NZ Whitebait Fritters


What better way to celebrate being Kiwi than NZ whitebait fritters! Highly prized, whitebait are little fishies that are collected en masse from NZ rivers and eaten whole in buttery whitebait fritters. This recipe is easy as.

Whitebait is most commonly served in fritters. In this NZ whitebait fritters recipe we’ve used a small amount of flour, which I think gives the best result. But fritters can be made using just egg, or egg white, making it more like an omelette.

FYI, whitebait fritters remain one of the most asked for fingerfood items at parties and events.  People can’t get enough of them – so make wee ones for a BBQ platter! Or try serving fritters with asparagus and a hollandaise sauce for a main meal.


1 cup self raising flour.

2 eggs (lightly beaten).

250g NZ whitebait (drained and gently washed)

salt and freshly ground pepper.

Oil to cook in

Juice of 1 lemon or lemon pepper seasoning.

Shallots or spring onions if you feel like it.

Parsley for garnish


Drain your hugely expensive whitebait in a colander. In another bowl, sieve the flour. Add the already beaten egg and a dash of water. Mix into a smooth thick batter. Combine the whitebait, batter, chopped shallot and lemon pepper in a bowl. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a good quality heavy-ish pan and place a large spoonful of the fritter mixture in the pan. Spread it into a round shape with the back of the spoon. Allow it to cook, ie. let the egg set, until brown on one side. You do not need to wait or the fish to go white! Then turn it over and cook the other side.

This recipe makes about 6 fritters. Serve the fritters with freshly ground S&P, freshly squeezed lemon, aioli or tartare sauce. Plus a little salad or fries for a bigger meal.

Serves 4.

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