What fish do you think this is? Would you believe if I say this is an anchovy?
There is one seafood shop in my neighborhood where I go to buy fresh seafood. I found a fish which looked quite similar to mackerel. I asked the name and”Anchoa” was the answer I got. Since my memory in Spanish is quite limited, I had to ask him to write the name on the package so that I don’t forget. I came home and looked for the name in English.
To my surprise, Anchoa is a Spanish word for the anchovy. I have seen fresh anchovies many times in my life since I am from a town where the anchovy production ranks the #1 in Korea. I literally grow up eating fresh anchovies in my childhood but I have seen nothing like this big.
I learned that some large anchovies can measure up to 40 cm (15 inch). This guy was measured about 13 inch. I would never know that he would be a cousin to my usual 3-inch anchovies by looking at his appearance.
After some thought on how I want to cook this stall dude, I decided to grill him.
I sprinkled some salt on top to get the crisp skin.
For the sauce to go with, I mixed soy sauce with a little bit of lime juice, garlic, and Korean chili flakes.
When the fish is all done, I sprinkled some cilantro on top,
… drizzled the sauce over, and ate. I served with rice. Yes! It was delicious! The meat was firm and hold itself very well during the grilling. All my life I have eaten anchovies in many different form, from a raw salad to a soup. I never had a grilled anchovy until now, and my love for anchovy is continuously going strong. Go anchovy!
By the way, the soy lime chili sauce is good with any grilled fish if you want to try it.
Grilled Fish with Soy Lime Chili Sauce
- 1 medium size firm fish mackerel, grouper, snapper, croaker, or large anchovy, etc, well cleaned
- 1 tablespoon oil
- a few pinches coarse sea salt
- 2 tablespoon Korean soup soy sauce (gukganjang)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice or lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon Korean chili flakes (gochugaru)
- 1 teaspoon water
- 2-3 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- Heat the grill until very hot.
- Give a few slits to the fish and brush with oil. Sprinkle a few pinches salt on top. Place the fish on a hot grill and cook until done. Turn your fish to the other side carefully and finish grilling.
- Meanwhile, mix Korean soy sauce for soup, lime juice (or lemon juice), garlic, chili flakes, and water in a small bowl.
- Sprinkle cilantro over the grilled fish, and spoon half the amount of sauce on top. You can dip the fish with the sauce as you eat, if needed. Serve hot with rice.