As a child I remember being horrified by the sight of my uncle sitting there munching his way through a veritable mountain of Whitebait. It just seemed to be such carnage in order to put dinner on someones plate.
Now things have changed a little bit; I quite simply can’t get enough of them, particualrly as a light meal in a beer garden with a refreshing pint.
For those of you who are wondering what exactly Whitebait are they are immature sprats, normally Herring in the UK, the whole fish is floured or lightly battered and deep fried. Because the fish are so young and tender the entire fish can be eaten as is without needing the bones or head to be removed.
I think the best way to enjoy Whitebait is really piping hot with a good sprinkling of lemon juice and plenty of bread and butter – delicious
When you are flouring the Whitebait you can add in some light seasoning such as salt and pepper or through in some cayenne pepper and chilli powder in order to have deviled Whitebait.
There is no real special trick to cooking Whitebait and in my opinion the simplest method is the best –
Dredge the Whitebait in the seasoned white flour
Shake off the excess flour and fry in hot vegetable oil until the fish are a light golden colour – around 2 or 3 minutes