Fried Smelt Fish

Fried smelt fish is so easy to prepare and cook. In Filipino or Oriental store, smelt fish is always available and already cleaned. It’s one of my personal favorites fish because it’s tasty, a little sweet and nutty I must say.

I don’t exactly know the Filipino or Tagalog or Ilocano of this fish but it’s almost the same with “dilis” or “monamon”, small fishes by nature about 1-2 inches long but I think the bones of smelt fish are softer and as I’ve mentioned, this fish is a little sweet and nutty. For more information about this fish, you may check it in wikipedia

crunchy smelt fish


1/2 kg. or 1 lb. smelt fish
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. black pepper powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. salt
1 cup vegetable/canola oil for frying
For the vinegar sauce:
1/4 cup vinegar (sukang iloko)
1 small shallots or red onions – minced
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 piece siling labuyo or any chili pepper if you prefer a hot vinegar sauce

1) Wash the smelt fish with cold water. Personally, I don’t want to remove the head or clean the belly for the whole fish itself is clean and can be eaten. Sometimes, it’s full of yummy roe/eggs (bugi in Ilocano) and you wouldn’t want to waste those eggs so there’s really no need to remove the belly. After washing, drain it well then flavor the smelt fish with 1 tbsp. of salt and pepper.
2) In a bowl, mix the garlic powder and flour. Dredge the fish to the flour mixture, shaking off excess flour from the fish.
3) Deep fry the fish for 5-8 minutes or until golden brown to make sure its crispiness.
4) To minimize the oil from the fried smelt fishes, make sure to put paper towel on the plate where you put the fried fish.
For the vinegar sauce:
Mix the salt, sugar, onion, siling labuyo and vinegar.
5) Ready to serve. Enjoy! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.