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Gavros Marinatos (Marinated anchovies)

Gavros marinatos marinated anchovies

Gavros Marinatos (marinated anchovies) are like sushi. Actually the fish is not totally raw as by marinating them into an acidic liquid, such as vinegar or lemon juice, it’s like cooking them and serving with with extra virgin olive oil, garlic and oregano makes an amazing appetizer.

Gavros, fresh anchovies

Gavros, fresh anchovies

This time of the year anchovies are in abundance and are affordable and a popular choice among the fish, everything being so expensive.  You can buy a kilo at about 4 – 5 euros at the fishmongers’ or 2 – 3 euros at the farmers’ market.t

Anchovies are one of those foods that many people hate because of bad memories from the canned ones.

Fresh anchovies are nothing to compare with those canned ones as  they are so delicious and if you can find fresh anchovies, give them another chance, as they may be cooked in many ways.

For those reading my blog regularly, I wrote at the beginning of May that during the days my sons were sick, my husband went to buy some fresh fish for a soup for the boys and he called me to ask if I wanted some fresh anchovies for us. I thought that it was a good idea as we didn’t have them for a while and told him that ½ kilo would be enough for us. I would fry them and serve them with a big salad.

As usually my husband asks my opinion about something but he always ends up doing what he has in mind.

How to marinate anchovies

Instead of half a kilo he bought about a kilo, so when I asked him “Who is going to eat all this?” he said “Why don’t you marinate some? ”

gavros mezes filleted anchovies

Actually it wasn’t a bad idea after all, as we loved it and there are so many things you can do with it.

I am submitting this recipe to Michelle of The Accidental Scientist, who is hosting this month’s event called “Herbal essences HotM 15” where we have to incorporate our herbs into heart healthy recipes. Anchovies are rich in Omega 3 fats which are considered to be very healthy for the heart and the anchovies are marinated with garlic and oregano, two very healthy herbs and of course preserved in olive oil.

Gavros Marinatos (Marinated anchovies)
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Marinating time:  about 15 – 20 hours

  • 1/2 kilo fresh anchovies
  • Wine vinegar (enough to cover them)
  • Salt (at will)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano


  1. Wash and cut the head pulling out the guts.
  2. With a filleting knife cut it in the middle and remove spine and tail and any remaining guts. Wash again and strain.
  3. Place them in a bowl with a lid placing a layer of anchovies, salt, garlic, vinegar. Repeat until they are all placed and finally they should be covered with vinegar.
  4. Place lid and store in the refrigerator and let them marinate overnight.
  5. The following day drain them from the vinegar and sprinkle some oregano and cover them in olive oil.
  6. They can be preserved in the fridge for a week to ten days.

Other similar recipes:

Gavros Ladorigani

Gavros sto Fourno

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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12 Responses

  1. Bellini Valli

    This recipe brings back such wonderful memories sis. We made a similar dish on Kea, even the children in the group who were sometimes fussy eaters loved them!!!

  2. Peter G

    Yes, fresh anchovies are so much better than the canned ones, which unfortunately left me scarred for life with bad memories! The simple “xidato” method is the best…mmmm.

  3. Ben

    You know Ivy, I love fish, but there is something about anchovies that I can’t get over… and I really can’t put my finger on anything. Maybe I just need to try them again in a different way. This recipe looks good for another anchovies attempt 🙂

  4. Pixie

    I do adore anchovies Ivy- I’ve seen posts about this recently and it makes me hunger for them even more so!

  5. Ivy

    @ Val: I suppose you mean the friend ones, because the children love them as they eat them without having to remove the bones.

    @ Peter: What happened? Did it stick to your throat?

    @ Ben: I don’t know what kind of anchovies you’ve tried but if you mean the canned or the salted ones, I don’t like them either.

    @ Pixie: It’s good to have you back. I love your picture. You are so sweet.

  6. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen

    WAHHHHH! I wish I could get fresh anchovies here (or sardines…anything remotely small and fishlike).

    These dishes look amazing!

  7. Cynthia

    Fresh anchovies! how yummy!

  8. Núria

    I can’t believe it!!! My next post is about marinated anchovies :D, but I do them slightly different and will send to Pixie for the Put in Event.

    I love the way you do them! Adding oregano must be so flavourful!!! Next time, I should try your way

  9. Ivy

    I told you, when you made your sardines, that we’re on the same wave line. I am waiting to see yours.

  10. Cakelaw

    These look delicious Ivy – I don’t think you can buy fresh anchovies here at all.

  11. Ivy

    Too bad Cakelaw but if you can get fresh Sardines you can do it the same way (check out Nuria’s blog).

  12. Laurie Constantino

    mmmm – marinated fresh anchovies are SO good and not anything like the preserved salted ones. and your plate is so nicely arranged!