Anchovy Vs Tuna: What’s the Difference?

There are all sorts of fish in the sea, and it can be tough to tell one from another.

Anchovies and tuna are two such fish types that often get mistaken for each other.

So what’s the difference between them?

Let’s take a closer look.

What’s special about anchovies?

Anchovies are a type of small, oily fish that is often used as a flavoring agent in various dishes.

While they may not be the most popular ingredient, they can actually pack a lot of flavors.

In addition to their strong taste, anchovies are also rich in umami, which is a savory flavor that enhances other ingredients.

Anchovies are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health.

As a result, they can be a great way to add flavor and nutrition to your diet.

What’s special about tunas?

Tunas are a type of fish that are part of the mackerel family.

They are known for their high quality, pink flesh, and oily texture.

The oil content in tuna is what makes it so versatile – it can be used in a variety of dishes, from sushi to salads.

What’s even more impressive is that tunas can reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour, making them one of the fastest fish in the sea.

Not only are they speedy, but they are also strong swimmers, able to migrate long distances.

Tunas are truly remarkable creatures, and it’s no wonder they are so popular with fishermen and seafood lovers alike.

Anchovy vs tuna – Main differences


The very first difference between these two types of fish is their habitats.

Anchovies are found in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as in the Atlantic Ocean.

On the other hand, tunas are found in tropical and temperate waters all over the world.

This means that you’re more likely to find anchovies in European dishes, while tunas are more commonly used in Asian and American dishes.


Another difference between anchovies and tunas is their size.

Anchovies are much smaller than tunas, with an average length of only 3-5 inches.

Meanwhile, tunas can grow to be over 6 feet long.

This difference in size is due to the fact that tunas are a migratory species, while anchovies are not.


Taste is another area where these two fish differ.

Anchovies have a strong, salty flavor that can be quite overpowering.

In contrast, tunas have a more subtle flavor that is often described as being mild or sweet.

You can taste the difference for yourself by trying both of these fish in a dish.

Chances are, you’ll be able to tell which one is which.

Fishing methods

How fishermen catch tuna and anchovies also differs.

Tuna are caught using many different methods, including trolling, long-lining, and purse seining.

In contrast, anchovies are usually caught using a method called “purse seining.”

This method involves surrounding a school of fish with a net and then drawing the net closed, like a drawstring purse.

Health benefits

Both tuna and anchovies are good for your health.

They are low in calories and fat, and they are a good source of protein.

Tuna is especially rich in omega-3 fatty acids, while anchovies are a good source of umami.

Calories per serving

Each serving of tuna has about 120 calories, while each serving of anchovies has only about 30 calories.

This big difference means that tuna is a better choice if you’re looking for a high-protein, low-calorie food.


In terms of price, tuna is much more expensive than anchovies.

This is because tuna is a more popular fish, and it is also larger in size.

If you’re on a budget, anchovies are a good choice.

How to use them in recipes

Finally, let’s take a look at how to use these two fish in recipes.

Anchovies are often used as a flavoring agent in various dishes.

While they can be eaten on their own, they are usually chopped up and added to other ingredients.

For example, you might add anchovies to a tomato sauce or use them to top a pizza.

Tuna, on the other hand, is often served as a main course.

It can be grilled, baked, or even canned.

Tuna is also a popular ingredient in sushi.

A simple anchovy recipe to try

Here is one of my favorite recipes that use anchovies.

It’s a simple dish of pasta with a tomato sauce, and it only takes a few minutes to make.


-1 can of diced tomatoes

-1 tablespoon of olive oil

-3 cloves of garlic, minced

-2 tablespoons of chopped anchovies

-1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

-1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

-1/2 pound of pasta

-1/4 cup of chopped parsley


1. Start by heating the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and anchovies, and cook until the anchovies are melted.

2. Add the diced tomatoes and all of the spices. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the sauce is heated through.

3. Add the pasta to the pot and cook according to the package directions.

4. Once the pasta is cooked, stir in the parsley and serve.

This recipe is a great way to get started with using anchovies in your cooking.

If you’re not a fan of the strong flavor, you can always add less anchovy paste.

Or, if you want a more robust flavor, you can add more.

Give it a try and see what you think.

Tips for cooking anchovies

Cooking anchovies should be simple if you follow these tips:

  • If you are using fresh anchovies, be sure to clean them thoroughly before cooking.
  • If you are using canned anchovies, drain and rinse them before cooking.
  • Anchovies can be cooked in a variety of ways, including grilled, fried, baked, or simmered in broth.
  • When cooking anchovies, be careful not to overcook them, as they can become bitter.
  • If you are including anchovies in a dish like pasta sauce, be sure to add them towards the end of cooking so that they don’t overheat and break down.
  • Anchovies can be served as a standalone dish or as part of a larger meal. Serve them with a side of bread or vegetables, and enjoy.

A simple tuna recipe to try

If you’re looking for something new to cook your tuna, give this recipe a try.

It’s easy to make and only requires a few ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen.


-1 can tuna, drained

-1/4 cup mayonnaise

-1 tablespoon mustard

-1/4 cup bread crumbs

-1 teaspoon garlic powder


1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a bowl, mix together the tuna, mayonnaise, mustard, bread crumbs, and garlic powder.

3. Spread the mixture into an 8×8 baking dish.

4. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

5. Enjoy.

Tips for cooking tunas

Follow these tips if you want to cook tunas perfectly:

  • If you are cooking tunas for the first time, it is best to ask your fishmonger for advice on how to prepare them.
  • Always start by rinsing the tunas in cold water.
  • To remove the slime from the tunas, soak them in a mixture of vinegar and water for about 15 minutes.
  • When cooking tunas, it is important to keep them moist. One way to do this is to wrap them in foil or parchment paper before cooking.
  • Tunas are best cooked rare or medium-rare. Overcooked tunas will be dry and tough.
  • Use a sharp knife to remove the skin from the tunas before cooking.
  • To get the most flavor from your tunas, cook them with aromatic herbs and spices.
  • When storing cooked tunas, always place them in an airtight container and keep them refrigerated.

By following these tips, you can be sure that your next meal of tunas will be a success.

Anchovy vs tuna – Conclusion

Despite their differences, both anchovies and tunas are good for your health and can be used in a variety of recipes.

If you’re looking for a high-protein, low-calorie food, tuna is a good choice.

If you’re on a budget, anchovies are a good choice.

You can use either of these fish in a variety of recipes, depending on your personal preference.

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