Deep Fried Whitebait



Whitebait are delicious when deep-fried. They are a really fishy fish if you know what I mean but perfect as tasty canapes especially with some bubbly to celebrate an occasion….and this one- my recent graduation! On a recent trip to France my dad bought back some sparkling ‘Saumer’ which is a lovely alternative to Champagne. Its a really fresh, dry, Chenin Blanc based sparkling wine and, like most dry sparkling wines…goes deliciously well with fried, greasy finger food! After devouring one batch and one bottle we came to our senses and moved onto the real deal and another helping…

Serves 4 as a starter

  • 50g plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • 200g whitebait
  • Salt
  • 100ml sparkling water
  • Sunflower oil for frying
  • Mayonnaise
  • 1 lime
  1. Whisk the egg, flour and salt together in a bowl and whisk in the sparking water until you have a smooth batter.
  2. Heat half a pan of sunflower oil (or a deep fat fryer if you have live an extravagant life) to about 180 or until a piece of bread, turns golden brown and sizzles within a few minutes.
  3. Dip the whitebait into the batter, a handful at a time and fry in the hot oil for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Drain into a kitchen roll lined bowl and sprinkle with salt. Keep warm while you finish the rest
  4. Mix a small cup of mayonnaise with enjoy lime/lemon juice to taste and serve with the whitebait.


WINE: The only thing I can even bear to consider drinking with these fried and greasy is fishy delights is something sparkling. Anything of good quality you have to hand. Try a lovely Saumer or a classic Champagne. One of my personal favourites being Gimonnnet. Champagne Cuis 1er Cru Brut NV available at Armit Wines.

Jess - Gimonnet