Fish and seafood Recipes Soups, stews and legumes recipes

Seafood stew of sardines or xoubas

Seafood stew of sardines or xoubas


  • Easy
  • 35 minutes
  • For 4 people
  • € 2 / person
  • 276kcal per 100g.

How to make a stew of xoubas (sardines).

In Galicia we call the sardines “xoubas” or “parrochas” . Very present in Galician fishmongers during their season, from May to October.

It is also possible to find them in the rest of Spain, especially in the summer season, where sardines are protagonists like their older sisters.

It is a blue fish, very healthy, and that with a minimum preparation we can enjoy its delicious flavor. They are marketed with a size between 11 and 14 cm.

The most common is to find them fried, on the menus of many restaurants or taperías, but you can also enjoy the “xoubas” in empanada , on toast , in cocas and of course stewed in a traditional way.

This stew of xoubas or sardinillas, is a very traditional dish from the coastal areas of Galicia, which is also known as “ xoubas afogadas ”.

A simple, cheap and delicious fish recipe . Accompanied by delicious artisan bread and good wine, it becomes a party at the table, I assure you. At home there was nothing left of anything in the pot.  

Preparation of the base of the xoubas stew (sardines).

  1. Chop the onion in julienne strips and the garlic very fine. Peel the tomato and cut it into cubes.
  2. In a flat saucepan, pour a sheet of extra virgin olive oil and fry the onion and garlic.
  3. Add the tomato, mix and cook 5 minutes over medium heat. We salt to taste.   
  4. We pour the wine, turn up the heat and cook a couple of minutes more so that the alcohol evaporates.
  5. We go down to medium heat. Add the paprika from La Vera (sweet or spicy), the tomato sauce and the bay leaf.
  6. Mix and continue cooking another 5 minutes.
  7. Peel the potatoes and cut them into slices half a centimeter thick.
  8. Pour the water or fish fumet into the saucepan. Add the potatoes and rectify with salt.
  9. Make sure that the potatoes are completely covered with the liquid.
  10. We cook until they are almost ready (you can check it by clicking with a fork).

Final preparation of the stew. The xoubas

  1. We prepare while the “xoubas” or sardines.
  2. We remove the head and the viscera. We review with a kitchen paper to remove some scale or some rest of the guts.
  3. At that time, we are placing them in the round in the casserole. We water them with the sauce, and cook about 4/5 minutes.
  4. A little time will be enough to get them to their point.

We serve very hot on the table and accompany with a good artisan bread, to sauté in the sauce. A traditional and full of flavor dish.

You can see all the step by step photos of the xoubas stew recipe  in the next album.

Tips for the stew of xoubas (sardines).

  • At home we love stews with seafood, and you can find similar recipes on the blog. I propose you the traditional fish stew , a monkfish stew with potatoes or one of my favorite dishes, the octopus in the mugardesa .
  • For this stew, we need the xoubas or sardines to have no head or guts. It is a fairly simple task to carry out, but if you do not get along with the fish, ask the fishmonger at the time of buying them.
  • A wide casserole is the ideal one to prepare this dish, to be able to place the “xoubas” in the round, and to make the presentation on the table very attractive. If you have a gas stove, you can use an earthenware pan, and thus cook the stew in the most typical and traditional way.
  • In my case, I have used a mixture of sweet and spicy paprika, to add a touch of grace to the sauce. I leave this to your liking, although don’t go overboard either, since we want to take advantage of the delicious flavor of xoubas.

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