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Crispy Whitebait with Young Coconut Salad

Crispy Whitebait with Young Coconut Salad

Tiny, shimmery-skinned whitebait, served with a summer-spirited salad made from mint, basil, coriander, crunchy bean shoots, and wasabi peas.
By Kate Olsson

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  • Author: Kate Olsson
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


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.


  • 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


  1. For the dressing, combine all ingredients in bowl and stir until sugar has dissolved. Set aside.
  2. Preheat a little oil in a fry pan over medium-high heat.
  3. 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.
  4. In batches, fry the whitebait for about 4-5 minutes, until crisp and light golden.
  5. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen towel. Repeat with remaining fish.
  6. Combine the herbs, wasabi peas, and bean shoots in a bowl.
  7. Drizzle with dressing and toss gently.
  8. Place the salad in a bowl – used one half of a fresh coconut, from which I got the coconut juice for the dressing.
  9. Serve the crispy whitebait with the side salad and wedges of lime.
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
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