What are Anchovies? Anchovies are small, common salt fish that is found in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. Anchovy has shiny silver scale, its length ranges from 2 cm to 40 cm and it has a slender body. Anchovies are widely used in cooking; they can be fried, smoked, salted and used as a sauce for pasta recipes.
Canned anchovies are commonly sold in supermarket, like sardines it is also packed with the bones and head still on. Anchovy oil and Anchovy paste are also available and used as substitute for whole anchovies.
The recipe using anchovy oil will have a stronger and saltier flavor than if the whole anchovies were used. When the recipe requires that the whole anchovy and anchovy oil should be use, it is best to only add extra salt after tasting it.
Health Benefits of Anchovies:
- Anchovies like sardines are high in heart friendly polyunsaturated fatty acids because it can help lower cholesterol level and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Anchovies are rich in healthy protein that is valuable for children and seniors.
- Anchovies are also a good source of essential vitamins (vitamin E and D) and minerals (calcium and selenium).
- Small fish like anchovies and sardines are better than bigger fishes because they contain less heavy metal such as mercury, lead, cadmium and arsenic and environmental toxins. This is because smaller fish have a shorter life cycle so there is less possibility of them accumulating impurities.
How to Prepare Anchovies:
- When using whole canned anchovies, rinse it first gently in cold water. Remove the meat from the bones. The skin is edible and rarely worth the trouble to remove.
- If you want to remove some of the salt from the anchovies, soak it in cold water for 30 minutes. Then drain in colander and allow to dry before using.
Cooking Tips: Sardines can be use as substitute for most anchovy recipe, but make sure they are in the same size and form, example canned form or fresh. Cooking fresh anchovies is like cooking other small fishes.
“This post was originally published on January 15, 2012 @ 20:14”