Deep fried whitebait

Deep fried whitebait: Whitebait are young fish and around the Mediterranean are young sardines or anchovies. In Italy, they are known as ‘gianchetti‘ or ‘bianchetti‘ and are often prepared with a light coating of flour and deep-fried. In Britian these are known as deep fried whitebait and often served with a marie rose dip and fresh wedge of lemon.

In Italian this dish is called ‘Frittelle di Gianchetti‘ and along the coastlines of Italy, is considered a delicacy.

  • Normally 125 – 200 grams (1/2 – 1/3 lb) will be enough for one person.

Ingredients – Serves 2 – 4:

  • 500 grams (1 lb) whitebait or similar finger-sized, whole white fish
  • 1 tablespoon fine ground salt
  • 135 grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 4-8 Lemon wedges
  • 1-2 cups oil for frying
  1. Sort the fish and discard any that are broken.
  2. Combine the salt with the flour.
  3. Heat the oil to 175C/350 F.
  4. Dust the fish in the seasoned flour shaking off any excess.
  5. Working in small batches to avoid the oil cooling, fry the fish for 2 – 3 minutes until they are golden brown and stir them to stop them sticking together.
  6. Drain on paper towel and keep them hot. If you are frying a lot of them, place them onto a baking sheet at the bottom of a low oven.
  7. Serve hot with your preferred dipping sauce or simply with the freshly cut lemon wedges.
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