01/05/2011

Fried Whitebait with Aioli

Whitebait are young herring, one to two inches in length. Dusted and fried, they make a seriously tasty dish!

Enough talking ... we've got fish to fry ...

First, rinse the fish and pat them dry, then dust with arrowroot or any kind of paleo-friendly flour - this is easily done by putting all the fish into a bag, sprinkle in the flour, sea salt and freshly milled black pepper. Capture some air in the bag, close off the top and shake to coat the fish.

In a frying pan, get some fat heated up - dripping is perfect; that's tallow, I think in US. You don't need a lot; enough to shallow fry.

When the fat is HOT, drop in the whitebait which should sizzle violently so get a hold of the pan and sauté, flipping the fish in the pan a few times.

Turn out onto kitchen paper to soak off the excess fat and serve as they are with a few lemon wedges or over salad leaves with a sauce like aioli or soured cream.

To make aioli, collect a number of egg yolks into a bowl. Eggs from naturally raised chickens have a fantastic yellow colour and a great flavour.

Whisk the eggs, pouring up a slow stream of extra virgin olive oil until a fine emulsion is formed. As well as producing a fine sauce, this is great exercise - feel free to use a food processor.

Whisk in some crushed and minced garlic cloves. Use as many as you like, but do not overpower the sauce.

Check for flavour, adding lemon juice, maybe a little salt and some finely ground black pepper. You can optionally include some English mustard powder to boost the kick and add some further yellow colour if need be - it's optional. Feel free to pop in some finely chopped herbs - parsley and basil spring to mind.

2 comments :

  1. Can't wait to try this! Just wondered where you get whitebait from - I can't find any in supermarkets round here!

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  2. If you can't find them in the supermarket, ask your fishmonger to source you some.

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