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How do I save leftover anchovy fillets?

I bought a tin of anchovy fillets last night to use in a recipe I made for my husband's dinner. I only needed four and there are several left in the can. I covered what was left and put it in the fridge for now, but I am wondering what to do with them. Can I freeze them?? Or do I need to use them now? Or do I just feed them to the cat? Thanks!

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  1. Anchovies tend to be heavily salted so they should keep for a while in the fridge

    1. I freeze them. I wrap them in plastic, then put them into a chinese food container, with other little things (chilies in adobo is another) so I can find them easily. So I have one quart size chinese food container with a bunch of little wrapped up leftover things. So much easier to find this way.

      1. I also freeze them. I tend to mash them up, spread them thin on a piece of parchment, then freeze. Once solid, I wrap them well in plastic. Whenever I need some, I just break off a piece. I tend to never use the whole fillet, they are always mashed, so this works for me.

        1. I just put them in the fridge along with any oil form the tin. They'll last for weeks - possibly months but I've always used them within a few eeks.

          1. I used to freeze them also. For the last couple of years I've been buying anchovy paste.

            1. I refrigerate them in a small jar, using the oil to cover. I use them up quickly, in salads, pizzas, sauces but they have lingered for weeks with no ill effects.

              Something that small would get lost for good in my freezer.

              1. I make a concentrated bagna cauda with the leftovers (with just a little olive oil and butter) and freeze it in small dollops on a pan, then bag them for the freezer - it's a quick way to add flavor to my veggies and stews, and guests always love them.

                1. Put them in a glass jar, cover them with decent olive oil, and keep them handy for the next time. I have never heard of freezing them, which sounds ridiculous to me. Certainly do not consider feeding them to the cat. in Italy everybody always has jars of anchovy fillets handy for use in any number of recipes or just to eat straight on a slice of bread or toast. The important thing is to keep them covered with oil. In Italy nobody keeps them in the fridge, but I understand that would be a hard sell in the US. Just make sure you take them out of the fridge a little before you use them so the oil can re-liquify.

                  1. i always keep leftover washed out disposable plastic (sour cream, or whatever) containers around. put them and the oil that I'll probably use with anyway and freeze them, even breaks down the bones a little more. I'd use the whole darn thing at once but I'm rarely cooking for those as enamored of them as often as I. (ahem).

                    and then rather than even try to scour the oil out of plastic, it goes into the recycling. twice used at least so I'm not a complete wastrel.

                    I wouldn't balk at refrigerated or even shelf stored anchovies at someone's house. I just wouldn't try to re-airtight seal in the oil (anaerobic environment and all).

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: hill food

                      I understand about the anaerobic environment and all, but I don't understand why, in that case, all Italians aren't already dead of botulism since the standard food-preservation method in Italy is to keep things covered in olive oil, generally outside the refrigerator.

                      1. re: mbfant

                        yeah but not sealed entirely airtight and for months and months and months. what's being stored matters too (there are threads on this)

                        1. re: mbfant

                          I keep mine on the counter covered in olive oil also.I enjoy them this way. I like to snack on them before dinner with a glass of wine and bread.

                      2. Thank-you so much for all of the tips! All great suggestions! The cats seemed to be interested, but I think they would be way too salty for them. =) I will definitely try some of these ideas next time. My husband has been adding the leftover anchovies to his food. Apparently he likes them a lot! I just had wrapped the tin in plastic and set it on a saucer. I will try putting them in a different container next time. I think the anchovy paste would be good to buy as well. Thanks again for all your help!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: MrsJTW

                          I won't criticize anybody who opts for the paste, I just don't find it pungent enough (but then I'm a bit freakish on the use). it does have its advantages.

                        2. I buy them in a jar, which is easier for storing the unused portion.