Whitebait with lemon aioli

Aaron Craze serves crisp deep-fried whitebait with a bitter leaf salad and home-made garlicky mayonnaise
By Aaron Craze
Whitebait with lemon aioli
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 egg, separated
  • 250 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 lemon, juice and finely grated zest
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar

For the salad

  • 1 heads chicory
  • 1 heads radicchio
  • 1 bunches watercress

For the whitebait

  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 600 g Whitebait fish
  • oil, for deep-frying

Tips and Suggestions

To stop the whitebait sticking together, put in the freezer for half an hour before coating them in the flour.


1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg white with a pinch of salt until light and fluffy. Whisking all the time, pour in half of the oil in a slow, steady stream. Continue whisking until the mixture has emulsified to a mayonnaise.

2. Add the yolk and carry on whisking as you drizzle in the rest of the oil. Stir in the crushed garlic and lemon juice, to taste. Finally add the mustard and vinegar.

3. Tear a few leafs from the chicory, radicchio and watercress and put in a salad bowl. Dress with a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

4. Mix the flour, paprika and salt in a bowl. Add the whitebait and toss until well coated. Tip into a sieve to remove any excess flour.

5. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer or large pan to 190C. Deep-fry the whitebait in batches for about 1 minute. Drain on some kitchen towel.

6. Scatter the whitebait over the salad and serve with the lemon aioli. Sprinkle over a little lemon zest.

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