juice, salt, and ground pepper.
- Just combine with a fork, and you are good to go!
Someone asked me if I need to rinse canned sardines. I don’t think so, you can use them right when you take them out of the oil.
Czechs´ first choice are always „jednohubky“. I see you asking, what the hell are jednohubky? Let me explain.
Czech jednohubky are small pastry slices with a generous layer of various spreads.
This finger-food is often served at various ceremonial parties like family reunions, weddings (svatba), New Year’s Eve (Silvestr) or birthdays.
- Garnish the jednohubka with a layer of sardine spread with a slice of pickles. This combination tastes heavenly good!
- Sardine spread pairs well with fresh bread, as a filling for your sandwich. It’s also great as a dip for crackers or breadsticks.
Try this Czech typical "budapešťská pomazánka", too!
Sardine Spread – Czech Rybí pomazánka
- 4 oz (110 g) Sardines canned in vegetable oil
- 2 oz (60 g) Cream cheese
- 1 Tbsp Lemon juice
- ½ onion (peeled and chopped)
- pepper (freshly ground)
- Take the sardines out of the oil, rinse them and take the backbones out if needed. Place them in the bowl. We won’t be using the oil in the spread. Mash the sardines using a fork.
- Peel the onion and chop it finely with a knife.
- Toss the chopped onion into sardines, add cream cheese, lemon juice.
- Season with salt and ground pepper to your liking.
- Mix everything, and you are done!
- The amount of spread you’ll make according to this recipe will be enough for 30 jednohubkas.
- If you have the excess sardine spread, you can store it in the fridge.
DISCLAIMER: Because I come from Central Europe, my recipes are based on metric units such as grams or milliliters. Check out how I convert metric units to the U.S. system:Conversion chart