Pan-Fried Smelts

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 21 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 6 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

2 pounds smelts, approximately 12 (6 to 8-inch long) gutted with fins removed

1/2 cup dried bread crumbs

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

Peanut oil

Directions

  1. Rinse the smelts thoroughly and pat dry. Place the bread crumbs, salt and pepper into a large resealable bag and shake to combine. Place the lemon juice into a shallow dish. Dip the smelts into the juice and then place in the bag with the dry mixture and shake until the fish are well coated. You can coat 2 to 3 fish at a time, depending on their size.
  2. Place enough peanut oil into a 12-inch cast iron skillet just to cover the bottom of the pan. Place over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the smelts to the pan, 4 to 5 at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes per side until lightly browned and cooked through.