How To Eat Smelt Fish? (6 Basics To Know)

How To Eat Smelt Fish
How To Eat Smelt Fish

We’ve all been confused at some point when it comes to figuring out what kind of fish we’re dealing with.

There are just so many variants, and you shouldn’t be embarrassed if you can’t point out the accurate type. 

Yes, even the experts and seasoned professionals get confused sometimes.

It is a natural response, and you need decades of experience before you can accurately set apart the different types of fish. Otherwise, it all comes down to sheer luck.

While you can make an educated guess about the fish family, figuring out the exact variant is next to impossible.

Similarly, handling the fish can also be challenging. This statement is especially true when you’re dealing with smaller fish like smelt. 

Keeping this in mind, the question “How to eat smelt fish?” is often asked by tons of people. The process is usually quite simple but if you are having trouble with it then going through this article should help you out.

How To Eat Smelt Fish?

When eating smelt, one important factor that you need to keep in mind is that the entire fish is edible.

This includes the fins, bones, as well as tail of the fish. Some people might not enjoy these, which is why you can remove them before cooking the meat. 

However, in most cases, recipes use the entire fish because of how delicious it can be. Here are some simple steps that can be used to teach you how to eat smelt fish.

  1. Start by rinsing the fish with warm water. This helps in removing any germs on the outer layer of the fish. While this is not necessary, you should note that the meat can sometimes have a slight slime on it. This can only be removed using warm water which is why you should do it.
  2. You can now find a sharp knife and then start making cuts on your smelt meat. This step can be skipped if you want to cook the entire fish. On the other hand, people that want to remove the tails and fins can quickly slice these off before proceeding.
  3. After the fish is ready to cook, there are several options that you can choose from. The fish can either be baked, grilled or even deep-fried. Grilling and baking usually require you to first prepare a marinade that the fish will be left in for several hours.
  4. You can even season the fish if you don’t want to marinade it. Though, if you want to deep fry the fish then a batter should be prepared that the meat will first be coated with.
  5. Finally, people can start cooking their fish. Whatever technique you use, one thing to ensure is that the meat is cooked properly from its insides. This can be checked using a food thermometer that will give you accurate readings if pushed inside the fish.

Once the fish meat is cooked properly, you can remove it from your grill, pan, or oven and then proceed to consume it. The dish can also be paired with toppings or sauces of your choice for extra flavor.

Now, these were some steps that you can follow when grilling smelt fish. Are there any other methods?

Smelt Fish Benefits

Well, Yes! You can eat smelt fish in any way you like as long as you’re treating it properly. The only limit is your imagination. 

You can create so many creative dishes. Why would you just restrict yourself to the grilling option, and relying on other methods will help you develop amazing dishes. 

Now, you might say that “it will take too much time.”

Well, what can you expect when you’re experimenting with a new dish? This is how you’ll discover some crazy combinations that will bring flavor back into your life.

So, instead of holding yourself back or getting limited to only one dish, you should try out all of the varieties that can be used with the Smelt fish.

Will it be difficult to manage these varieties? Yes! However, you’ll be far more annoyed when you have to eat the same dish for weeks on end. So, be sure to experiment, and you will thank yourself that you took this step.

With that out of the way, we have also seen some queries on “whether or not you should eat smelt fish whole?” If you’re one of the people who’s looking for an answer here, then let’s list some pointers to help you out.

Should You Eat Smelt Fish Whole?

fish smelt

Now, the reason why this question is so popular is that the size of the smelt fish is pretty small. You won’t find a smelt fish that is longer than seven inches. Most of the time, this fish will be either three inches or five inches long. 

So, considering this smaller size, people just want to create a bite size solution that will help them remain fueled up throughout the day.

Yes, these bite sized pieces will need to be cleaned before use, but you don’t have to worry about all those clean cuts and extra prep. 

After cleaning out the fish, you can simply rely on some batter and fry them whole. Yes, you heard that right! You can create a crispy texture on the soft and delicate skin of these fish.

Will you get them perfect on the first try? No! However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try.

It is always best to spare some time and put that time into developing a decent texture that you can on the weekend with your family. 

Once you’ve perfected the texture, the next thing is the sauce. You can develop some amazing flavors by using garlic or pickles. A good sauce and a crispy fish is arguably the best combination when you’re out on a trip.

Moreover, the smelt fish is small enough to be used in almost every fry pan.

So, there is no need to worry about the equipment or the accessories. This fish will serve you perfectly, and you will never feel the need to switch to any other dish.

Can You Only Eat Smelt Fish As An Appetizer?

A basic misconception around eating smelt fish is that it can only serve as an appetizer.

The smaller size of this fish is not enough to serve a grown person. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t add to the quantity and make up for the meal.

Yes, you can try out ten or even fifteen fried fish, and they should be enough to have you powered up throughout the day.

On the other hand, if you’re only aiming for an appetizer, then going with about two or three fried fish will serve you well. 

Another common concern abo8ut this fish is whether or not you can use the head.

The answer here is that you can eat it, but most people will recommend against this decision. While you can get some extra nutritional value out of the head, it will not be that pleasant to eat.

So, you should just slice it off and remove all the insides before proceeding with the processing. Yes, it will take you a lot of time, but that is the price that you will have to pay when it comes to developing a masterpiece. 

On a last note, we will recommend that you get help from a local. While you can go through some amazing guides and methods on your  own, having an expert to help you out will always be a better idea.

You will learn so much, the flavor will be richer, and the texture will be better. 

For these reasons, you shouldn’t restrict yourself to only the traditional methods. Instead, you should explore your options and have the locals guide you.

They will help you with so many tricks, and you will never have to spend as much time with the food processing.

Wrapping Up

Can’t seem to figure out the best way to eat smelt fish? Well, worry no more! We’ve listed some great methods to help you out as long as you’re confident in your skills.

Yes, there are a variety of methods that you can choose, when it comes to preparing this fish.

Most people like to grill it up and then use the individual pieces with sauce to develop a rich flavor. This is especially true for people that are trying out the smelt fish for the first time.

So, if you’re in the same boat, be sure to grill it up.

On the other hand, if you’re using a crispier texture and want to create a bite sized appetizer, going with the whole fish in a frying pan is not a bad idea.

Yes, you will have to remove the head and the insides before frying the fish whole.

However, some people do prefer to eat the head and the viscera.

So, the responsibility lies on your head when you’re talking about developing a richer and more robust flavor. Hopefully, you’ll be able to develop an amazing texture when frying this fish whole. 

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