Little Lemony Fried Anchovies or Bait fish with Thai Basil Pesto Cocktail Sauce

September 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6


1 pound fresh anchovies or bait fish
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, chopped fine
2 teaspoons fresh garlic, chopped fine
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 thai chili, sliced thin
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons salt
Oil for frying
Thai Basil Pesto Cocktail Sauce (recipe follows)
Lemon Wedges


First prepare the anchovies or baitfish by cutting or pulling off their heads with a slight twisting motion and thus removing the guts at the same time. The guts come out from the top by pulling on them with your fingers if they didn’t come out with the head twist pull. Rinse the anchovies after they are cleaned and pat them dry with paper towels. In a mixing bowl whisk together the lime zest, ginger, garlic, rice wine vinegar, chili, and lime juice. Mix together with the anchovies and let stand for about 10 minutes. Heat about 1-2 inches of oil in a large pan to about 145°F. In another flat shaped bowl combine the flour and the salt and mix. Dredge a few of the anchovies in the flour and shake off any excess. The anchovy should be just lightly coated with flour but evenly. Place in the oil and fry until crispy. About 3-4 minutes total. Testing to make sure they are cooked through and crispy. Serve with Thai Basil Pesto Cocktail Sauce and lemon wedges.

Thai Basil Pesto Cocktail Sauce

Makes 1½ cups


½ cup tomato sauce
3 tablespoons ginger rice vinegar
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon red chili paste
2 tablespoons canola oil or grapeseed oil
1 cup thai basil leaves
1 teaspoon salt


Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until a smooth sauce is made. Season to taste with salt and lime juice.

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