Inside the sea, hundreds accompany divers elegantly, since smelts are friendly gregarious fish. Very easy to catch, they can be fished with a bucket or fishing rot. Ones I know from Marmara and Mediterranean are tiny, fried and eaten with fishbone and heads on. In Canada they are fatter and served as appetizer in fancy restaurants. In Greece they’re fried with flour and served with lemon.
They smell of sea wonderfully. I must prepare them in my style.
I washed them with cold water, marinated in pepper and sea salt, and then fried them with corn flour. Tossed them with lemon juice and served them on plain pilav (Turkish style rice) and butter roasted green peas. That was the dinner but I can imagine having this crunchy delicatessen as meze with rakı.
- 1 kg smelts (Atherina) fish
- 1 cup finely ground corn flour
- half tablespoon ground white pepper
- half tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- half tablespoon ground red pepper
- half tablespoon sea salt
- sunflower oil to fry
- one lemon
Crispy Smelt Fish [Atherina] Recipe
- Wash the fish in cold water, tap dry
- Add white pepper, black pepper, ground red pepper, sea salt and toss
- Coat the fish evenly with corn flour. Heat the oil in a frying pan, shake off excess flour, fry the fish
- Take the fish to a paper towel to remove the excess oil. Taste. Add more salt if needed
- Season with fresh lemon juice.
- Serve with fresh salad and more lemon.