As the question states, are there any. I know things like sardines require pressure cooking or canning but what about thuings like anchovies or other, is the bone edible without having to pressure cook? My goal is to get calcium from bones with the least amount of cooking, if any at all.

  • 1
    What do you mean by "edible"? Do they have to be soft, or are you okay with bones that are a little hard but small enough that it doesn't really matter?
    – Cascabel
    Nov 15, 2016 at 3:09
  • i'm ok with hard if it's safe to eat. no, they don't have to be soft, just safe to eat. When can i consider something small enough that it doesn't matter? note i've just asked a seperate question on this. Nov 17, 2016 at 1:34

5 Answers 5


Sprat and even larger fish like small jack mackerels (up to 10 cm length) are typically eaten with their spine bones when fried. The fins and heads are removed though.


Anchovies are sold dried in bags of small or tiny whole fish. One generally pinches off the head and stomach and eats the rest, so, yes the bones don't need to be softened by heat, but these fish are very small, even compared to what winds up as fillets in the tins.

  • are you referring to a specific size/type of anchovies or it works with any? i know they come in tiny, small, xl,mediteranean etc? which ones work? Also do they have to be dried in order to serve my purpose? thanks Nov 20, 2016 at 9:24
  • The dried anchovies tend to be very small. I'd guess with larger fish you'd have bigger, thicker bones and you couldn't just eat them that way. Nov 21, 2016 at 2:27

Pickling fish softens the bones with vinegar. No need to cook. Lots of good recipes on-line, just use a fresh whitefish.


Japanese cuisine knows the practice of eating Hamo eel after shortening the bones by mincing them IN the fish (special knife techniques) and poaching it....


You can eat just about ANY fish bones. I don't know if this qualifies with your "least amount of cooking". But, you can Deep-fry or Pan Fry (I use my wok with a bout a half inch of oil for this) anything from a smaller whitefish to a salmon. I cook at about 375F until it's a light brown, at which point it's crispy and easily edible. Usually only a couple minutes. I season with Salt, Pepper, Lemon or Soy and Green onion.

Here's a recipe from serious eats if that helps: - Serious Eats

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.