Deep fried anchovies are typical and most of all popular tapas food in Spain. They make an excellent sandwich topper or a starter and drizzled with lemon juice they are hard to resist. They also go well with beer!
Now would you believe if I told you that I thought anchovies were salty naturally? But these little fish are not salty at all! It’s only the canned fish that is salty and this strong flavor is a result of a traditional method of preserving them (they are gutted, salted, matured and then packed in oil or salt).
So that was something I had learned after buying the fresh ones for the first time. They were nice and soft and most of all not salty!
If you haven’t tried them yet, now it’s the right time to do so!
Deep Fried Anchovies
- 300 g Anchovies (10.5 oz)
- 110 g Plain Flour (1 cup)
- Sunflower Oil for frying
- Lemon (optional)
- If you bought whole fresh anchovies, you will need to remove their heads, gut them (if you cut the heads off, the guts come out together with the head) and take out the spine bone.
- If you bought fresh anchovy fillets then you are lucky.
- Once you gutted the anchovies, put the flour in a large bowl. You will coat the anchovies in flour. You have 2 options: Throw all of them at once in the bowl and using your hands coat them in flour OR coat them one by one (they are quite fragile and this way they will keep their shape better.
- Heat up the oil in a medium size sauce pan. When the oil is hot enough, throw in (carefully) the anchovies. Make sure there is enough space in between them. Depending on the size of your pan and the amount you are frying you might need to do it in a few batches.