Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon


Buy Now
Save to Recipe Box
Add Private Note
Buy Now
Saved Add to List

    Add to List

Add Recipe Note
Buy Now

What is it?

Anchovies are tiny fish from the waters of southern Europe. Though they can be eaten fresh, they’re generally filleted, cured and packed in oil or salt. Along with olive oil and garlic, they are one of the essential elements of Mediterranean cuisine. Straight from the jar or can, they are briny and assertive, but when they’re cooked and combined with other ingredients, anchovies fortify the taste of other foods without dominating them and will even “melt” away when heated. Used this way, they play a role more akin to aromatic vegetables in a soup. Even people who don’t think they like anchovies are surprised to discover how much better many of their favorite recipes are when a little anchovy is added to the mix.

Kitchen math:

5 anchovy fillets = about 1 oz.

Don’t have it?

Anchovy paste can make an acceptable substitute for anchovies (use ½ tsp. for every anchovy called for). A few drops of Asian fish sauce (which is made from fermented anchovies) added to a dressing (like Caesar) can add a similar flavor.

How to choose:

Salt-packed anchovies have the truest flavor of all oil-cured anchovies. Jars of oil-packed anchovies are also good and have a more mellow flavor. Canned oil-packed anchovies are generally inferior.

When shopping for them, choose a brand that’s packed in olive oil (not vegetable oil), and preferably in jars, which allow you to see the size of the fillets and can be easily resealed.

How to prep:

Soak anchovies in cold water for 20 minutes (change the water twice) before using to temper their saltiness.

How to store:

Tinned anchovies have to be transferred to another container after opening; cover them with additional olive oil if necessary. Although anchovies keep indefinitely in the refrigerator, we recommend using them within two weeks of opening, since after that their flavor becomes very pungent.

Click here to purchase


  • Recipe

    Mashed Cauliflower with Garlic and Anchovy

    This rich mash works well as a side, but my favorite way to serve it is heaped on crostini for a robust nibble.

  • Recipe

    Charred Leeks with Caper-Herb Sauce

    Sweet grilled leeks topped with a tangy herb sauce are ideal as a first course or as a side to grilled steak. Because you cook the leeks intact, try to…

  • Recipe

    Grandma's Crispy Roast Potatoes

    “My Nan always made the crispiest potatoes,” recalls Thomas. “She’d add a little bacon or beef drippings, which made it savory, too.” In his version, the potatoes get coated in…

  • Recipe

    Salade Niçoise

    There’s really no room for inferior ingredients to hide in this salad, so use the best produce and canned tuna you can find; I especially like ventresca-style tuna, which tastes…

  • Recipe

    Grilled Shrimp Salad with Anchovy-Yogurt Dressing

    Combined with lemon, garlic, parsley, and anchovies, Chobani Greek Yogurt adds a welcome acidity and a healthy twist to classic Caesar dressing, and complements the deep flavors of grilled shrimp…

  • Recipe

    Grilled Shell-On Shrimp with Salsa Verde Dipping Sauce

    Italian salsa verde is a fresh herb sauce that lends a bright, clean note to this dish. The addition of anchovy provides an umami undertone that highlights the grilled flavor…

  • Recipe

    Caesar Salad with Egg in a Frame

    This is a great twist on a pretty straightforward dish. Instead of adding croutons to the salad, we top the whole thing with a runny fried egg in a crisp…


Leave a Comment


  • User avater
    EmiliaHCole | 10/23/2018

    Very yummy

  • tpmike | 03/30/2016

    very nice

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.


View All


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.