Anchovies & Sardines: Small Fish With A Lot Of Flavors

Anchovies, sardines or anchovies are on the rise again. The small fish are rich in protein and are becoming a trendy food. Whether as a snack in between, as a tapa, as a spicy ingredient on the pizza or filled from the grill. Anchovies and sardines have similar names and look confusingly alike with their small, narrow shape and silvery skin. No wonder they are related and belong to the herring fish family. But although anchovies and their larger relatives look and taste similar, they are used differently in recipes.

Anchovies, Sardines & Anchovies: The Differences

Anchovies are the smaller and slimmer of the two types of fish. They have a darker, juicy and soft flesh. Anchovies are mainly available as pickled anchovy filets, which taste salty and intense. For a pizza, for example, six small anchovy filets are enough to turn the pizza into a spicy miracle of aroma. Sardines, on the other hand, are slightly larger and thicker than anchovies. Because of their size, they are often eaten as whole fish – for example. They are perfect for grilling. But they also taste wonderful for dinner when pickled.

Anchovies are a special case. Anyone who speaks of anchovies in this country means pickled anchovies that mature in brine for months. Due to a long time in the salt, the anchovy becomes tender and tastes very intense – for many. It is a special treat. Those who like it milder prefer the “false anchovies”, sprats pickled in herbs reminiscent of mates. But be careful: the two variants are not interchangeable in recipes. Therefore, you should always ensure you use the anchovies you meant. In German recipes, the pickled anchovies are usually meant.

Recipes With Anchovies & Co – Spicy Bites, Pizza & More

Anchovies In The Kitchen: Pickled And Simply Delicious

Anchovies are usually preserved with salt, marinated in olive oil and sold as anchovy filets. Because they taste particularly spicy, anchovies are often used in dishes because of their aroma. The dainty anchovies, for example, have their grand entrance in sauces, or they give the veal in Vitello tonnato the final kick. Incidentally, anchovy paste is also good in tuna dip or pesto – although you can always crush the pickled anchovies to get a chunky paste. 

With garlic, olives and tomato sauce, anchovies taste great in the famous “salsa puttanesca”, a delicious sauce for pasta dishes. But anchovies are also good in the sauce for fish dishes with goatfish or sole. But the small anchovies also taste lovely whole. An absolute classic among Spanish tapas? Fresh anchovies are placed in a mixture of vinegar, a little water, garlic, onions and olive oil and left to stand for 24 hours. For example, the anchovies can be rolled up and filled with olives and served as a particularly pretty tapa. But anchovies are also floured and dipped in beaten egg or spread with a batter, then fried or pan-fried. In addition, anchovy filets often enrich the Caesars Salad.

Sardines In The Kitchen: Stuffed, Grilled, Fried

On the other hand, Sardines are better suited for enjoyment as a whole because they are slightly larger than anchovies and can be filled wonderfully. A delicious combination is, for example, a filling of capers, olives, tomatoes, parsley and garlic. A delicious mass can also be prepared from finely sliced ​​Serrano ham with white bread, herbs, garlic and olives. Variants with bread, pecorino, parmesan, garlic, and herbs are viral.

Stuffed sardines can be served decoratively in many different ways: fold each sardine into its original shape or roll it up from the tail. They can then be cooked directly in a fireproof dish in the oven. Or you fry the sardines and coat them with breadcrumbs and eggs. Gutted sardines are also excellent on the garden grill – individually or lined up on a skewer. They are protected from drying out by the skin and the underlying fat. Grilled sardines taste particularly good when they have been marinated with oil, fresh herbs, garlic and diced hot peppers for about an hour. They are always salted just before grilling.

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