Today, I got a special recipe to share – Hunan style spicy anchovies. My favorite snack that I grew up with. When I was a little kid, my mom will give me 50 cents as spending money every week. I know you can’t buy anything with 50 cents now. But it was 15 years ago in China. 50 cent is around 3 yuan can get you a few packs of spicy anchovies which is what I spend all my pocket money on. Now I am in the USA, I could not buy this easily. Why not make it myself. That’s the story of how this recipe came out. So let’s get started.
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Hunan Style Spicy Anchovies
- 150 grams of dried anchovies
- 1 inch of ginger chopped
- 10-15 cloves of garlic
- Green and red fresh chilies to your preference
- 3 tbsp of douchi
- 2 pieces of star anise
- 2 pieces of bay leaves
- 1 small piece of cinnamon stick
- 1 piece of black cardamom slightly crushed
- 5-8 pieces of dried chilies
- 1 tbsp of fermented soybean paste can also use soy sauce
- 1.5 tbsp of Chinese cooking wine
- You will need 150 grams of dried anchovies. This recipe can also be made with other meat like shredded beef or chicken. If you want it to be vegan, you can try mushroom or tofu skin.
- In a food processor, chop 1 inch of ginger, 10-15 cloves of garlic, green and red chilies together. Use can mix mild and spicy chilies to get the spice level you like.
- You will also need 3 tbsp of Chinese fermented black beans Dou Chi. Roughly run your knife to chop it a few times. Set it aside.
- Set it aside and quickly gather some spices: cinnamon stick, 2 pieces of star anise, 2 pieces of bay leaves, 1 black cardamom, 5-8 pieces of dried chilies. Use scissors to cut open a couple. If you noticed, I used 3 kinds of chilies in this recipe. Hu nan style food, the spiciness is more complex and has many layers which come from different types of chilies. If you only use one kind of chilies, the spiciness is a bit plain.
- Get your wok ready. Add 1/3 of a cup of oil. Don’t need to wait for the oil to get hot. Directly add in the spices along with the garlic, chili, ginger blend, and the fermented black beans. Stir everything together until the oil turns to a light yellow color. That means the oil is fragrance now. We gonna make it more flavorful with a tbsp of fermented soybean paste. Mix in the soybean paste until it is well distributed. Then throw in all the anchovies. Cook them on medium-low heat for about 4 minutes. Just to make sure they are cooked through. Also make sure all the spices, aromatics are well combined. When it is almost ready, add a splash of Chinese cooking wine. Stir and wait for 15 seconds for the alcohol to evaporate. The anchovies are naturally salty so we will have to taste and adjust the flavor. Mine was perfect. Take them out and you are done. Enjoy!