All online smelt recipes seem to involve breading or deep-frying the smelt, which is fine as a treat but not if I want to make it a quick, easy staple. So I decided to try pan-frying it, and it was delicious.

I fried some chopped garlic and chili pepper in olive oil, added the smelt, and covered the pan for a few minutes. Then I flipped the fish, added scallions, and covered the panĀ again. It was done very quickly, and the entire fish is edible (bones, scales, and head). I liked it but Nora didn’t, probably because of the chili pepper and because the bones and scales are still a little tough. So I’ll try the smelt in fish stew next time.