Pintxos (Spain)

Pintxos (Spain)

or this Basque anchovies recipe you will need the following ingredients:

5 pieces
to taste:
to taste:
4 tablespoons
1 inch layer
5 slices
liberal squeeze of
Anchovies, fresh, cleaned and butterflied;
Paprika (Bell Pepper), canned or freshly roasted,
(preferably Spanish pimiento);
Pepper, freshly ground;
Egg, beaten;
Olive Oil, for frying, so not Virgen Extra;
Long Bread, as fresh and crispy as possible;
Lemon Juice or Lime Juice.


The above recipe shows five pintxos, but of course this number is completely arbitrary. If this is the only tapa you are making, assume two or three pintxos per guest and you will be safe.

Photo of fried anchovies stuffed with paprika.Pintxo Anchoas Rellenas de Pimiento – Tapa Anchovies stuffed with Paprika


Pintxos Preparation

Preparation of these Basque pintxos of fresh and fried anchovies with paprika is really not that hard at all:

Use a sharp knife to clean the anchovies. Make a lengthwise cut in the belly from the throat to just before the tailfin, cut off the head, flush away the innards under cold running water, pull out the spine and bones breaking off the spine just in front of the tailfin (leave the small tailfin on for better looks!);

Flush the anchovy again under cold running water making sure it is thoroughly clean, fold the fish open like a butterfly (or like a book?), and pat dry using a paper towel;

Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper over the inside of each butterflied anchovy as you please;
Meanwhile, pour an inch of olive oil in a frying pan or wok, and heat to about 180 degrees celsius;
Cut the paprika to pieces that are roughly the same size as the butterflied anchovies, pat dry;
Put the flour in a shallow dish, beat the egg in a second shallow dish;
Place a piece of paprika on top of a butterflied anchovy, and cover with a second butterflied anchovy;
Put the sandwich of butterflied anchovies and paprika through the flour, roll through the egg, and fry in the oil for like five minutes until golden brown;
Leave to dry on paper towels, keeping them warm;
Put the fried anchovies on a slice of bread and garnish with a piece of lemon;
Stick a toothpick through all ingredients to keep things together, it’s part of the Basque tradition, and it makes it a true Pintxo!


Photo of fried anchovies stuffed with bell pepper.