Marinated fresh anchovies (gavros marinatos)

Not only the most exemplary Greek meze for ouzo and tsipouro, but also the best side dish for your legume meals. Find out how to make the best homemade marinated anchovies - the Greek Sashimi.


Hands on:    10 minutes

Waiting time:12 hours

Serves:        10

homemade marinated anchovies, gavros marinatos


1 kg (2.2 lb) fresh white anchovies or gavros or Boquerones

300-400 gr (10.6 oz - 14.2 oz) coarse salt

200 gr (7.05 oz) apple cider vinegar

300 gr (10.6 oz) olive oil

1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 chili pepper, finely chopped

rind of 1 lemon

4 sprigs rosemary

500 gr sunflower oil


How to do it

  1. Wear your kitchen gloves. Insert your finger in the belly of the fish and make an incision along the length of the belly. Remove and discard the entrails and head.Watch the VIDEO on how to fillet the anchovies the easy way.

  2. Cut the anchovy in half lengthwise, parallel to the bone. Butterfly the fish and remove the central bone. Do not chop off the tail. Wash well with water and transfer to a baking pan lined with paper towels to drain.

  3. Cover the bottom of a non-reactive container — plastic, ceramic or glass with a layer of coarse salt.

  4. Then layer the anchovies on top of the salt. Add another layer of salt then another layer of anchovies.

  5. Set them aside to allow the anchovies to marinate.

  6. After 30 minutes fill a large bowl with water and wash the anchovies well to remove the salt.

  7. Transfer again to the baking pan lined with paper towels and allow them to drain. Repeat the same process for all of the anchovies.

  8. Pat dry with paper towels to remove all of the moisture and transfer to a clean and dry container.

  9. Mix in a bowl the ingredients for the marinade: apple cider vinegar, olive oil garlic, peppercorns, chili pepper, lemon rinds, and rosemary sprigs.

  10. Add the anchovies. They should be completely submerged in the marinade.

  11. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the anchovies to marinate for 12 hours at room temperature.

  12. When ready, drain fish from marinade.

  13. Transfer to a large jar (preferably sterilized) , submerge in sunflower oil and store in the refrigerator.



  • You will find the best white anchovies (aka gavros) in Greece starting from the end of May and the whole summer. This is the best time to prepare your “gavros marinatos” and to keep it in jars.

  • Do not leave the anchovies in the coarse salt for many hours. They will get very salty.

  • Do not leave the anchovies more than 12 hours to marinate. They will absorb a lot of vinegar and we will mish the taste of the fresh fish.

  • You will know that the marinating process is over by the change in the color of the fish. They will get white.

  • Do not use olive oil to store the anchovies in jars in the refrigerator. Olive Oil has a very intense taste and will for sure eliminate the taste of the fresh fish. Instead drizzle with olive oil when you want to serve your anchovies. It will lift the taste of this humble mezé.

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