Anchovy fritters are a lot like fish fingers, except you eat the whole fish. In fact, there are dozens of little fishes in each fritter, adding extra crunch, texture and flavour. These make a great lunch or even dinner!
I don’t know about you, but I really love fritters. When you turn a commonplace food into a fritter and fry it or bake it, it is transformed into an explosion of delicious flavours. It’s a kind of magic or alchemy really; some of the most mundane and uninteresting ingredients can turn into pure food magic. The fun thing about fritters is that they can be sweet or savoury or a combination of both! When I lived in Malaysia I would often buy banana fritters from the night market. The vendors would serve them with a little salt and chilli sauce. It was an amazing combination of flavours! One day I’ll try to replicate them.
This recipe requires small fish, preferably anchovies. Here’s a little info about the situation of anchovies worldwide. They’re also very nutritious. I found frozen, cleaned anchovies at the supermarket and knew I had to make these. You can use other small fish too if you can’t get your hands on frozen or fresh anchovies. If you get frozen anchovies, make sure to thaw them overnight in the fridge. Before using the anchovies, rinse them for a few minutes in cold water and drain them in a colander. I have not tried this with salted, canned anchovies or dried salted anchovies, so try them at your own risk (and let me know if they taste good as fritters, I’m open to new ideas!).
- One cup thawed or fresh cleaned, headless anchovies
- Two medium eggs
- Half a cup of all-purpose flour
- One teaspoon baking soda
- Two tablespoons water
- One teaspoon of garlic powder
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- One spring onion stalk, finely chopped
- Canola oil, enough to cover at least one centimetre of your frying pan’s bottom
- Sweet chilli sauce to serve, or any other sauce of your preference (you can even use ketchup, or combine ketchup with chilli sauce to create your own sweet chilli sauce).
- Fresh lemon wedges (optional)
- In a large bowl, break the eggs and whisk them until they get a little frothy.
- Add the flour, baking soda, water, spices and salt, whisk for a minute. It should resemble a thick waffle batter
- Fold in the chopped spring onion
- Fold in the anchovies
- Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan until very hot
- With a quarter-cup measuring cup, drop the mixture into the hot oil in batches. Reduce the heat to medium to avoid burning them. Make sure to keep a distance of about one inch between the individual fritters. Generally, you don’t want your fritters to be too large or they’ll take too long to cook through; a quarter cup is a good measure.
- Once the fritters set on one side, carefully flip them over onto the other side. Continue to cook on medium heat for another two minutes, turning the fritters every minute or so.
- Remove from the oil onto a plate lined with a paper towel to drain the excess oil.
- Serve hot with sweet chilli sauce and a squeeze of lemon juice! Or with whatever sauce you like! Enjoy!
Have you ever made anchovy fritters? How do you like to make them? What sauces do you like to serve them with? Let me know in the comments!
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