A plate of fried smelts is a staple at many Italian-American Christmas Eve dinners. The silvery fish are found in cool waters and boast high amounts of protein, calcium and minerals. Local asian markets like 99 Ranch Market in Clairemont Mesa carry frozen one-pound bags of smelt during the holidays, or you can substitute fresh mackerel, anchovies or sardines for a slightly stronger taste. This dish is easy to make, inexpensive and highly addictive. 

 

December 30, 2017

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of smelts (try to find them around 4½ inches so they don’t need to be deboned)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour for dredging
  • Salt & pepper
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Canola oil
  • Lemon wedges


Instructions

  1. Pat fish dry with paper towel. Remove bones if necessary. Season flour with salt and pepper, add flour to 1 gallon storage bag.
  2. Add fish to the bag and shake to coat the fish in flour. In a large pan, add canola oil to cover the bottom of the pan, about 1 inch deep. Heat oil, then place fish in pan. Brown 1 side (about 2 minutes) and flip to brown the other side. Cook them in a single layer and execute in batches until all fish are fried.
  3. Remove excess oil with paper towel and place fish on platter.
  4. Generously sprinkle with coarse sea salt and serve warm with lemon wedges.

 

 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of smelts (try to find them around 4½ inches so they don’t need to be deboned)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour for dredging
  • Salt & pepper
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Canola oil
  • Lemon wedges


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