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Fried white bait (Μαρίδεs τηγανητεs)

Complete home study program in Greek cuisine, recipe for Fried white bait (Μαρίδεs τηγανητεs) from homecook at


Whitebait smelts

  •  Excellent source of Calcium
  • Excellent source of Phosphorus
  • Excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acid
  • Good source of Iron
  • Good source of Magnesium

Actual size of Whitebait used in Greek cuisine


Tips & tricks

Whitebaits  are very small fish that are fried whole and sprinkled with lemon juice to taste, and garnished with parsley. They are served as appetizers in Greek cuisine restaurants. The smaller they are the better. They go very well with ouzo (a Greek anise-flavored liqueur).

When whitebaits  are small, the entire fish is eaten (head, bones, and fins). Also if the whitebaits are less than 2-3 inches long they do not have to be cleaned (gutted).

Whitebaits are usually rolled in seasoned flour prior to deep-frying.



Recipe directions

  • Season the fish with salt on both sides.
  • Sifting flour is done to add air to the flour or to remove any impurities (if any) in the flour. With modern milling equipment the need to sift is greatly reduced.
  • Add some oil (that has a high smoking point), and preheat at medium heat.
  • Dredge the fish using flour.
  • Join 3 or 4 fish tails together, and squeeze them tight using
    your fingers, in order to bind them together, as shown.
  • Once oil is hot, place the fish gently in the pan.
  • Once done on one side, flip over. A few minutes on each
    side is enough.
  • Place the fish on a paper towel to drain off any excess oil.


If this Greek recipe is of interest to you, you may watch our video with step by step instructions and precise ingredient amounts; Learn how to cook white bait, Greek-style (Μαρίδεs τηγανητεs)

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