Marinated Fresh Anchovies (Alici Marinate)

When fresh anchovies are marinated this way, I can eat my way throughout the bowl in no time.  If you are into raw fish cooked with the acidity of vinegar or lemon..... then get your own bowl because we might fight over this.  

When my mom came to visit us, my mother-in-law asked her what food she would like to be prepared, she said alici marinate without skipping a beat. The day after, my mother-in-law delivered a bowl that was reasonably big. My mom & I finished the whole bowl together in an embarrassing speed. 

I asked shyly for another batch and again, the following day, we were given a much bigger container. We wiped the container clean immediately until our lips became swollen from too much acidity.  I was too embarrassed to ask for a third batch on the third day. I mean, no one can possibly eat all those anchovies that fast.... except me & mom!  So I asked how to prepare it instead.  That way, no one would know how much anchovies we were eating in the afternoons. 

It's very easy to prepare. The fresh anchovies are even available already cleaned & opened in all fish shops so there was no need to do the big work.  You just have to mix & wait. What I like about this recipe is that you don't taste the unpleasant fishy taste.  I found out that she throws away the vinegar that cooked the fish. That is fundamental because you want to taste the freshness of the fish with the acidity of the vinegar & lemon, without the fish residue dominating your taste buds.

Marinated Fresh Anchovies (Alici Marinate)

Serves 4
  • 400 grams fresh anchovies, cleaned, scaled & opened
  • 1 lemon
  • white wine vinegar
  • salt  
  • pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • parsley, chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
  1. Layer the anchovies in a bowl with a flat bottom.  Marinate them in vinegar, salt & pepper mixture, making sure that the fish are completely submerged in the marinade. Leave them for a couple of hours or until the fish changes from transparent to whitish.
  2. Drain the fish.  Discard the marinade.
  3. In a new flat-bottomed bowl or a large serving plate, layer the fish.  Squeeze some lemon juice on every layer, sprinkle with salt, pepper, parsley & garlic (optional).
  4. Pour extra virgin olive oil on the fish, making sure that they are completely covered.  Refrigerate before serving
  5.  This dish is good only until the following day so don't keep it too long.