Stuffed anchovies: #2 fried

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Whilst baked stuffed anchovies are a traditional Genoese recipe, anchovies stuffed with chards, breaded and fried for me are a family recipe. My grandmother prepared them in the summer, my mom still prepares them when she feels like doing something that reminds her of summer.

The most boring part is to clean the anchovies but at home they are always cleaned socially. The is who bent over the sink, with the water running, cleans a fish after the other trying every time to refine the technique to be faster. And who is sitting at the table, having breakfast, leafing through a newspaper, shelling peas or peeling potatoes, in any case making that light conversation that season the mornings spent in the kitchen.

The funniest part, on the other hand, is breading. A delicate job but always reserved for children, if there are around the house. It must be the high risk of dirt and mess that the passages in the eggs and breadcrumbs create that instinctively lead to think that it is a very fun and harmless game to offer to the little ones. Or to enjoy in peace.

fried stuffed anchovies

Stuffed anchovies should not be fried too long because anchovies cook very quickly, the risk being that of making them dry. About a minute per side, the time the coatings get colored. Then they must be sprinkled with salt, I love to season Maldon salt, and served both hot and at room temperature, when all tastes have had time to get to know each other and mix well.

In the same way also sardines can be cooked. They will be slightly fatter … but remember that sardines are much easier to clean!


Anchovies, a small fish, extremely easy to prepare. If you love this fish and its convenience in the kitchen, you can also try to cook Bagnun d’acciughe, and anchovies soup with fresh tomato and herbs, and Anchovies Cacciatore, where the fish is quickly stewed with rosemary and garlic.


Ciao! I’m Enrica

a home cook, food researcher and experience curator born and bred in Liguria.
I study, tell, cook, share and teach Ligurian cuisine and the culture surrounding it.
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