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.



  • Fresh Anchovies from Malaga.
  • Good quality virgin olive oil.
  • Wine or apple vinegar.
  • Tea spoon with sea salt.
  • Garlic.
  • Parsley.

Proceed to the next step or read some curiosities below:

About Anchovies or 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

This recipe is based on my experience. Im not good at all in the kitchen but the result was better than eating outside, so worth a try:

  • 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’ or “boqueron de Malaga”, those anchovies are fished in the bay of Rincon de la Victoria..
  • Cleaning and freezing
    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, guts and spine. Once cleaned they should be washed with cold water; optionally you can place them with ice in the refrigerator for 2 hours to bleed out the fish and make it look more white, but I didn’t. After drying them (you can use kitchen roll) remember to freeze it for at least 5 days*.
  • Marinate the anchovies in vinegar
    After unfreezing the anchovies the next step is to marinate with wine vinegar in a closed container inside the fridge; this vinegar should be dissolved in 1/3 with water and with a teaspoon of sea salt. The time for the anchovies to remain in the maceration depends; although it is usually around 2 or 3 hours, more or less. The ideal is to keep an eye on it and remove the vinegar when they are white.
  • Final step
    Remove the vinegar and add chopped garlic and parsley. Cover with virgin olive oil and keep it in the fridge for 24 hours.

The anchovies in vinegar once made can last up to 1 week stored in the fridge in a closed container and covered with oil.

*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 and then put it in the freezer where they will stay for 5 days, the low temperature will kill any possible parasite.

Visual recipe in video

In the video he freezes the anchovies after he has prepared them, I prefer to do it before. Also when adding oil, I prefer to put garlic and oil between layers, instead of on top.

Transfers from the airport

Even if the video says to freeze them for 24 hours, I recommend 5 days if you are not sure if the temperature will be at least -20ºC.

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

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Published by

Raúl G.T

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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