Recipe: Jo Seagar’s Whitebait Fritter Balls

Recipe: Jo Seagar Photo: Jae Frew


I LOVE whitebait and like any true-blue Kiwi I adore them served between two slices of white bread. This is truly iconic New Zealand food.

Here is an easy, delicious way to serve whitebait to a crowd so that everyone gets a manageable-sized taste of this special delicacy without the usual complications of someone having to stand by cooking fritters or patties for the crowd.

3 eggs
1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning 150g New Zealand whitebait, can be defrosted from frozen
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs (Japanese-style breadcrumbs, available at good supermarkets)

To serve
Crème fraiche or sour cream Lemon wedges


Makes 24
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 6–7 minutes

Preheat oven to 200°C. Spray a 24-cup mini-muffin tin with non-stick baking spray (I find a silicon tray ideal for these).

Whisk the eggs and lemon pepper seasoning together, then mix into the whitebait and panko breadcrumbs.

Divide the mixture between the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 6–7 minutes until set.

Turn out and serve immediately with lemon wedges to squeeze and crème fraîche or sour cream to dip into or dollop on each little morsel.


I have cooked these successfully laying the muffin tin on a rack above the hot plate in a covered BBQ. They take a minute or two longer than in the oven. They are best eaten immediately — but can be rewarmed if made in advance.

Extracted from Better than a Bought One, by Jo Seagar, published by Random House, RRP$50.00. Photography by Jae Frew.

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