Whitebait are small, young fish which are a seasonal delicacy in New Zealand. There are five native species prized for their tenderness and flavor. In this recipe, I used Australian whitebait which are larger than their Kiwi counterparts. I lightly dusted the whitebait in flour and then fried them for a few seconds. The small, crunchy fish are served with an easy aioli of egg mayonnaise, cilantro (coriander), garlic and lemon juice.
Fried whitebait are particularly delicious washed down with a cold glass of beer.
- For the Fish:
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
- 14 ounces (400 grams) of whitebait
- 2 cups of vegetable oil (for frying)
- For the Aioli:
- 1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon of coriander (cilantro, finely chopped)
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice (juice from 1/4 lemon)
- 1 cup of egg mayonnaise
- Prepare the aioli by combining the garlic, cilantro, mayonnaise and lemon juice in a bowl. Stir well to combine then cover and set aside until serving time.
- Rinse whitebait under cold, running water and gently pat dry with paper towels.
- Place flour and sea salt in a bowl and mix well.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan until surface begins to shimmer. Test to see if the oil is ready by dropping a pinch of flour into it. The flour should fry immediately.
- Toss fish in seasoned flour, ensuring they are well coated. Remove and shake off excess flour, then deep-fry in batches for 40 seconds or until crisp and golden.
- Serve whitebait with a sprinkle of sea salt and aioli.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||158 g|
|Saturated Fat||15 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||91 g|
|Dietary Fiber||13 g|