200g whitebait
2 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves
4 Jersey Benne potatoes, washed
2 tablespoons butter
70ml milk
2 tablespoons chives
crème fraîche, to serve
caviar or salmon roe, to serve
juice of 1 lemon
250g unsalted butter, chilled, cut into cubes
½ cup chopped chives

I’m quite happy to have whitebait in two ways on Christmas Day, and there is much to be said about the purity of whitebait simply dusted in flour and quickly fried in hot butter. It doesn’t get much better, in fact.

View the recipe collection here


1.Place the whitebait into a bowl and season with a touch of sea salt.
2.Heat a large frying pan until it is very hot.
3.Place the whitebait into a wide sieve over a roasting dish or tray and liberally dust with the flour, shaking the sieve to ensure all the fish are evenly coated. Keep scooping the excess flour from the roasting pan and shaking it back over the fish. Do not be tempted to stir the fish in the flour with your fingers, or you will end up with a sticky mess.
4.Once all the fish are lightly coated in the flour, add the vegetable oil to the pan along with the garlic cloves.
5.When the oil is hot, and working quickly, carefully sprinkle the whitebait evenly into the frying pan, let it sit for 30 seconds before starting to gently shake the pan while using kitchen tongs to gently move the whitebait around.
6.You want the flour to form a toasted crust around the seasoned fish.
7.Season with salt and remove the fish from the pan onto absorbent paper.
9.Heat the oven to 180 ̊C.
10.Put the potatoes in a pot and cover with about 5cm of warm water.
11.Bring to a simmer, season generously with salt and cook until the potatoes are easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Drain in a colander.
12.When cool enough to handle, trim a ½cm slice off the side of each potato.
13.Carefully scoop out some of the flesh from the potatoes, and place this into a bowl.
14.Transfer the hollowed-out potatoes to a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, until the tops turn golden brown.
15.Mash the potato flesh together with the butter, milk and chives until smooth and season with salt and pepper.
16.Pack into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle and keep warm.
17.Remove the hollowed potatoes from the oven and pipe some of the mashed potato into the hollows.
18.Alternatively, spoon the mixture into the potatoes.
19.Dollop with crème fraîche and top with caviar.
21.In a small saucepan, bring 2 tablespoons water and the lemon juice to the boil.
22.Whisk in the butter a cube at a time until you have a smooth, emulsified sauce.
23.Stir in the chopped chives and season with salt and pepper.
24.To serve, divide the whitebait between 2–4 serving plates.
25.Place the potatoes in the centre of the whitebait, like a nest.
26.Spoon the chive butter sauce over the whitebait and serve.

Recipes & food styling Martin Bosley / Photography Mike Heydon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.