Deep-Fried Whitebait with Lemon & Persillade


by: Breadman

Whitebait is an old English term for small bait type sized looking fish, dusted in flour and fried crispy, in Greece they are known as marides tiganites, which you guessed also means fried whitebait. Yep, you eat the whole fish - but because whitebait is always smaller than your pinky finger, it's no biggie. Lots of cultures eat deep-fried whole little fish, and the best quality fish are often "blue anchovies" found in Asian markets. Count on between 1/4 and 1/3 of a pound per person, depending on their appetite. You may need a dipping sauce for this, although most people prefer without one; I like aioli, a garlic mayonnaise type sauce that goes well with fried fish.


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serves: 4

1 1/4 lb (550 g) whitebait

Canola oil, for deep-frying

1/2 cup (75 g) all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 lemon (cut into wedges, for serving)


2 cloves garlic

1 small bunch of flat-leaf parsley (large stems removed)

Nutrition Facts
Deep-Fried Whitebait with Lemon & Persillade

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 385

  • Total Fat: 26.4 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 2.2 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 103.6 mg
  • Sodium: 484.8 mg
  • Total Carbs: 9 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 0.5 g
  •     Sugars: 0.4 g
  • Protein: 27.5 g

how is this calculated?

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1.  Rinse the whitebait in plenty of cold water, then drain and shake vigorously in a colander.

2.  Heat some oil for deep-frying to 375°F (190°C). For the persillade, mince the garlic on a chopping board. Then add the parsley and continue to chop them together until you have a very fine mixture.

3.  Put the flour, cayenne pepper, and salt into a large bowl and mix together. Add the whitebait and toss until they are all well coated, then lift them out and shake off the excess flour.

4.  Deep-fry the fish in batches for about 3 minutes, until crisp. Drain briefly on paper towels, then tip into a large serving bowl and sprinkle with the persillade. Serve with the lemon wedges.

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