The Pretend Chef

Nigerian Crispy fried whitebait fish (Yor-yor)

Crunchy, salty and spicy Nigerian crispy fried whitebait fish

Desserts/ finger food, Recipes, Seafood | September 7, 2016 | By

Nigerian crispy fried whitebait fish are sold as street food in coastal towns in Nigeria. They are usually crunchy, salty and spicy. They are fried and eaten whole, head, bones and guts and just like eating french fries, you keep popping one after another into your mouth. Yor-yor is really, really, truly irresistible. It is called yor-yor in some places.

Crunchy, salty and spicy Nigerian crispy fried whitebait fish in Herb butter sauce

Whitebait is the young or juvenile of different types of fish. It does not refer to one particular fish, the type depends on what fish is found in the waters of a particular region, but it includes herring, mackerel, smelt, sardines, capelin, bass etc. For this recipe, I used headless smelt. 

white bait in pack for Nigerian crispy fried white bait fish

When buying whitebait that will be prepared this way, choose the small sized ones, not much longer than your middle finger, about 4-5 inches long, they are more tender. The larger ones have harder bones and when fried, the bones might not get as crunchy as the tiny ones. If the large ones are all you can find, eat the flesh and leave the bones. Whitebait can also be baked, just follow the recipe and drizzle with a little oil, but the bones will not crisp up.

Crunchy, salty and spicy Nigerian crispy fried white bait fish

Nigerian Crunchy fried whitebait can be eaten with garri soaked in cold water, fried yam, puff puff, bread, a dip, drenched in herb butter sauce or just with a cold drink.

To prepare Nigerian crispy fried whitebait fish

250g whitebait fish
1/2 cup cornflour
1/8 cup flour
2 teaspoons garlic powder (1 garlic clove, crushed)
salt
chili pepper
vegetable oil for frying

Rinse fish in cold water and spread out on a kitchen napkin. 

Pat them dry with paper towels so they don’t spit and splatter or soak too much oil.

Nigerian crispy fried whitebait fish

Mix together in a shallow bowl, cornflour, flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Coat the fish with this flour mix and set aside.

Coat the fish with this flour mix and set aside.

Pour vegetable oil in a frying pan, 1/2 inch high and place over medium heat. When oil is hot, gently add fish, do not overcrowd the oil.

When oil is hot, gently add fish, do not overcrowd the oil.

white bait frying for Nigerian crispy fried whitebait fish

Fry till golden brown, about 3 minutes on one side and 1 minute on the other side.

white bait frying for Nigerian crispy fried whitebait fish

Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with a little more salt.

Crunchy, salty and spicy Nigerian crispy fried whitebait fish

Crunchy, salty and spicy Nigerian crispy fried whitebait fish

I served this Nigerian Crispy fried whitebait fish drenched in herb butter sauce.

Make the herb butter sauce and pour all over the fish, it is very flavoursome. You can also just eat as it is.

Crunchy, salty and spicy Nigerian crispy fried whitebait fish in Herb butter sauce

You will also enjoy my Foil baked fish with vegetable, Catfish baked in pepper sauce (point and kill), Nigerian seafood chowder and Mackerel in tomato sauce.

Do you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please leave a comment below.

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Crunchy, salty and spicy Nigerian crispy fried whitebait fish in Herb butter sauce

  1. Heidi Roberts
    September 8, 2016

    Your sauce looks interesting – personally not a small fish fan but well done.

    • gaga
      September 9, 2016

      Hi Heidi, you can cut up the fillet of a large fish and use it for this recipe. It will turn out good

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