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Tempura-Battered Smelt

Tempura-Battered Smelt

Brittney Tun

"The classic Acadian way to cook smelt is to fry them. I put a twist on that tradition by frying them in this light tempura batter my husband and I use for shrimp. I serve this with heads on because, like anchovies, these fish are so small everything is edible. But you can remove heads and internal organs if desired."
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55 m servings 761 cals
Serving size has been adjusted!
Original recipe yields 4 servings


  • Calories:
  • 761 kcal
  • 38%
  • Fat:
  • 52.3 g
  • 80%
  • Carbs:
  • 32.5g
  • 10%
  • Protein:
  • 23.6 g
  • 47%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 181 mg
  • 60%
  • Sodium:
  • 779 mg
  • 31%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

See full nutrition

Nutritional Information

1 Serving
Servings Per Recipe:
Amount Per Serving
  • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  • ** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.
  • (-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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  • Prep

  • Cook

  • Ready In

  1. Whisk rice wine and 1/2 teaspoon salt together in a bowl. Lightly dust smelt with about 1 tablespoon flour. Add smelt to rice wine mixture; cover bowl with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large wok to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  3. Mix ice water, 1/2 cup flour, cornstarch, egg yolks, sesame seeds, sesame oil, baking powder, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt together in a bowl.
  4. Remove smelt from rice wine mixture and dip, 1 at a time, into the flour mixture until evenly coated. Discard remaining rice wine mixture.
  5. Carefully fry smelt, 2 or 3 at a time, in the hot oil until golden on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel-lined plates. Repeat frying with remaining smelt. Serve warm.


  • Cook's Note:
  • Reckon about 6 to 8 smelt per person for a starter, and twice that for a main course.
  • Editor's Note:
  • The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the breading ingredients. The actual amount of the breading consumed will vary. We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. The exact amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and the specific type of oil used.
  • The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the marinade ingredients. The actual amount of the marinade consumed will vary.

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Read all reviews 3
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Least positive

No changes. It was great

Very good batter. Nice and crispy.

Awesome! And yes, part of the fun is the eyes looking back at you as you're eating them

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