Fresh, Irresistible & Deliciously Simple Whitebait….

By Simon  ,   

September 29, 2014

An irresistible and perfect treat or starter, delicate, crispy, salty and lightly spiced, fresh whitebait, "the collective for immature fry of fish", perfect with a squeeze of lemon..... happy days.

  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Yields: 4 Generous


300 Grams Whitebait

2 Heaped tbsp Plain flour

1 tsp English mustard powder

1 tsp Cayenne pepper

1 Scattering Sea salt

2 Medium Lemons

1 Medium Brown sourdough loaf

Chunk Ice cold butter

Splash Vegetable oil




1.Wash the whitebait under cold water and dry very well with paper towel.  Heat a saucepan filled halfway with vegetable oil over medium heat.

2. Put the flour into a plastic bag with the salt, mustard and cayenne, hold it closed and shake to mix. Put a handful of whitebait into the bag, close and shake to coat with the flour. Remove the whitebait and shake off any excess flour.

3. Repeat this process until all the whitebait are coated in flour.  Put on a plate but don’t pile them on top of each other or they will stick together.

4. When the oil is just forming small bubbles on the base of the pan, add a single whitebait and when it floats and cooks to golden-brown in 1 minute or less, the oil is ready to use.

5. Cook the whitebait in small batches, then drain on paper towels and serve immediately sprinkled with the extra salt and with lemon wedges on the side.

Optional sliced brown sourdough and ice cold butter and for a real treat a small bowl of freshly made garlic or lemon mayonnaise.  Enjoy this simple and truly delicious dish.


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