Fried SmeltHomemade 

Fried Smelt Recipe

If you enjoy eating fish and like a good crispy fried snack this recipe may be for you. When I was a kid I always enjoyed this crispy treat. Smelt are small fish that look like small sardines. The supermarket fish department this week just happened to have them cleaned and with their heads removed which made it much easier to prepare.

The bones are fine and smaller than in sardines and can be eaten. This recipe is easy and can be cooked in just a few minutes.

Fresh Smelt (headless and cleaned)
Fresh Smelt (headless and cleaned)


  • Fresh Smelt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 or 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • Cooking Oil
Fried Smelt
Fried Smelt


  1. Rinse and pat dry the smelt with a paper towel
  2. Add 1 whisked egg with the smelt in a bowl
  3. Add flour, cornstarch, paprika, chilli flakes, salt and black pepper to a large clear plastic bag and shake
  4. Add smelt into clear plastic bag and shake
  5. Add minced garlic to the bag and shake
  6. Heat frying pan with approximately 1 inch of oil on medium heat
  7. Use tongs to remove smelt from bag into pan for frying  (do not crowd frying pan for best results)
  8. Flip and fry for approximately 3-6 minutes or until smelt are golden brown
  9. Serve and enjoy

This dish is almost like a fried calamari Chinese recipe but made with fried smelt instead. It’s light crispy and it’s hard to just eat one.

Fried Smelt
Fried Smelt

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