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View Full Version : How is Smelt as a fried fish?


Hampshire
04-20-2011, 11:10 AM
Being from the midwest I have enjoyed my fair share of Friday fish-frys.

Typically they use Cod, Haddock, or Pollock. Or you go all fancy and get Walleye.

I've seen signs posted around lately for a church ran Smelt-fry. I've never tried it but the name doesn't sound very appetizing. Anyone tried it? How does it compare to other typical fried fish?

pulykamell
04-20-2011, 11:14 AM
I love fried smelt. It's like eating fishy French fries!

Pazu
04-20-2011, 11:19 AM
I love fried smelt. It's like eating fishy French fries!

+1. My mom used to make fried smelt when I was a kid, and I loved them!

There was a restaurant in Ann Arbor, Michigan (Broadway Chicken or something like that) back in the late '80s that offered fried smelt. They were pretty good, but the homemade ones were better.

Labtrash
04-20-2011, 11:24 AM
I love fried smelt. It's like eating fishy French fries!


+1

awesome!

Annie-Xmas
04-20-2011, 11:35 AM
Back in my meat-eating Minnesota days, we used to catch smelt, throw them directly into a cornmeal-beer batter, and put them live into hot oil. Then bite off the heads and pull off the guts and eat the ret.

Totally awesome, particularly when followed by vodka-melon (make several scores in large watermelon. Put in large tub and add vodka. Let sitt in the cold for a week. Cut and eat).

Acsenray
04-20-2011, 11:42 AM
Fried smelt is great. You can just chomp the whole damn fish, bones and all. We fry it in mustard seed oil with turmeric, onions, and green chilis.

pulykamell
04-20-2011, 11:50 AM
Fried smelt is great. You can just chomp the whole damn fish, bones and all. We fry it in mustard seed oil with turmeric, onions, and green chilis.

Typically, when I have them, they're never deboned. I guess I wouldn't do that for the bigger smelts, but the usual ones--maybe four/five inches long maximum--it's just a waste of time and effort to bother. Just gut the thing and eat it. If you don't like the head, chop it off. I actually like the super tiny smelt--the ones that are like about two inches long--pan fried in garlic, butter, and hot pepper flakes (or chili oil), but that's a little different than what the OP is going to get at his smelt fry. I'm going to have to try your recipe some time soon.

Anticounterrevolutionary
04-20-2011, 03:47 PM
I lived in "The Smelt Capital Of The World". Fishy french fries is an excellent description.

Connoisseurs will tell you that the head is the best part. It's where all the flavor is.

Tim@T-Bonham.net
04-20-2011, 03:54 PM
They are wonderful! Especially with a good, tasty batter.

But you need to have dozens of fishing poles & lines with tiny fishhooks to catch enough for a meal. :)

TriPolar
04-20-2011, 04:22 PM
Definitely delicious. There are small ones that fry quickly and the bones aren't noticable at all, but I prefer the larger ones for the flavor. They're good with a beer batter, spiced, or just about anything IMHO.

flickster
04-22-2011, 11:47 AM
Spent many a Sunday morning in our Moose Lodge in Wisconsin drinking beer and munching on free fried smelt

Damn, those were the days...

Typo Negative
04-22-2011, 12:24 PM
I love fried smelt. It's like eating fishy French fries!

:eek:

Sorry, but that turned my stomach.

Ewwwww.

clarkstar
04-22-2011, 03:19 PM
we ate smelt a lot as a kid after late night smelt fishing trips. way more fun to eat than clean them :)

JCorre
04-22-2011, 03:31 PM
I love fried smelt. It's like eating fishy French fries!

There's a great restaurant here in San Fran that served fried smelt as an appetizer. They called the dish "Fries with Eyes". It was delicious.

Taomist
04-22-2011, 03:35 PM
I love fried smelt. It's like eating fishy French fries!


+ lots!

An uncle in the UP used to go out in the boat and come back with tons of these. Loved them so much! Later on I saw that Oregon has smelt runs, but was never lucky enough to get in on those.

We chopped the head and split the bodies, maybe TRIED to pull the backbone out, but really, it's not necessary. I still don't want to eat the head, <squick> but the bones are less than you get in your average can of salmon, and very edible. I barely noticed them, if ever.

Sir Not Appearing on This Site
04-22-2011, 04:10 PM
Is there another way to eat Smelt? Seriously, I've never had it any other way. I do not like fish, but I love fried smelt. Yes, I know that doesn't make sense.

As a kid, whenever my mom was out of town, or not around for dinner, my Dad would take us to Fat Man's Fish Fry in Grand Rapids, MI. We would get Smelt and Fries, and take it home. It was oh-so-tasty!

What the .... ?!?!
04-23-2011, 08:17 AM
I lived in "The Smelt Capital Of The World". Fishy french fries is an excellent description.

Connoisseurs will tell you that the head is the best part. It's where all the flavor is.

Do you gut it without snipping the head off..... or not gut it at all.

I could handle the head but not sure about the guts.

Taomist
04-23-2011, 08:41 PM
Do you gut it without snipping the head off..... or not gut it at all.

I could handle the head but not sure about the guts.

Should be easy to slit the belly and clean it out, no problem. Work of a few seconds, tops.
Great work for the kids! I can't even guess how many of those I cleaned, but it was worth it.

Colibri
04-23-2011, 09:29 PM
We used to have fried smelt often when I was a kid in New York. I loved it. Sometimes I still think about it, but it's been decades since I've had any.

pulykamell
04-23-2011, 10:02 PM
Do you gut it without snipping the head off..... or not gut it at all.

I could handle the head but not sure about the guts.

I just use a good pair of pointed scissors. Snip right behind the gill plate (the area just behind the head where the slit of the gills are.) If you want to keep the head on, just snip part of the way though; if you don't want the head, just snip it all off. Then, cut lengthwise along the belly from where you made the cut to the tail. Scoop the innards out. Shouldn't take too long. I actually do it in two steps, making the cuts on all the fish first, then scooping out the innards under running water. If you want to, you can even pick out the backbone pretty easily, but it's completely unnecessary, unless you have huge smelt.

Actually, Youtube has a video of the method here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYFoO1t_Ja0#t=01m00s). So easy a child can do it! After making those cuts, just clean and you're good to go!

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