Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Dec 18, 2007 04:11 PM

"Cleaning" salt-packed anchovies?

Hi guys, I foolishly bought some delicious-looking salt-packed anchovies without realizing I have no idea what to do with them. How do I "clean" them to serve them? Do I need to wash them? Debone (that seems impossible)? Please help. Thanks!!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Suzanne Goin says that you should soak the anchovies in a few changes of water and to carefully remove the bones and fins. So I guess you do have to debone them. I can't really help you any more since I've never actually worked with salt packed anchovies- I can't find them anywhere.

    1. After washing soak in milk for a few hours.

      1 Reply
      1. Oh, I love these things! They're really easier than you think. I rinse them under running water, rubbing the salt off with my fingers. I don't like to soak them because they get mushy and are hard to filet. Dry them on towels. Using a sharply pointed, fine knife, with the anchovy laid flat on a cutting board, slit it open along the stomach just as though you were gutting a fish. The top filet will peel back easily and you can then peel out the backbone. It should come out all in one piece.
        If you find that the filets are too strong or salty for your taste, soak them for a few minutes in milk or water. You can also soak them in olive oil. Once you've washed off the salt, they spoil within a day or so unless you keep them covered in oil.