West Coast Whitebait with Zucchini Ribbons

  • West Coast Whitebait with Zucchini Ribbons

West Coast Whitebait with Zucchini Ribbons


Photograph by Murray Lloyd
(serves 6 as an entrée)

West Coast whitebait is New Zealand's best kept secret. Fritters made with the little fish are iconic but lift the bar, go all out and serve whitebait out of a batter.


600g-700g (6 small) zucchini (ends removed)

45ml (3 tbsp) freshly squeezed lemon juice

45ml (3 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil

30ml (2 tbsp) Lemon Infused Olive oil

plus extra for drizzling

360g West Coast whitebait (drained in a sieve and placed onto paper towels)

freshly ground white pepper and flaky sea salt



· Slice zucchini into very long, thin ribbons. A mandoline or a Rex peeler will make this a simple job. Discard the first and last ribbons, which are mainly skin.

· Place zucchini ribbons into a small bowl and add lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. Toss with your hands to combine and leave to macerate for 2-3 hours at room temperature. Do not toss with a metal fork as this will bruise the ribbons.

· Pour 2 tbsp Lemon Infused Oil into a small, heavy-based frypan and place over a medium heat. When hot scatter whitebait into frypan, but do not crowd the pan, and cook on one side for 30 seconds only. Holding the handle of the frypan, and using a slice or metal scraper, very quickly turn whitebait over. Cook for a further 30 seconds or till whitebait has changed from translucent to opaque. To prevent whitebait cooking further quickly remove whitebait to a warmed ceramic dish.

· To serve: Into the centre of each warmed serving plate pile 4-6 zucchini ribbons and top with equal amounts of whitebait. Season to taste.

· Drizzle the plate with a little extra Lemon Infused Olive Oil.