Crispy whitebait

Crispy whitebait


2 people made this

About this recipe: This is an ideal fish starter. It is basically a spiced up tempura, thanks to mala powder. The whitebait can be substituted with prawns, strips of fish or meat, or various vegetables. Great party food.

JennySong Sussex, England, UK

Serves: 6 

  • 500g whitebait
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
  • 15g fresh root ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 75g cornflour
  • 75g plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • 200ml ice cold sparkling water
  • 1 teaspoon Jenny Songs Mala powder
  • salt to taste
  • vegetable oil, for frying

Prep:10min  ›  Cook:8min  ›  Extra time:30min marinating  ›  Ready in:48min 

  1. Wash the whitebait, place in a bowl and add the wine, ginger and spring onion. Mix well and leave for 30 minutes.
  2. Sift the cornflour and plain flour into a bowl, Make a depression in the middle and slowly stir in the egg. Slowly stir in the water and beat well with chopstick until you have a smooth, airy batter. Stir in the MaLa powder and salt to taste.
  3. Heat vegetable oil at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep in a pan until almost smoking. One by one coat the whitebait in the batter and lay into the oil. Keep the whitebait moving in the pan turning over until golden brown. Remove them on to kitchen paper as they become golden brown.


Best served on a bed of Sichuan chilli potato.

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