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Anchovy (Engraulis spp.)


Scientific name for Anchovy

Engraulis spp.

Common name(s) for Anchovy

Anchovy, southern anchovy, northern anchovy, European anchovy, California anchovy, Japanese anchovy, silver anchovy, anchoveta

Market name


Other language names for Anchovy

  • French: Anchois
  • German: Sardelle
  • Italian: Acciuga
  • Japanese: Katakuchiiwashi
  • Spanish: Anchoa

Introduction to Anchovy

Anchovy is a generic term that refers to over 20 distinct species of the Engraulidae family. The Fish List of the United States of America recognizes five genus groups: Anchoa, Anchoviella, Cetengraulis, Engraulis, and Stolephorus. Engraulis encrasicolus, the European or “real” anchovies, is the most well-known anchovy in culinary circles. It is found in the Mediterranean, Black Sea, and warmer waters of the East Atlantic. E. mordax, often known as northern or California anchovies, is found off the West Coast of North America, from Mexico to British Columbia. Anchovies are little silvery fish with blue-green backs; their maximum length is 8 inches. They prefer warmer seas around the world, where they swim in large groups and feed on algae and zooplankton. They are taken using deepwater trawlers, and the bulk of the catch is canned, salted, ground into paste, or distilled to create Southeast Asian fish sauces such as the Vietnamese nuoc mam. Anchovies are often mistaken with sardines, which are really tiny herring in America.

Product Profile for Anchovy

Because of the four-month salt-curing procedure, the meat of canned anchovy packed in oil is blush red. Anchovy flesh is gray while raw, but it becomes off-white when cooked. Fresh anchovies have a rich but mild flavor and a delicate texture, but canned or salted anchovies have a distinct, salty tang. The skin can be eaten.

Nutrition for Anchovy

Calories: 131
Fat Calories: 43
Total Fat: 4.8 g
Saturated Fat: 1.3 g
Cholesterol: 60 mg
Sodium: 104 mg
Protein: 20.4 g
Omega 3: 1.5 g

Cooking tips for Anchovy

Use fresh anchovies in the same way as you would herring. Anchovies, whether salted or canned, are widely used as flavoring agents; however, they should not be used in recipes that call for fresh anchovies. Rinse thoroughly under cold running water or soak in cool water for 30 minutes before serving or using canned fillets, then drain and pat dry. Fresh anchovies are wonderful grilled, but if they’re too little to go on the grill, they may be broiled with a little oil and herbs. As an escabèche, they’re also delicious lightly pan-fried or marinated.

Cooking methods for Anchovy

Bake, Broil, Fry, Grill

Primary Product Forms for Anchovy

Fresh: Whole, head off

Canned: Whole, Gutted, Fillets

Salted: Whole, Gutted, Fillets

Smoked or dried: Whole, Gutted, Fillets

Global Supply for Anchovy

Africa, Chile, France, Peru, Portugal, Spain, U.K., United States, Iran