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Rockboat Marine

The ‘bait like no other

Whitebait has always been a bit of a Christmas tradition for us. OK, they’re frozen. But if we didn’t have them, my 80-year old father would feel like there is no Santa.

My first memory of whitebait, aged around 3 or 4 years old, is of my grandfather bringing home a half-bucketful. Those were the days!

The quest for the perfect fritter came much later but has proved at least as elusive as the whitebait themselves. Though, I’m not alone, apparently.

I recall the story, in a local newspaper, of a bloke who’d been out white baiting, had a few beers, got the frypan on and, after cooking, congratulated himself on the best fritters ever. It wasn’t til he was cleaning up later that he saw the bowl with all the little eyes still staring back up at him.

For what it’s worth; here’s my recipe. If you’ve got a better one – just send us an email.

Grandad’s Whitebait

The eggs to whitebait ratio is all you really need to worry about.

Whisk vigorously 1 egg white per 100 g of Whitebait, add salt and pepper to taste.

Heat pan to mid/high temperature with butter and/or oil. Test one fritter before adding the others. (About the size of a tennis ball should be about right for each.)

Here’s a tip: Don’t overcrowd the pan, to keep a consistent temperature for each fritter.

Allow 45 seconds to a minute each side - so you don’t overcook. But they should have a bit of colour on them.

Serve with a lemon wedge, if you have one handy, or by themselves.

Some people like to have them with white, buttered bread - we’re definitely not judging.



If you’ve got a tried-and-true recipe, or fishing story, you’d like to share just drop us a line to tony@rockboat.co.nz.

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