Friday, August 5, 2011

Spicy Crispy Silver Fish 香脆辣白飯魚

I love silver fish (not silverfish the common household pest but rather lencelet or 白飯魚,  bai fan yu in Mandarin - which can be literally translated as "white rice fish") for it's versatility; These little white fishies are great in soup and omelet but especially delicious when they are lightly dusted with seasoned rice flour and deep fry until golden and crispy. 

It is safe to serve them to children because theses are boneless creatures and have no hard parts in their bodies. Serve this as a side with rice or congee  but they will also make a fantastic snack with drinks. If you like what you are seeing, look out for them when you are at the fishmonger next!

P.S To turn this into salt and pepper style - simply saute some chopped chili, garlic and spring onion before adding the fried silver fish and toss well.

serves 2 as part of a Chinese meal
you'll need;
300 to 400 g of silver fish
1 tsp of freshly ground black pepper 
1 tsp of sea salt
1 tsp of chili powder
3 tbs of rice flour
oil for frying

Wash and drain the silver fish very well and place them in a large bowl together with the seasonings and flour.

Mix everything well while prepare the oil for deep frying.

Shake off the excess flour and fry silver fish in batches until golden and crispy, drain well.

Serve as part of a Chinese meal or as a beer snack with some sweet chili sauce or a garlicky aioli on the side.


  1. tak pernah jumoa ikan seperti ni di pasar.Apa nama dalam bahasa Malayasia ?nak cari jika ada.Si adik hanya makan ikan tanpa tulang.

  2. Can't find this at the market, but I've eaten this at Manhattan Fish Market(A western style seafood eatery, a local chain).

  3. Harriet From CarltonAugust 5, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    That looks so good! I must look out for them soon.

  4. Looks fantastic. Is it similar to whitebait? Have a great weekend :)

  5. My favourite dishes in yum cha. I tried to fried myself, but end up - shrink like ikan bilis hehehe ... you fried them well, look so crispy & delicious!

  6. I love this fish although I never knew what was the name before lol
    Looks very crispy and delicious!

  7. This sounds like a really interesting tasty dish. Almost reminds me of some of the food I had in South East Asia. Check out my entries from the month! Back in march-april


  8. I had these served with Worcestershire sauce in HK!

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  10. For me (Singapore), the one at Manhattan Fish's are so tiny and crispy they taste no different than fried anchovies (ikan bilis). I prefer the ones at Fish & Co - more "meaty". Streats Hong Kong Cafe's whitebait is heavily seasoned but it's still great too.

    Thanks for the recipe! My toddler loves it. Tried a few time and my husband who doesn't eat fish also wolfs them down.


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