Purpetti di Nunnata

Whitebait Fritters

This is a delightful way of cooking whitebait, in the Sicilian tradition, using the freshest of ingredients.


  • 570 g ( lb) very fresh whitebait or similar tiny fish
  • a small fistful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1–2 eggs
  • salt and very little pepper
  • oil for deep frying


Wash the fish and dry it carefully. Mix the fish, parsley and garlic together in a bowl. Beat the eggs with a minimum amount of salt and pepper, then mix this into the fish. Stir together very carefully to make a thick mass.

Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the mixture in spoonfuls, making little piles. Scoop them out 3 or 4 at a time and serve at once without waiting for them all to be ready. Do not add lemon juice as is often done.