Whitebait in garlic and pepper batter

Vivek Singhs moreish recipe makes a great nibble for cocktail parties serve with a mayonnaise-based dip
By Vivek Singh
Whitebait in garlic and pepper batter
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 500 g whitebait
  • oil, for deep-frying

For the batter

  • 2 tbsp gram flour
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp ginger paste, see cook's notes
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste, see cook's notes
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 cm fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp black onion seeds

Tips and Suggestions

Ginger paste
Makes about 6 tablespoons
- 175g (6 ounces) fresh ginger, peeled
- 5 tablespoons water
Chop up the ginger and process it to a paste with the water in a food processor or blender. The paste will keep for 1 week in the fridge.

Garlic Paste
Makes about 6 tablespoons
- 175g (6 ounces) garlic, peeled
- 5 tablespoons water
Chop up the garlic and process it to a paste with the water in a food processor or blender. The paste will keep for 1 week in the fridge, but if you substitute oil for water it should keep for 2 weeks.

Method

1. Wash the whitebait in a large bowl of water to remove any sand or dirt, then drain through a sieve. Spread the fish out on kitchen paper to remove excess moisture.

2. Mix all the ingredients for the batter together until smooth and thick. Add the whitebait, mix well and set aside for 10 minutes.

3. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer or a large, deep saucepan and drop the whitebait in one after another to prevent them sticking together (do this in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan). Fry for about 2 minutes, until crisp, stirring occasionally. Drain on kitchen paper and serve straight away.

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