appetizer, Brunch, Fish, Recipes, Sauces

Fried White Anchovies with Parsley-Lime Dressing

Most of us know anchovies mainly as a salted fish condiment, sold in small cans or jars, used often to flavor dressings and salads. The small fresh fish is mostly popular in the Mediterranean, where it is usually fried whole, or after a short marination in a vinegary marinade, with spices and herbs. A version of this, marinated longer and vacuum packed, is sold commercially, and is known as “white anchovies”.White anchovies are available in specialty stores or online, and make a wonderful addition to salads, or as a topping for bruschetta or crostini. In the recipe here, I decided to fry them in batter, and serve them with a parsley-lime dressing. The result is a tasty, fresh dish, that is perfect as an appetizer for the summer. Try it and enjoy.

* Make sure not to skip the step of soaking the anchovies in water, as otherwise the result will be too acidic, especially when served with this dressing.
* As with any food that contains raw eggs, it’s best avoid giving it to anyone who may have weak immune system.

Makes: 2-4
Prep time: 15 minutes
soaking time: 5 minutes
Frying time: 5 minutes

For the anchovies:
1 package 7.5oz (200 grams) marinated white anchovies
1 L egg
2 Tbs water
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup flour
Oil for frying
For the dressing:
1 cup parsley leaves, washed and dried, roughly chopped
1 L egg (see notes)
Zest of 1 lime
2 Tbs lime juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt

1. The dressing: place the parsley, egg, lime zest and juice, mustard and salt in the tall container provided with the hand blender, or in a small food processor bowl, fitted with the metal blade.  Blend on high speed for 2-3 minutes, until the dressing thickens. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. The dressing will keep, in an airtight container in the fridge, for 2 days.

2. Drain the anchovies from the marinade and place them in a small bowl. Cover with cold water and set aside for 5 minutes. Drain again and place on paper towels to dry.
3. The batter: whisk the egg with the water, salt and pepper. Add the flour and whisk to a smooth batter. Place the fish pieces in it and roll in the batter to cover from all sides.

3. Preheat oil for shallow frying in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the fish pieces and fry until golden-brown on both sides. Serve immediately.

44 thoughts on “Fried White Anchovies with Parsley-Lime Dressing”

  1. I’ve never seen white anchovies before, but then again I’ve never looked! If I see them I’ll try this. As far as the health concern about the raw egg in the dressing, if you make it a day ahead of time won’t the acid in the lime juice “cook” the egg and make it for anyone?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Blaine, I’m glad you liked the recipe. If you can’t find white anchovies, any other small fish can be used instead in the same way.
      As for the egg, I never had a problem with homemade mayonnaise, but acidity alone is not enough in case salmonella is present. Most healthy adults can overcome it, but with people with weaker immune system, it’s better to be safe than sorry… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have never seen fresh anchovies, nor marinated in a can, the way you describe them, Ronit, but we had similar small fish in Odessa that we used to fry in batter – delicious! I love your dressing; this is something to try.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I saw anchovies, and I hurried to read the post 🙂 Can you tell I absolutely love anchovies? I remember craving them when I was pregnant. That dip will definitely take it to another level. Yum!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Loretta, I’m glad you liked the dish. Anchovies are such a delicacy, in any form! The dressing was so perfect for them. I hesitated with adding some salted anchovies to it, but I will give it a try next time! 🙂


  4. Oooooh I love white anchovies but I’ve never thought of battering and frying! My mouth is watering and I can’t wait to make this. My family is going to love it!

    Liked by 1 person

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