As the question states. I believe a mortar and pestle is more for things like nuts, seeds etc. is that the case or will it easily make fish bones e.g. sprats, sardines into small particles?If there is a specific material of mortar and pestle I need?

Just to add, when answering this question you should imagine the bones are raw or have been boiled for 20 minutes i.e. not fried, pressure cooked or other methods. i know for example fried sardine bones crush easily, but i doubt raw or boiled bones break easily.

  • I like grinding things down by mortar & pestle. Mortar & pestle tends to get me to a paste quicker than any grinder on the market. But fishbones? I'd hazard that even "treated" ones (i.e. submerged in vinegar, or other acidy stuff) would be hard to grind down to a smooth paste. I don't mind chunky, but I don't think I would try fishbones in a mortar & pestle. Dec 13, 2016 at 18:55
  • @WillemvanRumpt i'm not looking for a smooth paste, but small particles which can seem like a paste would be sufficient. Dec 13, 2016 at 21:58
  • I honestly don't know. I have a feeling it won't do a satisfying job, but probably the easiest way to find out is to simply try. Dec 14, 2016 at 6:26
  • Are you putting the fish in just the bones, or the bones + flesh? I would think it'd be more difficult to grind down with the flesh in there, as the flesh could let the bones slide around more, rather than being ground up efficiently.
    – Joe
    Dec 14, 2016 at 15:39
  • It's amazing there have been three questions on fish bones I've seen recently. I never would have guessed eating fish bones was so popular.
    – Caleb
    Dec 14, 2016 at 23:58

1 Answer 1


Small fish like sardines, pilchards, etc., yes you should be able to pestle these down with no problem at all (although they tend to break down naturally when you mix them with other ingredients. When I eat sardines and pilchards, the bones are hardly noticeable.

Larger fish would be another matter though.

As with any unknowns, waste a little to learn a lot. Just try mashing up a few fish and see what the state of the bones are afterwards.

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