Small, but remote – so they say about anchovy. Let’s find out what it is, what anchovies look like and what they eat? The foreign word “anchovy”, which sounds very exotic for the Russian ear, in fact designates the fish of the order of the seldeobraznyh, widely known in Russia as the Hamsa.


More specifically, Hamsa is called European (Mediterranean, Azov and Black Sea) anchovy. In addition, there are several subspecies: Argentine, Australian, Cape, Japanese, Californian and Peruvian.

On the habitats of this small fish of a silvery shade with a greenish-black stripe along the ridge say the names themselves. Despite its modest size (the largest specimens do not exceed 20 cm in length), the species occupies one of the first places in terms of production, due to its abundance.

According to this indicator, these crumbs lead among schooling fishes. They never go out into the open ocean, preferring relatively shallow and well-heated coastal waters with temperatures ranging from 6 to 22ºС. All these little ones are planktophages, i.e. eat plankton, playing an important role in the food chain of sea creatures.

In addition, their diet includes algae. Fish trifle is a stable source of food in marine mammals (dolphins), as well as birds of prey and fish.

Caught a fish…

For a person, the value of anchovy is determined by a high degree of nutritional value, due to the rich fat content, and a large number of trace elements. However, not all species of this fish go directly “to the plate” – some, such as Peruvian, serve as raw material for the manufacture of fish meal, or as bait in the tuna-like fishery..

In the 80s of the last century, due to climatic differences and excessive catch volumes, the number of anchovies sharply decreased. Thanks to the measures taken, the population of this fish was able to be restored almost to the same extent, however, certain restrictions are still observed.

Of all the subspecies listed, the “culinary” qualities of Japanese, Mediterranean, Black Sea and Azov are the most remarkable: in the fall, when the feeding period ends, the Hamsa’s fat content reaches 23-28%.

Since it moves in the form of large masses consisting of a huge number of small individuals, the catch uses mainly the so-called purse nets with a relatively small cell size, which allow the whole fish school to be “scooped”.

Taste is specific


Fresh fish is actively used in Mediterranean (French, Italian, Spanish) cuisine: it is fried, stewed, baked, etc. As a rule, “fish-eaters” lovers are delighted with him, but the high fat content is not to everyone’s taste, therefore, to decide, it’s best to try first.

It is served not only as an independent dish, but also as a filling, as well as an integral part of sauces and salads. Possessing the ability to completely dissolve in a dish, anchovy does not leave a characteristic fishy smell, acting more like a seasoning.

In addition, it is eaten dried, salted, canned in oil: it is in this form that it most often gets on the tables of Russians. Salty hamsa has a special taste, which is achieved by a special method of preparation – anchovy salting.

According to its rules, the catch is dipped for several days into a prepared spicy pickle. Then it is poured with salt and placed in barrels for a period of about 4 months..

“Everything is useful, that got into my mouth!”


This well-known saying, often serving as an excuse for lovers of all sorts of culinary delights, is far from always true, but with respect to anchovies, its correctness is undoubted: it is literally useful “from nose to tail”.

Fish carcasses contain highly nourishing protein, which is not inferior to meat in its energy value. At the same time, the relatively low calorie content of this product is 135 kcal / 100 gr. – allows, without limitation, to use it even to those who are forced to “sit” on a diet.

Vitamin components and microelements entering the tissues of the fish also matter. The high level of vitamin D, which is responsible for the strength and flexibility of bone tissue, the regulation of calcium-phosphorus metabolism, makes this fish useful both for a growing children’s organism and for elderly people who are threatened with osteoporosis..

The bones of the baby are so small and soft that it is usually eaten whole, without separating the muscle tissue from the skeleton, and thus all the components enter the human body.

B vitamins are important for blood formation and normal functioning of the nervous system. Everyone knows about the danger of iodine deficiency in the body of a person, especially a child, but not everyone knows that he is a record holder in the level of this element.

In addition, the fish is rich in various minerals and polyunsaturated fatty acids, the need and importance of which for our health can not be overestimated. As an example, you can take the acid “omega-3”, which is truly a “magic elixir”.

It is produced by the smallest seaweed, serving as food “goldfish”. This acid helps a person fight cardiovascular diseases such as angina and arrhythmia, normalizes blood cholesterol levels and the formation of lipid (adipose) tissue, levels blood pressure, prevents blood clots from forming, thereby preventing heart attacks and strokes.

Recent studies by doctors have shown that this substance is very actively preventing malignant degeneration of human cells and helps to suppress the growth of existing tumors..

These useful properties allow us to recommend to use this fish as often as possible to people of all ages, from children to old people..

As a contraindication can be called a minimum of causes: individual intolerance, as well as diseases of the internal organs in the acute stage, in which the use of spicy and salty foods is not recommended.

salad с капустойFresh cabbage salad with cucumber – vitamin bomb on your table.

Do you know how to make puff salad of chicken with prunes? Recipe here.

Red rice – the benefits and harm. How to cook and use this cereal in a healthy diet, read our article..

Fried, steamed, and so … chunks

What can be cooked from this fish, whose size is inversely proportional to its usefulness? We give a couple of recipes.

Fried Anchovies
Anchovies: что это, фото, польза и вред, рецепты вкусных блюд
Ingredients amount
fresh anchovy half a kilo
cheese (parmesan) 100 g
parsley three branches
breadcrumbs 150 g
sunflower oil 250 g
chicken egg 1 PC.
salt, ground black pepper taste
Time for preparing: 30 minutes Calories per 100 grams: 387 Kcal

Cooking process:

  1. To rub cheese, add paneer to it. crackers and parsley. to rub сухари
  2. Beat the egg, pour it into a bowl, salt and pepper and lightly beat with a fork.. break up яйцо
  3. Fish clean, wash, dry. a fish почистить
  4. Each piece is dipped first in the egg, then in the cheese rusk.. dip рыбку
  5. Fry the fish in oil. fry рыбку
  6. Put on paper napkins so that excess oil is absorbed..

Anchovy Potato Donuts

Constituent dishes:

  • a kilo of potatoes:
  • a kilogram of wheat flour;
  • 25 gr. yeast;
  • 50 gr. milk;
  • 300 gr. salted anchovy fillet;
  • var. oil (to taste).

Number of servings – 12.

Cooking time – one hour.

Nutritional value – 387 kcal.


  1. Make mashed potatoes.
  2. Add there the yeast soaked in milk.
  3. Pour the sifted flour into the puree and knead the dough..
  4. Leave for 40 minutes in a warm place to rise..
  5. Wrap the fillet pieces in the dough to form donuts..
  6. Fry them in hot oil until browning.
  7. Dry on paper towel.

These are simple, but very tasty dishes of southern European cuisine can be built from a miniature relative of the usual herring – anchovy. Small fish is cooked and eaten whole, with bones, the large one must first be separated from the ridge.

And if you, like any Russian person, seem to be more delicious the usual hamsa with boiled potatoes – well, enjoy your meal!