Delicious and Sustainable San Francisco Bay Anchovies Recipe

Sustainable and Seasonal Delicacy: San Francisco Bay Anchovies

Freshly-caught San Francisco Bay anchovies are a fantastic choice for those who appreciate sustainable seafood. These small fish are integral to the marine ecosystem, serving as a crucial food source for various ocean predators and marine birds. Thanks to responsible fishing practices, such as purse seining, anchovy populations in the Bay Area remain healthy and abundant, ensuring a low environmental impact and making them a conscientious option for your plate.

Typically available from April through October, these anchovies boast a rich, oily texture that delivers robust flavor in numerous culinary applications. Whether grilled, baked, or pan-fried, their taste and versatility make them a beloved ingredient in many dishes.

Now, let's dive into a delicious recipe that showcases the fresh flavors of these anchovies, inspired by our customer Polly S.

Recipe for Pan-Fried Fresh Anchovies with Olive Tapenade Sauce


  • 1 lb fresh San Francisco Bay anchovies, heads removed and cleaned

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 1/2 cup white wine

  • 1/2 cup olive tapenade

  • 2 tbsp butter

  • Fresh parsley, chopped (optional, for garnish)


  1. Prepare the Anchovies:

    • Pat the anchovies dry with paper towels.

    • Season the flour with salt and pepper.

    • Dredge the anchovies in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess.

  2. Pan-Fry the Anchovies:

    • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

    • Add the dredged anchovies to the skillet, cooking them in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan.

    • Fry the anchovies for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy.

    • Remove the anchovies from the skillet and set them aside on a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.

  3. Make the Pan Sauce:

    • After removing the anchovies, deglaze the skillet with the white wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

    • Add the olive tapenade to the skillet and stir to combine.

    • Reduce the heat to low and add the butter, stirring until it melts and the sauce is smooth.

  4. Serve:

    • Arrange the fried anchovies on a serving platter.

    • Spoon the olive tapenade sauce over the top of the anchovies.

    • Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, if desired.

    • Serve immediately and enjoy!


Feel free to adjust the amount of olive tapenade and butter to your taste. This dish pairs wonderfully with a crisp white wine and a side of fresh, crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce.

Inspiration Credit:

This recipe was inspired by a photo and description shared by our customer Polly S. Thank you, Polly, for showcasing the versatility and flavor of our fresh San Francisco Bay anchovies!

Visit our shop for the freshest seafood

Check Out Related Posts