Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
- 1 lb tiny whole fish, such as blue anchovies
- 1 T. fine ground salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4-8 Lemon wedges
- 1-2 cups oil for frying
Pick through your fish to look for any that are not pristine: you are looking for ones where the bellies are torn open. This is from enzymes within the fish breaking it down. Toss these and use only those that look nice, smell a bit like cucumbers (not like nasty fish!) and that have clear eyes.
Mix the salt and flour well.
Pour the oil into a cast-iron frying pan or other suitable pan and heat it to 350 degrees over medium heat.
Dust the fish in the seasoned flour and then shake off the excess. Fry in batches, stirring them so they don't stick together, for 2-3 minutes.
Drain on a fine-meshed rack or on paper towels. If you are making a lot of them, heat the oven toe "warm" and keep the fish in there. It is very important that you serve whitebait hot.
When all the fish are cooked, serve with a sauce such as aioli (linked below) with some lemon wedges and a cold beer.