Deep Fried Fresh Anchovies with Warm Mayonnaise

  • Serves

    serves 2-4


Anxoves a la Romana amb Maionesa Calenta

Food fried a la romana (in egg batter)—squid is often cooked this way in Spain—has a softer, moister crust than that fried in eggless batter.


For the Mayonnaise

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt

For the Fish

  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • Salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 34 lb. fresh medium anchovies or sardines (heads removed), butterflied and fileted


Step 1

For the mayonnaise: Whisk egg yolks in a me-dium bowl until pale yellow. Gradually add oil in a thin, steady stream, whisking constantly until mixture is emulsified and oil is completely incorporated. Whisk in lemon juice. Mayonnaise should be loose; thin with a little water, if necessary. Season to taste with salt. Transfer mayonnaise to a cream whipper (see facing page). Aerate according to manufacturer's directions into the top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water over low heat. Gently heat mayonnaise until warm (do not let it get warmer than 140°, or it will curdle).

Step 2

For the fish: Pour oil into a medium pot to a depth of 2" and heat over medium heat until temperature reaches 350° on a candy thermometer. Meanwhile, whisk flour, 2 pinches salt, and eggs together in a medium bowl until batter is smooth.

Step 3

Working in batches, season fish with salt, dip into batter, and deep-fry until golden and crisp, about 45 seconds per batch. Drain on a wire rack set over paper towels and season to taste with salt. Serve hot with warm mayonnaise.

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