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This recipe is just about perfect. It's almost exactly like my dad's recipe from years ago when he used to cook them. I simply used a plastic grocery bag to flour the little critters, used a cast iron skillet to fry with and they were outstanding! YUM.

I found the smelts at an international market where they had already prepped and cleaned them. I also added a small amount of garlic powder to the flour mix as well.

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Chef_Dave November 03, 2010

Yummy! I haven't had smelt since I was a kid, but I recently saw some at the store and wanted to double-check my memory's recipe. Instead of flour, we've always used Fryin' Magic, but same idea. Thanks! YUM!

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lekililina January 25, 2009

Fantastic recipe. Very easy to make and absolutely delicious.

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Nick Koss October 14, 2007

I was just trying to see if smelt is available in eastern N.C. When in Wi. I used to eat them in restaurants every time we went to one that served Smelt. I was hoping to find some, even if frozen in eastern N.C. The ones served in the Wi. restaurants were apx. the size of a pinky finger & fried crisp like a french fry. Fabulous food. Haven't had any since 1993, but think of them often. I do not know, but I thought the ones I ate in Wi. came from the great lakes, perhaps Lake Michigan. These recipes all look great, now I just have to find the Smelt!!

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Mary H. November 15, 2014

Delicious recipe, Rita. Just like my Mom used to make. Super easy to do, prep times are accurate, and the finished product is fantastic. I did not use flour, but a mix of seasoned bread crumbs called "Shore Lunch". I didn't filet the smelts either, but rolled them in egg, then dry coating, then fried them a couple of minutes until golden brown and delicious. Thanks for posting!

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AB_Fan June 04, 2007

Absolutely delish! Frozen smelt are available most of the year if you can't get fresh. They should be about the size of a woman's pinkie finger.

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Molly53 October 10, 2006

Deje'vu! I was telling someone about how I used to cook smelt for my parents and their friends (I started cooking as soon as I could see into a cast iron skillet) and lo, there is a recipe like I used! I'm a pinch of this n' that cook, but it seems the same to me! Thank you for posting!

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KissaMew August 13, 2006

Thanks for the recipe. We can't get the small ones, they sell them for bait fish here, but that Ok, i thaw, clean and use but still like the little ones. The egg makes them fluffy and you are right, it is great on the budget. I fed all the kids once a week on fried smelt and they loved it!

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Montana Heart Song March 17, 2006

I too remember eating this as a kid during Lent. Just like my mom used to make. I can still hear my little brother saying, "Mom, can we have minnows for supper?"

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Bippie February 28, 2006

My hubby John made your recipe for smelt last evening. He had gone ice fishing the previous day and caught 53. I am posting a photo - you will note that we do not fillet ours but do them in the round. We usually just dip them in flour, salt & pepper and fry, but your recipe tasted so much better and the smelt remained sweet & moist. Thanks Rita L.

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Nova Scotia Cook February 27, 2006
Crisp Fried Smelt - Smelts