These small oily fish are all members of the herring family (pilchards are large sardines). They require little preparation before cooking and are good snacks or starters.
To grill these fish (with the exception of whitebait, which should only be deep-fried), simply scale them, then slit open the stomach and remove the intestines (something the French and Spanish don’t do because they like the flavour of the liver and intestines – but we’re a bit too squeamish for that!). Wash and dry them carefully, season inside and out with salt and pepper, brush with melted butter and pop under a very hot grill (or on a barbecue) for a couple of minutes on each side.
Serve with wedges of lemon or lime and brown bread and butter.
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