Posted in Home Cooking, The Flavors of Asia, The Grocery Shop-a-holic, Uncategorized

In Which Anchovies Look a Little Different…

A platter of deep-fried dried anchovies

Unless they’re from the coastal provinces of France, Italy, and Spain, most people in the West are aware of anchovies as these headless, boneless, heavily salted little strips of fishiness canned in olive oil and used sparingly as either a pizza topping or as the primary flavoring agent for the dressing on a Caesar salad.

Here in Asia, however, anchovies are enjoyed in so many different ways.  While most commonly enjoyed dried and mixed with arare (rice crackers) and nori as the Japanese version of Chex Mix, anchovies are also eaten fresh – usually filleted and batter-fried like whitebait.  One recent supermarket discovery, as shown above, was a packet of dried, filleted anchovies.

A closer look...

Just like their unfilleted counterparts, these anchovies are sun-dried with a bit of salt and are best prepared deep-fried till crunchy.  These are gloriously flavorful without much fishiness and have an appealing smoky aftertaste.  Served with diced tomatoes dressed with a bit of patis (fish sauce; nuoc mam) with garlic fried rice, these make for an ambrosial breakfast.

One other way to use them: deep-fry till crunchy, as usual, then crumble over homemade (or store-bought) okonomiyaki or takoyaki to add additional flavor.  😉



Midge started her career in PR writing at seventeen when she began drafting documentaries for a government-run television station in the Philippines. Since then, she made a career in advertising and public relations which ended in June 2016 These days, she works full time at Philippine Tatler as a features writer under the nom de guerre Marga Manlapig. Aside from what she does for a living and her poetry, she has turned her home kitchen into a personal culinary lab and is currently working on another novel. Follow her on Instagram at @midgekmanlapig.

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