Boquerones en Vinagre – Spanish recipe for fresh anchovies

One of the most delicious dishes you can eat in Malaga are the ‘boquerones en vinagre’ (Anchovies in Vinegar), a delicious recipe with around 3000 years. Do you want to learn how to prepare this tasty seafood recipe?

Anchovies Marinated in Vinegar Recipe

Production of salted and pressed anchovies is already used during the presence of the Tartars and Phoenicians on the Mediterranean coast. The fish was preserved this way, so every time you eat Spanish anchovies or ‘boquerones en vinagre’ you’re making a delicious tribute to the origins of Malaga.

About Anchovies and boquerones

Anchovies season is between July and September, those are the breeding months of this fish.

In northern Spain this fish is known as anchovies while in the south it is called boqueron, term used when the fish is fresh. The difference in name is rather given by the way of production, while the anchovy is a salted fish the boqueron  is fresh and has different ways of cooking.

During the Roman empire Garum was a sauce that enjoyed great popularity throughout the roman provinces, prepared with herbs, entrails and pieces of fish .They were left under the sun in a clay pot for a few days. In the preparation of Garum the anchovy was one of the most used fish.

The best anchovies in the whole peninsula are known as ‘Boqueron Victoriano’ and belong to the Bay of Rincon de la Victoria in Malaga.

Benefits of eating fish

The anchovy is an oily fish containing Omega 3, healthy for people with circulation problems because it reduces blood cholesterol.

The proteins of any kind of fish are healthy for athletes, elders and children so it is always good to include in the diet.

Anchovies Marinated in Vinegar Recipe step by step

  • Buy the typical ‘boqueron victoriano’ or a similar one
    The first step is to buy fresh anchovies and Malaga is known to have the highest quality anchovies in the peninsula. We recommend asking for ‘boqueron victoriano’, those anchovies are fished in the bay of Rincon de la Victoria..
  • Clean the anchovies
    You can clean the fish yourself or you can ask them to be cleaned for you, so you only have to get rid of the head and spine. Once cleaned they should be washed with cold water, then place them with ice in the refrigerator for 2 hours to bleed out the fish.
  • Marinate the anchovies in vinegar
    The next step is to marinate with wine vinegar that can be pure or dissolved in 2/3 with water. The time to remain in the maceration depends on whether you choose the first or second method, from 45 minutes to 3 hours, until the fishes backs look white enough.

How to make it safe for eating raw fish

Eating raw fish involves risk of contracting a parasite called anisakis, to avoid it we must gather all the anchovies in a Tupperware, cover them with olive oil and then put it in the freezer where they will stay for no less than 48 hours as a recommended timing, the low temperature will kill any possible parasite.

Once the safety timing has elapsed  you can start preparing the dish. Cut garlic and some parsley, olive oil and vinegar for making a vinaigrette and use it over the boquerones, you can also cut again some more parsley to add a green eye-catching efect on the dish.

Anchovies Marinated in Vinegar once made can hold up to 1 week in the refrigerator stored in a closed container and covered in oil.

Visual recipe in video

As a final note, Fresh Anchovies in Vinegar are very well accompanied with a beer, enjoy them!

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Raúl G.T

Developer and content editor at
Travel blogger, web developer and content editor. Author of many of the travel guides and tips available online about Andalucia, Malaga and Spain.
Raúl G.T
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Travel blogger, web developer and content editor. Author of many of the travel guides and tips available online about Andalucia, Malaga and Spain.

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