Pan-fried smelt

“Fish (n.pl. fish or fish*es) – an animal that grows the fastest between the time it’s caught and the time the fisherman describes it to his friends”

The only fishing I do is at fishmongers’ or at a supermarket. I mean it’s not like I’ve never held a rod in my hands, but all these occasions can be counted on fingers of one hand. I understand the “guy thing” in it and to some extent I understand the pleasure of it and the meditation (or whatever it may be called part), but I personally love to eat fish! Thus I only fish, where I’m sure I’ll catch it and that is in a store!

The smelt fishing season (as far as I know) is very short and may last as short as a day. Like a lottery – you never know what you may get and how much. And although these little fish do take time to clean, they are still worth it, because it is such a delight!

So anyways, it is the season now – use the opportunity while it lasts. And I wanted badly to get some, fry my favorite way and let the dish model in front of my camera. It’s amazing how much one can learn in food photography!
This little fish has one very distinguishing feature – it smells of cucumbers! Yes, it does require many little fish to cook a meal. On the other hand – you can turn it into a nice social event with a group of friends, all participating in it.
Last time I went to the fish counter, couldn’t resist buying a lot! So I was quite happy to find a video showing how to clean them fastest and easiest – have not yet found a better way:
Once you’re done – it’s all very fast and easy! If there is a group of people waiting for the fish to be fried and ready to eat, you may be in for a marathon of frying and not being fast enough to serve to the table. Perfect finger food!
Ingredients:
* Smelt
* Egg
* Panko bread crumbs (also try tempura for a new taste)
* Crystal salt
* Flaked sea salt
* Herbs
* Oil (I used olive oil)
Beat the egg, mix in dried herbs. My choice was a Greek mix (thyme, oregano, parsley, garlic, basil). In a different bowl mix panko crumbs with crystal salt. Heat olive oil in a pan and start frying! Once the crumbs turn golden, you’re done!
Serve with a lemon wedge, a side of green salad, tomato sauce if desired. My personal favorite is a salad garlic dressing. This time, since the fish prepping was about to take quite a bit of time, it was store bought.
Bon appetit!

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