Thumbnail of White-Bait recipe

White-bait is a great favourite with all who visit London during the months of May, June, and July, when this delicacy is in greatest perfection.

They are a very small, silvery-looking fish; and their claim to notice is their sweet savour.

It was formerly believed that to obtain white-bait in perfection it was necessary to travel to Blackwall: this fable has long since become obsolete and certainly, with the assistance of the following instructions, my readers may henceforth indulge in the luxury of white-bait without its becoming a matter of necessity to go to Blackwall for that purpose.

To fry white-bait, drain it on a sieve, and then sprinkle it out of your hand lightly upon plenty of flour strewn thickly over a cloth; and, with the fingers of both hands spread apart, quickly and lightly handle the white-bait; and as in a few seconds it will by these means have become well covered with flour, having put it by handfuls into a wire frying basket (see Adams' Illustrations), shake away all the superfluous flour, and dip the basket containing the prepared white-bait into some very hot clean lard.

A few minutes will suffice to fry the whitebait of a silvery tinge, yet perfectly crisp; pile it up on a napkin, garnish with fried parsley, and. serve it quite hot and crisp, with cayenne, quarters of lemons, and brown bread and butter, separately.

No. 281