beer-marinated & fried fresh anchoviesbeer-marinated & fried fresh anchoviesbeer-marinated & fried fresh anchoviesbeer-marinated & fried fresh anchoviesbeer-marinated & fried fresh anchoviesbeer-marinated & fried fresh anchoviesbeer-marinated & fried fresh anchoviesbeer-marinated & fried fresh anchovies

Fried fish evokes images and scents and thus memories of the summer season, alongside a bright sun, sandy beaches, crashing waves, warm breezes, clear and starry nights and easy-living and yet, anchovies are available all year long, so why not take advantage of this inexpensive delight all year long ?

Anchovies, especially the smaller ones, are around from January to December but in great abundance in September and October as well as January and thus inexpensive during those months at approximately 5€/kg.

One reason that many, including myself, hesitate to fry fish at home, is most probably because of the expected and often overly imagined lingering fish-frying smells, especially during the colder months when the windows are less often open, which is probably why that at any time you consider any fish frying activities, it will most probably occur in the summer months when all the doors and windows are still open. Surprisingly, frying anchovies is less smelly than sardines, another favorite, so fear not !

Cleaning them is another aspect to consider. When they’re small, around 10 cm or less, the heads can stay on and be consumed as well as the insides, but I prefer to clean them out partly by making a tiny slit on the belly, behind the gills and fins and squeezing and pulling out the blackish intestine and stomach, which only takes 5 minutes.

The beer and salt marinade add some flavor and clean the fish out even better before the flouring and frying and if your pan is the right size and the oil is at least 3 cm deep, you won’t even have to turn the fried anchovies over, so that’s one less step. Simply fry them in batches and place them on paper towels and keep them all in a warm oven as you continue frying them all until done.

Anchovies require very little additional flavors, so salt & pepper at the beginning and lemon and parsley at the end and the meal is ready !

Bring back the summer and have some tasty anchovies on your plates … :)

beer-marinated & fried fresh anchovies


500 grams


  • 500 grams (about 70 small and 10 cm long each) fresh anchovies
  • 180 ml (¾ cup) beer
  • 95 grams (¾ cup) all-purpose flour (or cake & pastry flour)
  • 15 grams (1 tsp + 2 tsp) fine sea salt
  • 2 grams (½ tsp) coarsely ground black peppercorns
  • 240 ml (1 cup) olive oil (or olive pomace oil)
  • 60 grams (1 whole) lemon, cut into 8 wedges
  • 5 grams (2 tbsp) fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped


  • rinse and clean the anchovies gently under running water
  • *note : you may keep the heads on as I do but I prefer to partly clean out the anchovies and to remove the dark stomach and intestines; to do this, simply make a very small slit on the underside of the belly (if there isn’t a slit already, right behind the gills and side fins) and squeeze out and pull out the intestine and stomach and then discard …
  • place the anchovies in the beer and 1 tsp of salt and let marinate for 10-15 minutes maximum, then strain in a colander for 15 minutes before coating
  • combine the flour, the coarsely ground black pepper and the 2 tsp of the salt in a large flat dish
  • coat each anchovy well with flour and place on a rack and continue until all are well coated 
  • *note : ½ cup of flour is enough but it is easier to use more flour to coat them easily …
  • heat up half of the oil in a large pan until hot and fry the anchovies in small batches (about 15 at a time) for 3-4 minutes until golden and crispy and place on a metal dish covered with paper towels and place in a warm oven (approximately 100°C) as you continue frying (add the rest of the oil when half way through) and use paper towels between each layer of fried fish and keep placing them in the oven to keep them warm as you continue frying until all are done
  • slice up the lemon wedges, toss the warm fried anchovies with the finely chopped parsley, sprinkle with some lemon juice and serve with warm sliced bread and more lemon wedges and nice cold beers.