Pan Fried Smelts - Episode 2622

SERVES 4 (or more if part of a buffet)


  • 1 pound fresh smelts, patted dry with paper towels
  • Flour for dredging
  • Salt and pepper
  • Canola oil
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Lemon wedges


  1. If the bones are still in the fish, you may wish to remove them.  Grasping the head-end of the backbone should allow you to remove the bones in a single pull.
  2. Put the flour in a large bowl or paper bag and season it with salt and pepper.  Gently toss the smelts in the flour to coat them evenly.
  3. Heat a large frying pan with about an inch of canola oil in it.  When a bit of flour sizzles when dropped in, it is hot enough for adding the smelts.  Cook them quickly in a single layer in the pan, turning them once; this may need to be done in batches.  
  4. Drain them on paper towels and keep warm until all are done.
  5. Arrange the smelts on a platter and sprinkle with coarse sea salt; serve immediately with lemon wedges.

This recipe was featured on Season 26 - Episode 2622.

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