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Home Glossary Animal Products Fish - Anchovies

Fish - Anchovies

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[Encrasicholina devisi]
This Indo-Pacific fish can grow to 3 inches but the photo specimen, shown with a toothpick for scale, was 2-1/2 inches and wighed .075 ounce (that's over 200 to the pound). They are found in the Persian Gulf, the Indian Ocean and the West-Central Pacific as far southeast as Fiji and as far north Taiwan.

Clearly you are not going to be filleting this fish except under a microsocope. This is a fish to fry crisp and eat "head guts and feathers". Not an exact fit to the the delicate sensibilities of the baby spinach set.

   1. Heat oil for deep fry - it doesn't have to be really deep for these fish.
   2. Rinse the fish and drain thoroughly in a strainer.
   3. Mix salt to taste and rice flour (yes, rice flour, thesea are Indo-Pacific fish) in a plastic bag. Dump the fish in and shake the bag until they are evenly coated.
   4. Pour the fish out into a strainer and shake the strainer over a plate until as much flour as is going to fall off falls off.
   5. Fry fish in hot oil until crispy and lightly colored.
   6. Serve with a light dipping sauce and/or lemon wedges.

California Anchovy - [Engraulis mordax]
anchovy This anchovy is found from the Canadian border to the tip of Baja California and can grow to 9-3/4 inches and weigh 2.4 ounces, but the photo specimen was 5-3/4 inches and weighed 0.7 ounce. The Argentine Anchovy Engraulis anchoita from the Southwest Atlantic looks almost exactly the same but only grows to 6.7 inches and 0.9 ounce. The California anchovy is used mostly for fishmeal and tuna bait but is also sold fresh and just occasionally canned. The Argentine is generally sold fresh or canned.. Prep & Cooking Details

European Anchovy - [Engraulis encrasicolus]
Anchovy European anchovies are found on the west coast of South Africa all the way up to Norway and in the western Mediterranean. Live they look a lot like the California anchovy but are a little more elongated and a bit smaller, growing to just under 9 inches. In Europe they are sold fresh, frozen, dried and salted, but are familiar to Americans in cans from Morocco. Unfortunately Morocco makes the worst anchovies in the world. Prep & Cooking Details

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