Whitebait Fritters
  |  First Published: December 2009

Whitebait fritters are delicious little morsels of flavour that can be used as a party canapé, part of a seafood platter or a light lunch served with a green salad.

The following recipes are two different taste variations of whitebait fritters. One version is a basic whitebait fritter recipe; the other version is an Italian influenced whitebait fritter. Both variations are quick and easy to make and utterly delicious.

Because whitebait are so tiny, they are never gutted but simply washed, patted dry with some paper towel, and cooked whole.

Basic Whitebait Fritters

500g whitebait

1 shallot, very finely sliced

1/2 tsp lemon or lime zest

1 egg, lightly beaten

2-3 tbsp plain flour

Cooking oil, for sautéing


In a bowl, gently combine the whitebait, shallot, zest and beaten egg until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Add the flour, a tablespoon at a time, stirring after each addition of flour.

Heat the cooking oil in a heavy based fry pan over a medium to hot heat. Add the fritter mixture, a dessertspoon full at a time, taking care not to overcrowd the pan.

Sauté the fritters on one side until golden brown. Turn the fritters over and cook on the other side until golden brown.

Remove the whitebait fritters from the pan and drain them on some paper towel while you sauté the remaining fritter mixture.

Serve with garlic or wasabi flavoured mayonnaise.

Italian Whitebait Fritters

500g whitebait

2 cloves garlic

3 tbsp Italian parsley, finely chopped

1 tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese

1-2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tbsp breadcrumbs

Freshly ground salt and pepper

1 cup cooking oil, for sautéing


Put the whitebait in a bowl and add garlic, parsley, parmesan, egg, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Mix the contents of the bowl gently but thoroughly until well combined. Using a clean pair of hands, shape the whitebait mixture into small fritters.

Heat the oil in a heavy based frypan over a medium to hot heat. Fry the fritters, in batches, turning over once, until they are golden brown on each side.

Remove the fritters from the pan and drain on some paper towel.

Serve the hot fritters with some wedges of lime for squeezing over.

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