Cured Anchovies in Salt Recipe, the gem of the Cantabrian Sea

Cured anchovies in salt or anchoas en salazón are a variant of anchovies marinated in vinegar. Prepared with the same type of fish, salted anchovies have a much more intense flavour and a smooth texture that makes them melt in the mouth. The traditional preparation process is long and somewhat tedious as they have to marinate for between 6 and 8 months. However, if they are frozen beforehand to kill the Anisakis, the preparation process can be reduced to just 12 hours. You will thus be able to enjoy a traditional and simple tapa that is very interesting to prepare.

As already mentioned, it is important to freeze the cured anchovies well, at least for 48 hours and at a minimum of -20º C. However, if you leave them for a whole week, it is much better. It is best to take precautions. Having said that, write down the ingredients:

Ingredients for Cured Anchovies in Salt

  • 1 kg of cured anchovies, gutted, without head and frozen in advance.
  • Coarse salt as required
  • Olive oil at will

Preparation of the Anchovies in Salt

  1. First of all, the cured anchovies must be defrosted well by placing them in the refrigerator the day before. Note that the anchovies must be gutted and headless before freezing to prevent them from acquiring a bitter taste. To clean the anchovies properly, pinch the head of the fish and gently pull towards the tail of the fish, removing the guts and the central bone directly. After that, they should be wiped in a little cold water and they can be frozen.
  2. Take a bowl with a lid and put a good layer of coarse salt on the bottom. Place a layer of cured anchovies on top of the salt with the skin down. The anchovies should be opened as if they were a book to make a more attractive presentation. To do this, just be careful when cleaning the anchovies, avoiding separating the two backs. If you separate them do not worry, the result will be the same.
  3. Continue to make layers of salt and cured anchovies, making sure to cover them well with salt between each layer. Finally, add a good amount of salt at the very top to prevent the anchovies from coming into contact with the air. Close the container with its lid and leave to rest for 12 hours in the fridge.
  4. Once the time has passed, take the anchovies out of the fridge and prepare a large salad bowl in the sink to wash the cured anchovies thoroughly. Now is the time to remove the spines from the outer sides of the backs with the scissors, just to remove all of them. You must remove almost all the salt to avoid them becoming too salty. Taste them if necessary when you wash them.
  5. Once the anchovies are at the correct salting point, let them rest in a strainer to remove excess water. Then dry them completely with kitchen paper.
  6. Finally, place the cured anchovies in a sealed bowl where they will be stored. Sprinkle them with a good quantity of oil while covering them. Leave them in the fridge for a few hours before serving.
  7. These cured anchovies in salt can be kept for about 2 weeks, always making sure that all the fish are covered with a good layer of oil.


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