Whitebait Fritters – Kiwi Style

Whitebait fritters in New Zealand are a classic, something your grandmother used to make, something your parents grew up on, something they still serve in the best cafes in town for breakfast. New Zealand whitebait are tiny little fish, unlike the much larger mediterranean style whitebait found in Europe. These miniature little morsels are so delicate, and very subtle in flavour. They taste anything but “fishy”, which suits my palate perfectly..and…they can be caught in the stream behind your beach-house, or bought from the fish-shop in little punnets.

Rob (my hubby) had a hankering for whitebait fritters when we were home recently, so when down in Napier visiting his grandparents, I got to work. Nanni had procured 2 x 250gm punnets of extraordinarily fresh, perfect little whitebait for me.

Because the flavour and texture of these fish is so delicate, I didn’t want to add much to the fritter, so kept them VERY basic, and they were to die for!!! I wanted 100 more, but was certainly full of little fishies once we were finished.

  • 500gm super fresh shiny Whitebait
  • 2 eggs
  • butter
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon wedges for serving

Whisk the eggs in a bowl and then gently combine the whitebait into the mixture. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper. Heat some butter in a frying pan and when it is starting to bubble add small dollops of the mixture. These take NO time to cook, so stand by and turn them once they are just set on the back. Once flipped cook next side until you have a tiny golden brown fritter. Serve immediately with a wedge of lemon and sprinkle with a salt and pepper. YUM YUM YUM.

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6 thoughts on “Whitebait Fritters – Kiwi Style

  1. My fish market never heard of Whitebait–poor me. Then one day I had squid tenticles left after cooking the rings. Now what to do with the tenticles? I thought of your fritters (these were small squid), I cut them apart & made fritters! Very Yummy!

    • Fantastic! Great substitute for whitebait and to use up the rest of the squid. Now you have got me thinking I need to try squid fritters! Thank you for sharing this. Oh maybe scallop fritters too, delicate and tastY!

  2. Pingback: jennichong.com – A Little Nibble of New Zealand

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