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A twist on a classic Wisconsin fish fry using smelt instead of cod. They are like fish fries.
The great thing about fried smelt is that they cook up really quickly. Think of them as big minnows, of which can be found in the Great Lakes region, or along the saltwater coasts.
Start by heating your oil in a heavy pot over medium to medium-high heat. You’ll want your oil temp around 350 F.
During this time, add the rice flour and cornstarch into a medium sized bowl. Mix well, then add in the teaspoon of salt. Add in the smelt, and toss to make sure all of the smelt are evenly coated.
Prepare your garlic, ginger, and Thai chili as detailed in the above list and set aside. You will want the chili just to be smashed and sliced in half, lengthwise to infuse that great chili flavor into the fish.
Once the oil is heated, shake off any excess flour from the smelt and carefully add them into the pot. Work in small batches.
These should only take a few minutes to cook and they will float to the top of the oil when finished. Ensure they have a nice and crispy coating. Once cooked, remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and place them onto a paper lined plate. Season with a bit of salt.
Repeat until the rest are finished cooking. Once all of the smelt are done cooking and seasoned, add them to a serving bowl, and toss with the garlic, ginger, and Thai chili for extra flavor. Serve with lemon wedges.
When my kids first questioned what they were, and trust me they were a bit skeptical, I just asked them to try them. Basically, they are like fish French fries. They heard that crunch when I bit into mine, and then, well just say the rest is history. Those fried smelt were gone in a matter of minutes they loved them that much. The hints of garlic and ginger, along with accents from the Thai chili are great; that and a bit of freshly squeezed lemon make this a perfect treat.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!