Fried Smelt Recipe

Back when winters were cold enough to enable ice fishing around the Causeway, it was a standing tradition for smelt fisherman to bring their daily catch to the Restaurant’s kitchen in (old fashioned) Pyrex mixing bowls, where the fish would be deep-fried in Woodman’s fashion and returned to the (rinsed and cleaned) bowls for the journey home.

Fried Smelt Ingredients

2 pounds smelt

½ cup evaporated milk

Woodmans Fried Smelt

4 cups corn flour

Lard (or Crisco)

How to Make Fried Smelt

In a 4-quart saucepan, melt enough lard so that it’s two inches deep in the pan. Heat the lard to 350˚F.Pour the evaporated milk into a medium-size bowl. Place the smelt in a hand-held strainer and submerge in the bowl of evaporated milk. Coat with the milk and remove the strainer from bowl to drain excess milk. Put the corn flour in a large bowl. In small batches, dredge the seafood until it is well covered with flour. Shake off the excess flour.

Carefully place the smelt in the hot lard. Use caution because the lard will spatter. Cook in small batches, turning to cook both sides (about 45 seconds per side), until a light golden brown. Using a stainless slotted scoop, remove the smelt from the pan. Drain on paper towel and serve. Serves 6.

When you, your family and friends have finished enjoying your fried smelt check out our new cookbook for dessert ideas and more!

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