Crispy Fried Smelt Fish are easy to make in minutes and so tasty! They’re crunchy, full of flavor, and delicious as an appetizer or quick dinner.
I was initially going to call this crispy dilis, but on researching online, I found out dilis is actually anchovy and not smelt fish. If you’re familiar with this type of fish and know what they’re called in Tagalog, please feel free to chime in in the comments below.
Due to the fish’s minute size, removing their entrails without breaking them apart is painstaking work. But please do not skip this step as the insides can be a bit bitter and off-putting, says the now-full time food blogger who was too lazy to do so the first time and ended up with a huge batch she couldn’t eat.
For super crunch, I recommend a mixture of flour and cornstarch to dredge these babies up. Cornstarch, when added to all-purpose flour, prevents gluten formation and absorbs moisture for a crispier coating.
Seasonings to add, however, are fair game. I used garlic powder, salt, and pepper but feel free to experiment with your choice of herbs and spices such as cayenne pepper, chili powder, Italian seasoning, or curry powder.