Small Wonders of Summer, Part 2: Anchovies

Berebere Dusted Pan Fried Anchovies

Berebere Dusted Pan Fried Anchovies

“I’ll be on Capitol Hill later, I’ll drop them off” My anchovy guy said to me. Who was my anchovy guy? Well, his name is John, and he goes by “CoastalRovers” on twitter. That was about the sum of my knowledge when I gave him the address. Sure enough, he showed up shortly there after with a trunk full of fresh fishies (and god knows what all else). “Big or small?” He asked me. With no knowledge of fresh anchovies, pulled that day from the ocean, I guessed big. I handed over my $6 and watched him fill up my giant tupperware. Then he threw in many extra small ones, for good measure. It was a great measure, actually, since the small ones I didn’t even bother cleaning before pan frying.

For the next three days, it was anchovies for breakfast and lunch (dinners had already been planned). While the work of cleaning the larger ones was arduous–and messy, it was completely worth it. I had doubted myself when I first decided to buy there, and looking at the pile of little fish in my fridge wasn’t exactly inspiring me to get on with it, but I think I might have developed a bit of an addiction. I can’t wait for him to come back with another shipment!

Berebere Dusted Fresh Anchovies, Pan-Fried

Anchovies
Whole Wheat Flour (or regular, if it is all you have)
Berebere
Salt
Oil

There are no amounts for this recipe, because it is truly simple. Start heating the oil. You want it to come up about half a centimeter in the pan. Mix a little salt, flour and just enough berebere (Any spice mix would work as well, Garam Masala, Creole, you name it) to be able to see the specks of color in the flour. Wash and dry the anchovies (clean the larger ones by slitting down the middle and pulling out guts). Dredge the fish through the flour mixture. If you cleaned the fish, make sure it gets inside, too. When your oil is hot (at least 325 degrees), drop in 2-3 fish at a time. Leave them be for about a minute per side for smaller ones, up to two for larger ones, then flip over and repeat. When you pull them from the oil, drain on a rack, and if you’d like up the flavor by sprinkling with more salt and berebere.

Comments

  1. I thought John was a salmon guy! He’ll be whatever is running and sustainable, I suppose. Nice guy.

  2. Oooh, man. My uncle’s wife always tells the story of how when she first met my grandmother, she was preparing anchovies on the kitchen table. I can’t help but look of these and think of how much she’d had love them. :)