Deep-fried Whitebait with Polenta Chips

Golden polenta chips and crisp deep-fried whitebait make a delectable dinner party starter from David Massey
By David Massey
Deep-fried Whitebait with Polenta Chips
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 1
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the fish

  • 1 plum tomato, cut in half
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sprigs thyme
  • 100 g seasoned flour
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the polenta chips

  • 1 litres water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 175 g polenta
  • olive oil, for deep frying

To serve

  • 2 tsp mascarpone
  • chopped mixed fresh herbs


1. Preheat the oven to 150C/gas 1. Place the tomato on a roasting tray, drizzle over the olive oil and season to taste. Add the thyme and roast for 1 hour.

2. For the polenta chips, bring the water and salt to the boil and add the polenta. Stir until smooth and bring to simmering point. Reduce the heat and cook for 40-45 minutes, stirring continuously.

3. Pour the polenta onto a large flat baking tray and spread as thinly as possible. Allow to cool and set.

4. To deep fry the fish, heat the oil in a deep fat fryer to 180C. Roll the whitebait in the seasoned flour. Shake any excess flour and deep fry until golden - about 2 minutes. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

5. Slice the polenta into chips. Fry for about 2 minutes until golden; drain on kitchen paper.

6. To serve, assemble the whitebait and polenta chips on a plate with the slow-roasted tomatoes and a walnut-sized dollop of mascarpone. Garnish with herbs.

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