- Course: Antipasto/Mezze, Hot Appetizer, Tapas/Small Plates
- Total Time: Under 30 Minutes
- Skill Level: Easy
- Cost: Inexpensive
- Favorited: 4 Times
Deep-frying is the perfect way to cook these tiny fish, which are eaten whole. Good with chilled potato salad.
- Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 lb (450g) whitebait or smelt
- Lemon wedges, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 200°F (95°C). Pour enough oil to come halfway up the sides of a large deep saucepan. Heat the oil over high heat until 350°F (180°C) on a deep-frying thermometer.
2. Mix the flour, cayenne, and salt together in a large bowl.
3. Toss the whitebait in the seasoned flour, making sure they are evenly coated. Place in a large sieve and shake off the excess flour.
4. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. In three batches, deep-fry the whitebait for 2–3 minutes, until they turn lightly golden. Transfer to the paper towels and keep warm in the oven until all the fish are fried.
5. Serve immediately, with the lemon wedges.
Frying the whitebait in small batches will prevent them from clumping together and turning soggy.
© 2008 Dorling Kindersley
Nutritional information is based on 4 cups added oil for frying.