Sauteed Whitebait

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Martin Bosley – The Yacht Club.
Serves 4.


  • 400 g whitebait, drained
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 50-70 mls clarified butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed lightly
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • juice of 1 lemon


Heat a large frying pan until it is very hot. Place the drained whitebait into a large sieve and hold it over a roasting dish, liberally dusting the whitebait with the flour, shaking the sieve to ensure all the fish are evenly coated. Keep scooping the excess flour from the roasting pan and shaking it back over the fish. Do not be tempted to stir the fish in the flour with you fingers, or you will end up with a sticky mess. Once all the fish are lightly coated in the flour, add the melted butter to the pan with the cloves of garlic. When the butter is hot, and working quickly, remove the garlic and carefully sprinkle the whitebait evenly into the pan, Let it sit for 30 seconds before starting to shake the pan before using kitchen tongs to gently move the whitebait around the pan. You want the flour to form a toasted crust around the succulent fish. Season with the sea salt and a squeeze of lemon juice and remove the fish from the pan onto absorbent paper before dividing the whitebait equally between 4 plates.


The recipe above has been supplied by a member of the public and has not been individually tested by Helen Jackson. Helen Jackson does not accept any liability in relation to publication of this recipe.

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