FIN-ESSE: discovering the most famous seafood dishes in Malaga

AS Málaga pushes the boat to win Intangible Cultural Heritage status for its iconic espetos, the PO sample the province’s other UNESCO-worthy fish dishes with finesse.


Nothing says summer on the Costa like espetos. Rows of silver sardines roasting on bamboo skewers emerging from blue fishing boats add to the theater of the restaurant and turn a coastal paseo into pure aromatherapy. The custom began with hungry Phoenician fishermen in need of cheap fast food after a long day at sea. Malgueno Miguel Martinez Soler, aka The Sardine Man, added royal approval when King Alfonso XII stopped by his humble chiringuito in 1884 and declared them finger-licking royally good.

Simple but delicious, add a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt to savor the hot Malaga fish dish.

Frying Malaga

This cornucopia of crispy seafood is one of Málaga’s most guilty pleasures, but to hell with the calories. For a crispy concoction of fried anchovies, cod, calamari, prawns, baby octopus and baby octopus, topped off with a zesty squeeze of lemon, it’s worth the extra trip to the gym. Despite the cooking method, the fritura is never greasy. The secret is in the combination of extra virgin olive oil and flour to produce a dry crust that crumbles in the mouth.

Boquerones in vinegar

Don’t call them anchovies (or anchovy)! Boquerones were nowhere near a pickle factory or a tin can. These are sea-fresh anchovies marinated in olive oil, vinegar, parsley and garlic and an excellent tapa treat when real.

The first recipe dates back more than 3000 years, the Tartars, Phoenicians and Romans improved it and the 17th century Malaga poet Juan de Ovando mentioned it in an ode. Since the 18th century their importance in the culture of Málaga has been discussed at the Real Academia Española and the 19th century novelist Pedro Antonio de Alarcon wrote that Málaga was home to the “best anchovies in the world”. Foodie Dionisio Perez added: “There is only one type of anchovy, which is fished from Estepona to Malaga”.

Locally alias victorian boquerones in reference to the best month to catch them, September is also dedicated to the Virgen de la Victoria, patroness of Malaga.

Try them yourself next month at the Fiesta del Boqueron Victoriano in Rincón de la Victoria (September 21-23).

Gaspachuelo Malaga

Although the name may sound like Andalusia’s famous chilled tomato soup, this winter warmer bears little resemblance to summertime gazpacho. The original recipe, a hot mixture of fish, potatoes, water, salt, mayonnaise and wine vinegar, was created by the poor fisherman from El Palo, the same fishing village in Malaga where King Alphonse XII tasted his sardines – maritime gastronomy is clearly in the spotlight. the blood. Over time, prawns, langoustines and clams were added, along with a garnish of hard-boiled eggs and toast to make it a culinary classic.


The Mediterranean salad diet. Refreshing and nutritious, it was originally a simple mixture of leftover vegetables, but has become a staple in Malaga cuisine. Different regions add their own gastronomic touches depending on what grows in their garden, but Malaga’s version focuses on tomatoes, red and green peppers, garlic, onion, olives, tuna, mussels and other assorted seafood dressed with – what else but – olive oil and sea salt. This summer salad is both easy and economical to make!

Malaga salad

This refreshing Spanish version of potato salad is made with salt cod, onions, green olives and the juice of succulent Seville oranges. Perfect for warm weather, it’s packed with distinct flavors that pair well, showcasing Malaga’s famous Mediterranean fish and vegetables in a light citrus vinaigrette. The cod is the star while the Aloreña olives, native to Malaga, add the bitter flavor that completes the flavor of the dish.

Dino S. Williams