[Gray Anchovy (market); Cá Com Than (Viet);
This West Pacific fish can grow to 3.5 inches but the photo specimen
was 2-3/4 inches. A tray of 70 weighed 14 ounces, 0.2 ounces each,
or 80 to the pound. They are found mainly in the South China Sea,
from Borneo north to Taiwan and around the Philippines, and west
around the Malay Peninsula. Color stripes (wide silver with narrow
dark above) is like the Blue Anchovy, but this one is larger with
a bigger eye and different shaped face.
More on Anchovies.
sf_anchochz* 161116 - www.clovegarden.com
Buying: These can sometimes be found in the freezer
cases of large Asian markets. The photo specimen, from Vietnam, was
purchased from a large Asian market in Los Angeles (San Gabriel) for
2016 US $2.62 per pound. It was from a frozen batch packed on a foam
tray sealed in a plastic bag, 14 ounces.
Cooking: Clearly you are not going to be filleting this
fish except under a microscope. This is a fish to fry crisp and eat "head
guts and feathers" - not an exact fit to the the delicate sensibilities
of the baby spinach set.
- Heat oil for deep fry - it doesn't have to be really deep for these
fish. I fry in an Indian Kadhai,
which has the best geometry for keeping oil in the pan, not on the
- Rinse the fish and drain thoroughly in a strainer.
- Mix salt to taste with rice flour or sweet potato flour. Dump fish
and flour into a paper bag and shake the bag until fish are evenly
- Pour the fish out into a strainer and shake the strainer over a plate
until as much flour as is going to fall off falls off.
- Fry fish in batches that don't crowd the pan. Use a durable oil
like Olive Pomace at about 375°F/190°C. Fry until crispy and
lightly colored (exact color will depend on the type of flour you use).
You can tell they're done when the amount of sizzling declines.
- Serve with a liquid dipping sauce and/or lemon wedges. Anchovies
are strong flavored fish, so a dip with fairly intense flavor is good,
with maybe a touch of sweetness to counter the slight bitterness of
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