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Boquerones en Vinagre Recipe

Boquerones en Vinagre Recipe


One of Spain’s most traditional tapas is boquerones en vinagre— vinegar cured marinated anchovies. From salt-cured anchoas to fried fresh anchovies, Spaniards enjoy this small fish in many delicious ways–and this recipe is one of the most popular!

Don’t miss my recipes for boquerones fritos (fried anchovies), fried calamari, and Gilda skewers!

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Anchovies are popular throughout Spain, but especially in Málaga, a seaside city in Andalucía, a region in southern Spain. Here, the locals are even called boquerones! One of their most plentiful fish has always been the boquerón, or anchovy.

In Spain, it’s easy to find pre-made boquerones en vinagre; you can order them at almost any bar, or get them from the fish section of the market or grocery store–but now you can make them wherever you are with this easy recipe!


bowls of ingredients for boquerones en vinagre.

Wondering what ingredients you need to make a batch of these flavorful boquerones en vinagre? You only need a few simple things to get started!

  • Fresh Anchovies: I use fresh white anchovies (or thawed ones) that are already cleaned by the fishmonger. This will save you a lot of prep time!
  • White Wine Vinegar: This adds tang to the anchovies and makes this recipe so delicious! Substitute with another mild vinegar if you need to.
  • Garlic: I love the flavor it adds to the marinade!

See recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to Make Boquerones en Vinagre

If you’d like to see the full ingredients and instructions, scroll to the bottom of the post for the printable recipe card.

patting dry the anchovies and freezing in a dish.
  1. Start by patting the cleaned anchovies dry with paper towel. (image 1)
  2. Place them in a shallow dish and cover them with cold water. Freeze for three hours to kill any anisakis. (image 2)
soaking the anchovies and topping with parsley and garlic.
  1. After freezing the fish, add the vinegar and water to the dish and cover with plastic. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours to marinate. (image 3)
  2. Drain the marinated anchovies and cover with the chopped parsley and garlic. (image 4)
soaking in olive oil and serving the anchovies with bread.
  1. Pour the olive oil over the anchovies and let it marinate overnight if possible (or enjoy right away if you don’t have time). (image 5)
  2. Serve the boquerones en vinagre with a bit of bread or by themselves and enjoy! (image 6)

Recipe FAQs

What type of fish are boquerones?

Boquerones are anchovies, and are a very popular fish throughout Spain, but especially in the coastal region of Andalucía.

What is the difference between the anchoa and the boquerón?

Both anchoas and boquerones are anchovies, but the name differs based on its preparation. Anchoas are salt-cured anchovies that are usually sold in cans, while boquerones are sold fresh, frozen, or pickled in vinegar.

What is “boquerones en vinagre” in English?

The literal translation of the Spanish name boquerones en vinagre is “anchovies in vinegar” in English.

Expert Tips

  • Ask your fishmonger to clean and fillet the anchovies for you to save time.
  • If you use frozen and thawed anchovies, you can skip the 3 hour freezing process.
  • Drain the anchovies from the vinegar mixture once they turn white; marinating them too long will make them tough.

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plate of anchovies with sliced bread.

Boquerones en Vinagre Recipe

This delicious boquerones en vinagre recipe makes the perfect marinated anchovies — a traditional Spanish tapa that everyone will enjoy!

Print (images optional)

Course: Tapa

Cuisine: Spanish

Diet: Low Calorie, Low Fat

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Resting Time: 6 hours

Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes

Servings: 6 people

Calories: 535.47kcal


  • Clean the anchovies by removing the heads, innards, and spines, then cut them into fillets.

  • Rinse the anchovy fillets in cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. Lay them flat in a glass baking dish and freeze for 3 hours to kill any anisakis in the fish.

  • Remove the anchovies from the freezer and add the vinegar and water until the anchovies are submerged. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours, or until they’re white. Don’t leave them too long, as they’ll become tough.

  • Drain the vinegar and water, then sprinkle the anchovies with the minced garlic and chopped parsley. Pour in the olive oil; the anchovies should be covered.

  • If possible, let the anchovies marinate in the garlic and olive oil overnight, but you can enjoy right away if you wish!

  • Serve the boquerones en vinagre on their own, or with a bit of delicious bread.


  • Ask your fishmonger to clean and fillet the anchovies for you to save time.
  • If you use frozen and thawed anchovies, you can skip the 3 hour freezing process.
  • Drain the anchovies from the vinegar mixture once they turn white; marinating them too long will make them tough.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 535.47kcal | Carbohydrates: 1.1g | Protein: 30.98g | Fat: 43.34g | Saturated Fat: 6.91g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6.26g | Monounsaturated Fat: 28.07g | Cholesterol: 90.72mg | Sodium: 166.71mg | Potassium: 625.16mg | Fiber: 0.08g | Sugar: 0.03g | Vitamin A: 146.02IU | Vitamin C: 2.29mg | Calcium: 233.96mg | Iron: 5.57mg

Photography by Giulia Verdinelli

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