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Thread: Fried Smelt

  1. #1
    Member Nukalpiaq's Avatar
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    Default Fried Smelt

    One of my favorite fish to eat during the winter months is smelt, I really like them fried. My wife just rolls them in flour and fries them in a hot pan with some cooking oil. While they are cooking she seasons them with a little salt and pepper. I especially like the cooked roe. If you haven't had smelts before you just have to try them, they are a good Alaskan dish.
    Anyone have any smelt cooking recipes that you would like to share with everyone? Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default It's a great dish all around the world!

    Here's an Indian version I like alot.




    Hot and Spicy Smelt







    Ingredients: - 1 lb Smelt

    - 2 medium Potatoes, wedged
    - 1 tbsp, chopped Garlic
    - 1/2 tbsp, chopped Ginger
    - 1 medium Onion, chopped
    - 1 tsp Cayenne pepper, or to taste
    - 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
    - Salt
    - 1/2 tsp Cumin Seed Powder
    - 3/4 cup Cooking Oil


    Directions: 1. Mix fish with turmeric and salt.
    2. Heat 1/2 cup oil in a frying pan. Deep fry the fish. Remove once fried, keep aside.
    3. Heat rest of the oil in a frying pan. Fry the onion till light brown. Add the potatoes wedges and fry for 5 min.
    4. Add ginger,garlic, 1/2 tsp turmeric, cayenne, and cumin . Fry at medium heat one minute.
    5. Add the fried fish. Fry for 5 minutes. For extra heatt, add some green chilies. Add 1/2 cup water and bring to boil. Simmer for 10 min. Serve hot with rice.
    Matt Drayton, Chef de Cuisine
    Captain Steve's Fishing Lodge
    www.captainstevesfishinglodge.com

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    Default

    Oh man do I love a good smelt fry.

    I head & gut them.

    Mix a can of beer with about a cup of flour or so. THe consistancy depends on how thick you like your batter. I add-garlic powder, old bay, pepper, whatever, roll the smelt in flour then dip in the batter and drop them in the deep fryer until crispy-maybe 2 minutes.

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    Default

    roll em in flour,fry em in butter and a little salt and pepper.That's makin me hungry just thinkin about it!I also head and gut them but my woman likes them whole.

  5. #5
    Member Nukalpiaq's Avatar
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    Default

    Heading down to the mouth of the river tomorrow morning to jig for some smelt, man they are gonna be good eating. Gonna add a little more seasoning this time around and deep fry them. Havent tried this method before, but I expect them to be real good.

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    Fried smelts are awsome!

    My favorite time to catch smelt is during the spring run. We will dig buckets of roots, Musoo, from the flood thawed river banks while watching for diving Gulls and shiny schools of them from the high bank side as they go up river. we meet them a few bends up when we intercept them with a sein.
    We spred them to dry in the cool spring breeze, free of flys and such. When the smelts have gone by, the water is down from flooding and the Seagulls who are now gorged on Smelts sit and nest, and lay clutches of eggs to gather. we gather thenfor two days and leave the Gulls to brood the next clutch. Then the smelts should be dryed.
    Dry smelts, with just the head ripped off dipped in Sealoil and eatn with boiled eggs and simmerd Musoo roots with tundra tea that has last years Cranberrys (picked Frozen yet) boiled into it.

  7. #7
    Member Nukalpiaq's Avatar
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    Default

    Now that sounds like a "real food" meal. Dried smelts and seal oil are also one of my favorite meals. My grandmother used to braid lines of smelts with dried beach grass for us every spring. Haven't tried the wild roots though, what exactly are musoo?

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    Nuklapiaq

    I think they are called various names; Musru, Eskimo Potatos.....Mouse food, (Some trade mice and give them crackers or dry fish), they have purple flowers when in bloom.
    We dig them before and after bloom, and the are sweet roots that are brown outside and white inna middle.

    Good stuff!

  9. #9
    Member Nukalpiaq's Avatar
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    Default mouse food

    Okay, now I know what musoo are, we use them as an ingredient for our akutaq. We gather the roots in the fall time after the mice stored them in their winter caches. Let the mice do the work and we enjoy the benefits of their labor.

  10. #10

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    you guys are making me hungry. We havn't had a good smelt run in 5 years.

    I love the little things brined in a heavy curing solution and smoked until they are as hard as they will get (which is not very hard due to the oil in them) and drink a nice cold beer while snacking on them. ...............sorry I had to wipe the drool off of the key board.

  11. #11

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    Had them once, several years ago and enjoyed them a lot. I won't dare try them again now, they gave me such wicked gas I'm certain my wife would leave me.

  12. #12
    Member Albradley's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandiyohi Kid View Post
    Oh man do I love a good smelt fry.

    I head & gut them.

    Mix a can of beer with about a cup of flour or so. THe consistancy depends on how thick you like your batter. I add-garlic powder, old bay, pepper, whatever, roll the smelt in flour then dip in the batter and drop them in the deep fryer until crispy-maybe 2 minutes.
    That's what we call "A CRISPY CRITTER"
    There's a fine line between fishing....

    and standing on the shore like an idiot! ALLEN BRADLEY-TANGLE LAKES ADVOCATE/FANBOY

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    Default

    Lightly smoke them before you fry them. You'll never turn your nose up at Hooligan again.

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    I have one bag of last years hoolies left in the freezer.

    Thinking of having a smelt fry around the first of May to get us in the mood for dipping later in the month. If I had the cash to spare I would have some crawfish shipped up to add to the feast.

    We only put up three or four gallons last year, but this year we will have to get some more to avoid the late winter rationing.
    Just a bitter Alaskan clinging to his guns and religion.....

  15. #15

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    When you say smelt, do you mean hooligan, eulachon, or candlefish? Because they are a part of the smelt family. I wasn't aware that there was any other type of smelt in Alaska except for hooligan.

  16. #16
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default

    Smelts from Bristol Bay on up the coast are not the same as hooligan. I know some folks really like hooligan, and they're welcome to them, but a smelt such as you'd jig out of the Nushagak, Wood River or especially Togiak River are substantial, firm fleshed fish that do not get mushy. When fresh caught they smell almost like cucumber... and Nukalpiaq is correct in saying that the eggs are good... maybe even the best part. I really miss jigging through the ice for those critters.

    To make things a little more frustrating, I have heard that they run under the ice of the Kenai, but you can't get to them because the ice is too @#$% thick.

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