Baking / Basil / Breakfast / Chilli / Coconut / Coconut Water / Coriander / Fish Sauce / Lime / Lunch / Mint / Palm Sugar / Savoury / Seafood

Crispy Whitebait with Young Coconut Salad

Here we are again…For us here in the ‘bottom half’ of the world it is almost time to dust off the flip-flops and sun loungers, squeeze our winter-padded selves back into itsy-bitsy bikinis and embrace the smell of sunscreen and after-sun. It is also time to return to a style of cooking and eating that is simple, fresh and light. This weekend I got into the summer swing of things by jazzing up a classic crowd pleaser – crispy whitebait.

Tiny, shimmery-skinned whitebait are tossed in a mixture of semolina and flour and lightly fried until crisp and golden. Served with a summer-spirited salad made from mint, basil, coriander, crunchy bean shoots, and wasabi peas.

Summer lovin’.

200g whitebait

½ cup plain flour

½ cup fine semolina

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Rice bran oil, or olive oil, for frying

For the salad:

1 cup bean shoots

¼ cup wasabi peas

½ cup mint leaves

½ cup coriander leaves

½ cup basil leaves

For the dressing:

¼ cup young coconut juice

¼ cup lime juice

½ tbsp palm sugar

¼ cup fish sauce

¼ cup rice vinegar

1 small chilli, roughly chopped

For the dressing, combine all ingredients in bowl and stir until sugar has dissolved. Set aside.

Preheat a little oil in a fry pan over medium-high heat. Combine the flour and semolina in a shallow dish, season to taste. Dust the whitebait in the flour mixture making sure each little fish is well covered. In batches, fry the whitebait for about 4-5 minutes, until crisp and light golden. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen towel. Repeat with remaining fish.

Combine the herbs, wasabi peas, and bean shoots in a bowl. Drizzle with dressing and toss gently. Place the salad in a bowl – used one half of a fresh coconut, from which I got the coconut juice for the dressing.

Serve the crispy whitebait with the side salad and wedges of lime.

Serves 4


7 thoughts on “Crispy Whitebait with Young Coconut Salad

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