Anchovies in vinegar, a very special recipe

This recipe for anchovies in vinegar, garlic and olive oil is one of the most widespread and popular tapas throughout Spain. As it is a recipe based on semi-cooked fish, the anchovies must be frozen at least 48 hours before at a temperature between -18 and -20°C (-18 and -20°F). This is made to avoid any possibility of coming into contact with Anisakis. The trick of this recipe is the marinade, so that they are not too strong.

Ingredients for the anchovies in vinegar:

  • 500 g of anchovies, gutted and previously frozen
  • 1 glass of white vinegar
  • 2 glasses of water
  • 1 spoonful of salt
  • Olive oil to taste
  • Cloves of garlic and parsley for garnish

How to make the anchovies in vinegar:

Anchovies in vinegar

Anchovies in vinegar. | Shutterstock

  1. First of all, defrost the anchovies well by placing them in the refrigerator the day before. Keep in mind that the anchovies must be gutted before freezing to prevent them from acquiring a bitter taste.
  2. Now it is time to prepare the marinade. Take half a glass of water and heat it in the microwave. Once hot, add the salt and dissolve it. This step is a good way to mix the salt without difficulty. Once it is well integrated, add the salt water to a bowl.
  3. Next, add the rest of the cold water and vinegar to the bowl. The mixture should be cold before adding them. Finally, add them and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  4. Leave to marinate overnight or for about 12 hours.
  5. The next day, remove the anchovies from the marinade and drain them in a colander. Take an anchovy and taste it to check the acidity and flavor of the vinegar. If it is too strong, you can leave the fish in cold water for 30 minutes to reduce the vinegar. Keep in mind that the olive oil will eventually balance all the flavors.
  6. Finely chop the peeled garlic. Do the same with the parsley and set aside.
  7. Now it is time to finish the recipe. Take an airtight bowl in which to store them. It is time to make a kind of ‘assembly’ by layers. Make a first layer by filling the bottom of the bowl with anchovies with the skin on the bottom, add some parsley and garlic on top and cover the layer with olive oil. Continue placing the anchovies with the same process. Once they are all well covered with olive oil, put them in a cool place for at least 2 hours.
  8. These anchovies can be kept for two or three weeks, always making sure that all the fish is covered with a good layer of oil.

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