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Fried Whitebait

Updated February 23, 2016
(1 Votes)

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Deep-frying is the perfect way to cook these tiny fish, which are eaten whole. Good with chilled potato salad.

4 servings

Preparation Time - Text1

Cooking Time20 min

Cooking Time - Text20

Cooking Methodfrying

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 30 minutes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Courseantipasto/mezze, hot appetizer, tapas/small plates

Dietary Considerationantipasto/mezze, hot appetizer, tapas/small plates

Equipmentdeep fryer

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner, lunch

Moodadventurous

Taste and Texturecrunchy, hot & spicy, salty

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

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.

Mix the flour, cayenne, and salt together in a large bowl.

Toss the whitebait in the seasoned flour, making sure they are evenly coated. Place in a large sieve and shake off the excess flour.

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.

Serve immediately, with the lemon wedges.

Frying the whitebait in small batches will prevent them from clumping together and turning soggy.

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