Deep-frying is the perfect way to cook these tiny fish, which are eaten whole.
Recipe courtesy of "The Illustrated Kitchen Bible: 1,000 Family Recipes from Around the World" by Victoria Blashford-Snell, copyright 2008. Used by permission of Dorling Kindersley Limited. All rights reserved.
|vegetable oil, for deep-frying||1 tsp salt|
|1/3 cup all-purpose flour||1 lb (450 g) whitebait or smelt|
|1 tsp cayenne pepper||lemon wedges, to serve|
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.
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