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Pickled anchovies

Pickled anchovies


  • Easy
  • 35 minutes
  • For 4 people
  • 1.2 € / person
  • 203kcal per 100g.

How to prepare some anchovies in vinegar.

This fish recipe is one of the brightest creations of Spanish cuisine, but it is not easy to eat quality.

We can find super acid anchovies, too old or hard as a stone. For this I advise you to do them at home, so you can compare what you eat in taverns and bars in Spain.

One of the best possible combinations with a beer is  anchovies in vinegar,  a kind of cold marinade in an acidic medium, similar to Peruvian ceviche but with vinegar instead of lime juice.

It is a dish that anyone can make at home, it does not have much trick, in which the most important thing is the quality of the raw material. It is slow due to freezing and maceration, but in reality this lid will only really take you 15 minutes of work. You will have a homemade cap with which all your friends will freak out when they come home from reeds for the soccer game on duty.

How I wanted them to be the best, I asked the expert grandmother Pilar how she prepares them. From so much doing, she has measured the maceration times and the proportions to add of vinegar and water.

Some tender, juicy anchovies with just the right point of acidity . Here you have them step by step, with all the tricks and tips so that you have 10 points. And it is that with these anchovies and with a very fresh beer  and some fried potatoes, I am the happiest man in the world. 

Preparation of the anchovies in vinegar

Anchovies cleaning

  1. The most important thing in this recipe is the quality of the raw material you use. Anchovies must be fresh. Stiff anchovies, that offer a little resistance when bending it.
  2. The skin must be very shiny and the eyes very transparent. I usually trust 100% of my fishmonger Isa, she is also very nice and she often asks me how I want them and what recipe I will prepare with them.
  3. The cleaning part is the most laborious job. If you do not have a fishmonger, you should clean them at home, it is best to do it in the sink under a stream of very cold water.
  4. One by one, breaking the head and dragging the guts and the spine with a thumbnail, all at the same time.
  5. When doing this the anchovy is left in half, the two loins together in the tail, remove separate them and remove the tail so that two loins are separated and clean.
  6. We wash the anchovies (whether they come from the fishmonger clean or if you have done the work at home). They have to be very clean, without traces of blood.
  7. We put absorbent paper on top and dry well by pressing on top with more paper. So we will have it ready for the marinade. We reserve.
  8. The cleaning process and subsequent freezing is essential for a good final result.

We marinate the anchovies

  1. We prepare the vinegar and the water, it has to be a little cold (let the tap run a bit). Measurements are a little by eye, 300 ml. vinegar and 100 ml. of water approximately.
  2. We add water to lower the acidic medium and thus avoid being “cooked” by excess acid. With what would be somewhat dry and hard at the end.
  3. We place the anchovies skin-side down on a large surface. We cover between layer and layer of anchovy with a little salt and bathe with the reduced vinegar mixture.
  4. It is important that the marinade perfectly covers all the fish. If missing add a little more vinegar and water.
  5. I usually do the process in a tupper so that I can close it well and the kitchen does not smell like vinegar all day. Although it is best to put them in the fridge and let them rest for about 3-4 hours.
  6. If the anchovies are very large, a couple of hours more. Do not spend time, the more hours, the harder the anchovies will be.
  7. Tell the fishmonger that the anchovies are more or less the same size, otherwise you will have problems with the marinade.
  8. After this time we will see that the meat of the anchovy must be white, perfect for the next step.

Final preparation of the anchovies in vinegar

  1. Drain very well and place the anchovies in another clean tupper. Chop the garlic cloves into small pieces and the parsley to taste. Parsley is more for garnish than flavor.
  2. We bathe the anchovies with a good extra virgin olive oil and season with the garlic and the chopped parsley. We let them rest for a minimum of 24 hours. And ready, we already have our perfect anchovies in vinegar to serve.

Here you have a step by step in photos where I show how to prepare this recipe for anchovies in vinegar . Do not miss any detail so that they come out perfect.

Tips for perfect pickled anchovies

  • Once we have the fresh anchovies we must freeze them, we must be cautious with the anisakis issue .
  • To eat these anchovies without risk it is necessary that it has spent a minimum of 4 days in the freezer. Low temperatures kill the anisakis and thus avoid future problems. Thaw and continue with the preparation of the recipe.
  • I recommend you with some crispy bread toasts or like at Grandma Pilar’s house, on quality potato chips and an almost frozen beer. Whoa! I’m already salivating.
  • The anchovies will last you a week without any problem, yes, always covered in liquid, stored in the fridge and whenever possible in a tightly closed tupper or plastic jar.
  • As long as it does not happen to you, as in 2 days there is not even the first one. But it is true that there are people who, since they get into trouble, do a lot of it.

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