Make Spicy Tawilis Sardines with your Pressure Cooker

Have some ready to eat preserved but healthy meal for anyone who’s hungry and needs to eat right now. 

Tawilis sardines makes a great Filipino breakfast, you can eat it on its own with mounds of rice, or make it into a spread. You can also use it for a basic Tawilis Pasta. It’s very tasty and healthy. This freshwater sardine, found only in the Taal Lake in Batangas can be eaten from head to tail, and is very high in omega-3 fatty acids.

I have not seen this in a lot of food blogs and I hope my recipe helps! It’s an easy recipe and a unique Philippine cuisine.

This is a simple recipe cooked in the pressure cooker with not a lot of spices. Most of them are available in a regular Filipino Pantry.

How to Make Spicy Tawilis Sardines


  • 2 kilos Tawilis
  • 1 Liter Canola or Corn Oil
  • 3 tbsp salt for brine
  • 7 pcs Laurel Leaves
  • 10 finger chili (Siling Labuyo)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 whole garlic top cut up
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorn
  • 2 carrots cut in circles


  1. Clean Tawilis by removing head and entrails.
  2. Prepare brine by mixing just enough water to cover submerge fish in and salt. Add the fish and leave for 20 minutes. (Brining helps to preserve the integrity of the fish -so it will not fall apart and disintegrate)
  3. Meanwhile, prepare your pressure cooker by adding the carrots at the bottom of the pan. (so the fish will not stick to the bottom)
  4. Add the fish and then the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Turn on your stove to medium then set your timer to an hour after the pressure cooker starts to whistle.


You can pack this in bottles or small containers and leave outside making sure to eat in three days or in your refrigerator for 2 weeks. Make sure that the fish is fully submerged in oil to prevent spoilage. I mostly just throw away the carrots since they end up getting burnt. You can probably lessen the cooking time to 40 minutes but I want the fish a bit on the toasty side, hence an hour. If you’re making this to sell, cook the sardines in bottles and do it like on this gourmet in a bottle bangus sardines post. You can play with this recipe and add onions, pickles, or olives as you wish. You can also use olive oil.

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Relax Lang Mom is a Pinoy Mom Blog for food, lifestyle, and simple living. I believe that you don’t have to be perfect to be a good mom. Let us give ourselves permission. Permission to not be perfect. Permission to relax. And as my son always say, out of the babes mouth, (which incidentally is where this blog’s name came from) “Relax Lang, Mom!

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