This is a classic Swedish preserve, reminiscent of Dutch brined herring (maatjes) and available in any supermarket in Sweden. Although the Swedish name ansjovis
derives from anchovies
, it's usually made with sprats (Sprattus sprattus) here, since anchovies don't live in Swedish waters. Ansjovis is indispensable in many Swedish traditional dishes and also often served as a garnish to e.g. schnitzel. This is my recipe, which is about as close to the original as it gets.
1 kilo whole anchovies or sprats, very fresh, frozen and half thawed
200 g fine sea salt
100 g white sugar
2 tsp allspice, crushed
2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated (or 2 tsp dried)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cloves, crushed
1 tsp black pepper, crushed
1 tsp hop marjoram (or ½ tsp marjoram + ½ tsp oregano)
1 tbsp sandalwood powder
The very fresh fish must be frozen for a few days in advance to eliminate possible parasites, and then half thawed. Mix salt, sugar and spices. Layer the ungutted fish with the mixture in a stainless steel or glass tray. Refrigerate.
After a few days, when the brine has formed, add enough water to cover the fish. Let mature, refrigerated, for at least two weeks before consumption.
When using, filet the fish. Also, use the liquid for more flavour.
This is the product I use. It is real European anchovies (Engraulis encrasicolus).
After a few days, having added extra water.
Am epicurean combination: Hard boiled egg with ansjovis, thinly sliced shallot or chives, black pepper and a few drops of the pickling liquid.