Saturday, May 16, 2009

Crispy Fried Anchovies (Hamsi Tava)

I think most coastal cultures have one form of fish fry or variations of it. The Spanish Fritura Andaluza is fried anchovies and hake or shrimps, Fritto Misto di Mare is an Italian version of fried mixed seafood while Fish N' Chips very popular in the UK and Japanese Seafood Tempura are a just few examples.

It's been a while since we had Hamsi Tava (fried anchovies). Traditionally it is made from freshly caught anchovies but that is impossible to get where we live so when I spotted some flash frozen smelt at the International Market last week, I was inspired to make this real simple Turkish dish. If you're lucky to have access to freshly caught fish, do use it!

The recipe has only four ingredients - it can't be more simple than that. Here's what
I'm submitting to Regional Recipes Turkey.

1 lb fresh anchovies (or thawed flash frozen smelt)

kosher salt

cornflour (cornstarch)

canola oil

Wash the fish then gut and cut off the heads. Briefly rinse and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle kosher salt over it and mix with cornstarch. Fry in hot oil till golden brown (about 2-3 minutes). Serve with a wedge of lemon and a salad.


Dee said...

Yum! I love fried anchovies. So simple yet so delicious. Thanks for the submission.

Elyse said...

This recipe totally intrigues me. I've never had fried anchovies but I can only imagine that they're wonderfully salty, crunchy, and delicious! I'm definitely adding this recipe to my "to make" list. Sorry that I've been a bad commenter for the past couple of weeks; I just finished law school exams and am just now getting to my google reader!

Momgateway said...

Hi Elyse,

Wow! Law school....that's awesome! How many more years do you need to become a lawyer?

Mary Bergfeld said...

I'll keep my eyes open for anchovies or smelt. I really would like to try this. A recipe with very few ingredients is either very good or very bad. Judging by the rest of what I've seen Here, I'm guessing the anchovies will be wonderful. I'll be back often to see your other treats.

Anonymous said...

I make fried whitebait in an almost identical way, but I'd love to try it with anchovies. Thanks for the inspiration :)