The day comes and you start to look for things that you didn’t like before. While living in Turkey I didn’t like small anchovies. The anchovies here are so big that now I’m chasing for small anchovies now. Be careful what you wish, it may come true, they say. I probably did not wish for large anchovies or when I complained about the small size of anchovies, I wasn’t talking about such big ones. I guess there is a little misunderstanding between me and universe.
Like the size of the anchovies, their taste is also different here in Spain. By the way the anchovies in Turkey grow in Black Sea, in colder waters and her in Mediterranean Sea, in warm waters. This is the reason of the difference in taste. So we have two options. Buying big anchovies we can find anywhere and eat it like a different fish than anchovy, or go around a few places and find small sized anchovies and deceive ourselves as if we are eating anchovies. We chose the second option when we saw the relatively small size anchovies while walking in a local mercado recently. I prepared Turkish pan fried anchovies, hamsi tava in Turkish, with them. It depends on the recipe but in Turkey if we fry fish we generally cover them with corn meal. You can also use all purpose flour instead of corn meal, it works well as well.
Another issue I would like to mention is the frying-oil relationship. Except for some recipes such as fried potatoes or cauliflower fries, I use a thin layer of oil in recipes such as Turkish meatballs or hash browns, which are cooked first on one side and then on the other. The more oil you use in these types of recipes, the more oil the food absorbs, and in fact, they don’t need that much oil to cook. Covering the outside with oil is enough for them to fry and to become crispy in recipes with a flour and similar coating such as pan fried anchovies. Covering the outside with oil is necessary to prevent the outside from appearing floury and from eating flour in powder form while eating. This is one of the reasons why some recipes are not suitable for baking. In my opinion, it is a better choice to make tastier and more appetizing dishes with less oil in the pan instead of making tasteless food trying to make them healthier by baking.
- 1 kg of anchovies,
- 1 cup of corn meal,
- 1/4 cup of oil.
- Tear off the heads of the anchovies and clean them inside,
- Wash thoroughly and strain,
- Sprinkle salt on them and mix,
- Take half the oil in a 30 cm pan and spread it,
- Cover half of the fish with corn meal and arrange them all around the pan with their tails facing the middle,
- Take the pan on the stove and cook over medium-high heat until golden brown,
- After browning, with the help of a plate turn the fishes upside down, add extra oil if necessary,
- Cook until golden, remove from the pan,
- Cover the remaining fish with corn meal, pour the remaining oil in the pan, place the fish in the pan and cook in the same way,
- Serve immediately.