homemade sardinesFish is a highly nutritious source of protein- tasty, easily digested, and particularly good for growing children. Fish products, depending on the methods used in preparing and preserving them, can be comparable to meat and dairy products in nutritional quality.

For those who want to embark on a small but profitable business or simply earn an extra income, making homemade sardines in oil or tomato paste is a good way to get started.

You can target as your initial customers health-and budget-conscious housewives and office workers looking for alternatives to meat- based meals. Later, after you have mastered the production process, you can supply sari-sari and grocery stores, cafeterias and eateries.

Bottled Sardines in Corn Oil

Ingredients:

1 kilo fish in season (tawilis or you may use fish like tunsoy, tamban or small milkfish)

6- 7 pcs laurel or bay leaf

60- 70 pcs peppercorn

6 -7 pcs red pepper

1 pc whole carrot, sliced thinly

1 pc whole pickle, sliced thinly

1 Liter corn oil (cholesterol free)

Soaking Solutions (brine)

1/4 cup salt

2 cups water

Equipment Utensils:

Pressure cooker

8 oz. bottles with brand new metal caps (required to attain a two- year shelf life)

Cups, Measuring spoons, Knife, Spatula, Chopping Board, Plastic bowl or basin, strainer, Hand gloves or potholder.

Procedure:

1. Remove or cut the head, tails, fins, and internal organs of each fish, then wash them.

2. Dissolve the 1/4 cup of salt in 2 cups water to make 10 percent salt solution (brine). Stir. To preserve the fish, soak them in the salt solution for 15 minutes. This will wash out blood and fishy odor. Drain afterwards.

3. Arrange the fish in sterilized glass bottles. If the fish are small, put 8 pcs per bottle; if they are slightly bigger, put 6-7 pcs.

There are two ways to sterilize the bottles:

a. Wash them thoroughly. Let dry. Then put the bottles inside the oven at 100 degrees centigrade for 5- 10 minutes.

b. Wash them thoroughly. Put them in a casserole and let boil. Then let dry.

4. In every bottle, place 1 pc bay leaf or laurel, 10 pcs peppercorn, 2 pcs red pepper or siling labuyo, 1 pc of sliced carrot, and 2 pcs of sliced pickle. Use a knife or the end of the spatula to insert the carrots into the bottle. Inserting the knife also releases the air bubbles from the bottle.

5. Pour the corn oil up to the brim of the bottle.

6. Half- seal and put the bottles over the metal wire wrap inside the pressure cooker. Pour water up to the half the height of the bottles. Adjust the temperature to immediately heat the bottles. Start at a high temperature once the pressure cooker “whistles”. Pressure-cook for 30 minutes.

The repeated pressure- cooking process is done to completely release remaining air bubbles in the bottles and thus prevent corrosion of the bottle caps. it is also meant to precook the fish and to produce a vacuum inside the bottle for a longer shelf life.

7. After 30 minutes, take out the bottles from the pressure cooker. Use hand gloves or potholder. Since water evaporates, add water inside the pressure cooker to last for one-and-a- half hours. Seal the bottles fully and cook in the pressure cooker for one and a half hours under a pressure of 10psi. This is done to soften the bones of the fish.

8. Cool the jars in an inverted position. This is to make sure that the caps are not leaking. After 24 hours, wash the bottle with soap and water. Wipe them dry.

Bottled Sardines in Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

1 kilo fish in season (tawilis or you may use fish like tunsoy, tamban or small milkfish)

60- 70 pcs peppercorn

1 pc whole carrot, sliced thinly

1 pc whole pickle, sliced thinly

Soaking Solutions (brine)

1/4 cup salt

2 cups water

Packing Sauce:

1/2 cup corn oil (120 ml)

1/3 cup vinegar (180 ml)

1 pack tomato paste (70g)

200 ml water

Equipment Utensils:

Pressure cooker

8 oz. bottles with brand new metal caps (required to attain a two- year shelf life)

Cups, Measuring spoons, Knife, Spatula, Chopping Board, Plastic bowl or basin, strainer, Hand gloves or potholder.

Procedure:

Follow the same procedure as in the preparation of sardines in corn oil, only don’t pour the corn oil. Instead, pour the mixture of oil, vinegar, water, and tomato sauce or paste. Tomato paste is tastier than tomato sauce because it is concentrated.

Costing

To compute for your production cost, get the prices of the ingredients used by dividing the retail price of an ingredient with its content, then multiply it by the amount you used in the recipe. Take for instance pickles. A small bottle of 8 pcs retails for about P42. Divide P42 by 8, so pickles is a little bit P5 a piece. Therefore, the cost of pickles for one recipe is P5. Do the same for the rest of the ingredients then total them, just make sure to separate the computation of the two sardine recipes. Don’t forget to add the cost of packaging ang P10 per bottle for your overhead costs- electricity, LPG and labor.

To compute for your retail price, divide the total cost to the number of yields and put a 100% profit margin. You may even earn more if you reduce your production cost by buying the ingredients in bulk.

Bottles may be bought second-hand from Divisoria, Manila, but be sure they are thoroughly washed and cleansed prior to sterilization. Buy only brand new bottle caps, preferably made of metal and not plastic to ensure a much longer shelf life (two years at the most). The caps of properly sealed bottles pop up when opened.

Source: Entrepreneur Magazine

Supply of brand new bottles and caps:

Bottle Caps Corporation of the Philippines

138 Capt. Cruz St., Valenzuela City. Tel #: (02) 294-3487

San Miguel Yamamura Packaging Corp.

9th Floor San Miguel Properties Centre

#7 St. Francis Ave., Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City, 1550 Philippines

Trunk Line: (632) 702-4200

Fax No.: (632) 637-6368/69, or (632) 687-7075

website: http://www.smypc.com/index.aspx

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