Deep Fried Smelts


  •     2 pounds smelts, approximately 12 (6 to 8-inch long) gutted with fins removed
  •     1 cup dried bread crumbs, finely ground
  •     1 cup flour
  •     1 teaspoon kosher salt
  •     1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  •     1 egg
  •     1 cup milk
  •     1 cup water
  •     sprigs of parsley
  •     2 lemons
  •     Peanut or canola oil


Step 1: In a deep fryer or deep skillet, heat oil to 375 °F (190 °C).

Step 2: Rinse smelts thoroughly and pat dry.

Step 3: Place the bread crumbs and flour into a large bowl. Whisk egg, water, and milk into a bowl.  Dip the smelts into the bread crumb/flour mixture, then into the egg mixture, then back into the flour mixture until the fish are well coated. Shake off excess.

Step 4: Drop smelts into deep fryer or skillet with heated oil and cook until golden. Let stand to drain on paper towel and season with salt.

Step 5: Place smelts in a serving dish, garnish with parsley and lemon wedges.

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