Fried Smelts

Smelts have a oily, mild taste and a soft texture. Very small in size, they are usually eaten whole including the head and bones. Although it seems a little strange to eat the bones, all you taste is the rich flavor of the meat. Smelts are prepared fried and served in Greek tavernas as a meze with ouzo.

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2 cups smelts
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
Oil for frying
Juice of one lemon

Wash the smelts under cool water and drain. Mix the flour with the salt and pour over the smelts. Toss with your hands and then shake out excess flour using a sieve.

Use a light oil like canola to fry the smelts. Heat the oil over high heat and drop in the smelts. Using a perforated spatula, move the smelts apart. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes and place on a paper lined plate to absorb the oil.

Transfer to a serving dish and squeeze lemon to drizzle the juice over the smelts.

Serves 2 to 4.

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