Boquerones : Marinated Anchovies

This is a tapa.  I was travelling up to Madrid a few weeks ago and while waiting at the bus station had a nice glass of red wine.  They set out a small plate of homemade garlic and oil marinated anchovies.


No additional charge for the tapa.

These are raw, although slightly pickled, anchovies. 

You clean and split the little fishies (fillets – remove the head and tail), debone (don’t worry about any tiny residual bonettes), let them sit in vinegar overnight, then rinse a bit (or don’t rinse, just shake – they’ll be tangier), cover in good olive oil, throw in some sliced garlic.  Maybe sprinkle some fresh chopped parsley.
You’re done.

The cautious will put the fillets in a glass dish or between parchment and freeze them for a few hours before doing the vinegar (to –20c, -4f) .  There a big panic about raw-fish-borne parasites going around and freezing apparently solves the problem.  It must be a recent problem because they’ve been doing boquerones here for the last 1900 years of so without massive parasite issues.

That amounts to a recipe.   Try it at home.   Start with a kilo of little anchovies.  You can maybe do the splitting, cleaning and deboning with your fingers and nail; don’t always need a knife.  It will be messy but fun.

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