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Boiled eggs with anchovy, fennel seed & chilli butter soldiers

Boiled eggs with anchovy, fennel seed & chilli butter soldiers

A few leftover anchovy fillets is a common occurrence, so having a few ideas up your sleeve for leftover recipes is a good idea, says Elly Curshen. Once cooked, an anchovy will basically dissolve and won’t add fishiness to the final dish, more a depth of flavour and intense savouriness or umami.

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  • Serves4
  • CourseBrunch
  • Prepare5 mins
  • Cook5 mins
  • Total time10 mins

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  • 4 medium eggs (I recommend No.1 Longstock Gold)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 65g salted butter, softened (depending on how generously you butter your toast)
  • 6 anchovy fillets in oil, depending on what you have to use up
  • 4 slice/s sourdough bread


  1. Boil the eggs to your preference. I bring a small pan of water to a gentle simmer, carefully lower the (room temperature) eggs in, and simmer for 5 minutes. This gives a set white and a runny yolk – perfect for dipping.

  2. While the eggs cook, make the flavoured butter. Toast the fennel seeds in a dry pan for 30 seconds or so, until they start to smell delicious. Tip into a pestle and mortar or small blender with the chilli flakes, then crush or whizz into a rough powder.

  3. Tip the spices onto a board and add the butter and anchovy fillets. Using a table knife, blend it all together until you have a well combined, rough mixture. Toast the bread. Spread the anchovy butter over the hot toast and cut into soldiers to dip into your eggs.

Cook’s tip


1. Puttanesca sauce for pasta All you need is garlic, anchovies, capers, olives and tomatoes. The anchovies will melt into the sauce, adding incredible depth  of flavour.

2. Bagna cauda Translated as ‘warm bath’, bagna cauda is an Italian dipping sauce made with butter, olive oil,  garlic and anchovies. Serve with crudités, cubes of bread or boiled new potatoes to dip in.

3. Salsa verde Add a couple of anchovy fillets to some finely chopped fresh herbs,  such as parsley and coriander, garlic, capers, olive oil and vinegar, to make a simple salsa verde. This tangy and herbaceous green sauce is perfect with a range of dishes, particularly grilled meats or seafood.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


2,209kJ/ 527kcals



Saturated Fat












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