St. Louis chef and restaurateur Gerard Craft shares this fried whitefish recipe. It may require calling around to local fishmongers to see if they carry fresh sardines or baitfish, or calling in advance to request it.
The briny fresh taste of these little baitfish go great with the unctuous, lemony aioli. Accompanied by a tart bright cocktail or a really cold pilsner, these are the perfect party snack all around. A total crowd pleaser.
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 3 1/2 tablespoons water
- 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 whole egg
- 2 1/2 cups soy oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 8 ounces white fish, sardines or any small baitfish will work
- 10 ounces all-purpose flour
For the aioli:
- Combine all ingredients in food processor except than the soy oil.
- Turn on and slowly drizzle oil in until emulsion is formed.
- Season with salt and lemon juice as needed.
For the fish:
- When ready to serve, season whitefish with salt and pepper and bury in the flour.
- Gently remove the fish from the flour, shake off any excess and drop into a 375 F fryer until crispy and golden.
- Quickly remove onto paper towels and again season with kosher salt.
- Serve in bowl with aioli as dipping sauce.