The Hague Market – Fried Anchovies with Green Mayonnaise

Blogging has been on the back burner for a while! I’ve been extremely busy with the completion of a The Hague City Guide, 111 Places in The Hague that you must not miss. I discovered an awful lot of new places in my city and also rediscovered old favorites such as ‘The Hague Market’. It’s one of the largest open air markets in the Netherlands and a delicious melting pot. The tropical fruit stand is next to the Dutch cheesemonger, the Turkisch olive man is next to the Surinam roti maker. You can snack all sorts of exotic food: Surinam sausages, Antillian empanadas, Turkish pizza and börek, and grilled corn on the cob.

Besides food you can buy cloths, bags, fabrics, antiques, and even fridges and washing machines! I love to go there on weekends to buy some squid, anchovies or sardines. Last week I bought a bag full of beautiful silver anchovies. They are super easy to prepare: I just remove the heads, dust them with some flour and briefly fry them in a thick layer of olive oil. They are delicious with this green garlicky mayonnaise and some bread.

Snack, serves 4-6
Action Time: 25-30 minutes

about 450 g /1 lb small fresh anchovies
flour for dusting
mild olive oil for frying

for the mayonnaise
1 egg yolk
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp capers
1 garlic clove
a handful of basil leaves
a handful of cilantro
a small handful of parsely
150 ml mild olive oil or canola oil

Extra: handblender with chopper bowl

1. First make the mayonnaise. Place the egg yolk, mustard, lemon juice, capers, garlic and fresh herbs in the chopper bowl of a hand blender. Add a little oil and blend for several seconds until the herbs are chopped. Now add more oil in small batches and blend until a thick mayonnaise forms. Season with salt, pepper and more lemon juice if you like. If the mayonnaise is too thick add 1-2 tsp water. Transfer the mayonnaise to a jar, cover and keep in the fridge (the mayo will last for several days).

2. Now clean the anchovies. Remove the heads en guts (the guts will come out when removing the heads). There’s no need to remove the spines, you won’t taste them once fried!

3. In a cast iron pan, heat 1 cm / 1/3 inch oil over high heat until shimmering. Working in batches, coat the fish lightly in flour and lay them flat in the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and fry until the anchovies are golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Flip the fish over once and do not fry them too long or they will get dry! Using a slotted spatula, transfer the anchovies to a plate lined with kitchen towel. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges, green mayonaise and bread.

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