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Fried Anchovies with Garlic

Cantabria is the home of anchovies - and they sure know how to cook them!
Anchovies (boquerones) divide opinion. Some like them. Many loathe them. I come from the converted camp. The more often I eat them, the more my tastebuds get to like them. Cantabria is rightly proud of anchovies. They can be used in so many different ways. They are very versatile and can be served as tapas, or in a main meal.


  • 20 fresh anchovies
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 25 grams of fresh parsley
  • Olive oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 150 grams of breadcrumbs
  • olive oil for frying
  • lemon quarters for serving


Scale and clean the anchovies, removing the head and central spine. Open them up. In a processor, blend the garlic, parsley and a little salt with sufficient oil to make a soft paste. Smear some of this paste on the inside of each anchovy fillet, stack them up, cover and leave in the fridge fo at least one hour. Dip each anchovy into the beaten egg, then into the breadcrumbs. Heat the oil to 180 celsius or gas mark 4. Fry the anchovies a few at a time, skin side up, turning them over as soon as they turn golden brown underneath. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon, blot with kitchen paper and serve straight away, with lemon quarters.

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