Keep reading, because they are good. Honest!
I have grown to love these tiny little fried fish. I used to always associate anchovies with something I was never ever going to eat. Well, times change. If you like any small fried fish, I promise you will love these. They have to be fresh and luckily these we caught local the day I cooked them. Can't get a whole lot fresher than that. Served with just a squeeze of lemon and they make the perfect tapa!
Typically, around here, these are served whole. The head, the spine, all of it. And yes, you eat the entire fish. I find myself taking off the head because, well it's a head! Then I just eat the rest of it. Then it occurred to me that I prefer them in neat little fillets the way they should be, right?
So, how do you clean an anchovy? Well, if you are not familiar with cleaning fish, it isn't as tricky as you may think. Below in the recipe you will see a brief explanation of how to fillet the little morsels. It really is as basic as that.
Out of curiosity, I did a you tube search of "How to fillet anchovies." Well, many of the videos made it seem much more difficult than it actually is. So, I decided not to make a link to what would probably be a complete waste of time. I am certain there are great videos out there, I just didn't have the patience to look for them. Then I decided to take a look at Serious Eats who always have great explanations for stuff. They had this cute little step by step photo that could be quite helpful. Not exactly how I fillet mine, but close enough. I honestly think the way I do it is quicker and easier. I hope this helps.
In any case they make for a perfect little taps for fish loving friends. Unlike the salty anchovies that we are all accustomed to, these are much fresher and with a bit of a crunch.
On a complete off the topic note, isn't the plate cute? A dear friend was visiting recently and bought this for me. I love it, so thanks!
Boquerones Fritos (Pan Fried Anchovies)
Serves 4 - 6 / Prep time: 25 minutes / Cook time: 5 minutes (per batch)
1 lb/500 grams fresh anchovies
1 Tablespoon salt
Vegetable oil for frying
Fresh lemons for serving
Clean and fillet the anchovies. Remove the head and clean out the inside. You can do this with your hands and it is quite easy. Inside from the top you will feel a small spine. Gently tug on it and it will come away very easily from the flesh of the fish. Repeat this for all the anchovies.
Wash them in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
Mix together the flour and salt and pour onto a large plate.
Dredge the anchovies in the flour and arrange them on a large plate careful not to overlap them.
In a large deep sided skillet set over medium to high heat, add about 1 cm of oil. Add as many anchovies as you can at one time without them overlapping. Cook each side for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Repeat for all anchovies.
Serve with fresh lemon wedges immediately.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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