Whitebait

Total Time:
10 min
Prep:
5 min
Cook:
5 min

Yield:
serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a starter
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 18 ounces whitebait
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh curly parsley
  • Maldon or other sea salt
  • Lemon wedges, for plating
Directions
  • Heat the oil for frying in a deep-fat fryer to about 375 degrees F.

  • Put the whitebait and the seasoned flour into a plastic bag, and toss everything around to coat the fish.

  • Shake the excess flour by turning out the whole bag into a metal sieve, and then plunge the little fishes into the oil. Cook for about 3 minutes or until they look crispy and tempting - though I can see that for a squeamish generation, the idea of eating baby fish, whole, might not tempt. How wrong they are, if that's the case.

  • Turn them out onto paper towels, and while the fish are losing any excess oil (we want desirable crunch) throw in a small handful of parsley leaves to deep-fry; watch out, it will spit. (A splatter guard is useful. Not charming, but useful.) When they have turned a very dark green, drain and serve with the whitebait, well sprinkled with sea salt and surrounded with lemon wedges.


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