Thursday, November 05, 2009

Whittering about Whitebait

Today's biology lesson: In New Zealand, whitebait are the juvenile of certain galaxiids which mature and live as adults in rivers with native forest surrounds. The larvae of these galaxiids is swept down to the ocean where they hatch and the sprats then move back up their home rivers as whitebait. In other parts of the world whitebait refers to much larger fish.

Whitebait fishing season is very short (about 10 weeks in most areas) and because they are such a delicacy whitebait commands big prices during the season and you can pay upwards of $70 per kilogram. You can of course by frozen whitebait from China but it just ain't the same.

Whitebait in its raw form - not very appetizing looking

Check out the beady lil eyes of these teeny weeny fish

Now that the eyes disguised with lots of cracked black pepper the whitebait are transformed into fritters

Whitebait Fritters

250 grams/1/2 a pound of whitebait
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
Salt and LOTS of cracked black pepper (it disguises their eyes!)
Butter for the frypan

In a bowl, mix the egg and flour until smooth
Add the whitebait and stir gently to combine
Season with salt and pepper
Put a little butter in a frypan on medium heat
Drop a spoonful of fritter mix into the pan and cook for 30 seconds
Flip and cook on the other side
Serve with buttered fingers of fresh white bread with lots of lemon juice on the side


Heaven on Earth said...

Yikes!! They are a little bit scary.

Tammy said...

yum!! I love whitebait and your fritters look just delicious!