I love markets. I recently earned a dirty look from kid#2 – she is going on a school trip to the UK and one of the stops is Borough Market…and I asked her if she would buy me mushrooms and cheese from there 😂. Every time I travel I will usually visit a local market and it is always fascinating to see the produce available and the energy and vibe of the place. Recently we were in Hoi An (Vietnam) which is a UNESCO heritage site – the food tasting tour we were on took us through local markets and little street stalls. We were told that in the local wet market there are no flies because the meat is freshly butchered and there has not been any time for decomposition to occur. What also fascinated me was how they presented the meat…this was the first time I had seen chickens sold with their feet pointing to the sky…the poor birds looked like they were caught in mid-faint.
Poultry stall in a local wet market in Hoi An, Vietnam.
Back in Singapore I have a couple of favorite markets to visit. When I first moved into the central area of Singapore I was deeply distressed that Tekka market that I was living close by had rather poor quality produce. For some reason, the vegetable sellers would throw ice over their leafy vegetables. Of course the vegetables would have been exposed to cold stress and would not last more than a day or two in the refrigerator. Fortunately there was another pretty good market that I discovered in Balestier which had fresher produce at cheaper prices. The “auntie” in me rejoiced. The other market I sometimes frequent is in Ghim Moh as it is relatively close to work. I often get my favorite pork cuts from Grumpy Uncle (yes he is). Just last week I bought 2 giant slabs of pork ribs to make my slow roasted pork ribs that were pretty awesomely fall-off-the-bone tender. I still haven’t figured out if it is his quality of meat or just a great recipe! But anyway when I was in the market I chanced on a bag of whitebait and it was one those impossible to resist moments.
Whitebait is one of those cheap and good fish that one can buy with the bag. Just a warning that if you buy these in Singapore that you have to check if these are pre-salted if not you will have hypertensive crisis after eating the fritters. Kid#2 is the one who likes fish and she actually okayed this recipe.
- 1 1/2 cups whitebait
- 1 tbsp low carb flour
- 3 egg whites
- 1/4 tsp salt (omit if whitebait is salted)
- 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 limes, quartered (optional)
- Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed
- In another bowl, mix the whitebait, flour, salt, pepper and paprika together
- Gently fold in the whitebait mix into the egg whites
- Heat up olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat
- Spoon heaped dessert spoons of whitebait and egg mixture in the pan. Cook for about 1-1 1/2 minutes each side, browning the fritters
- Drain on kitchen towels
- Serve hot with wedges of lemon on the side
Sizzling fritters in the pan.
2 thoughts on “Whitebait Fritters”
There’s another wet market at holland drive. Not bad too, strangely there’s many pork stores. The vegetables prices are ok. Last year I bought a huge part of an australian pumpkin.. about 1.3kg for about $7 only. It was very sweetest pumpkin i ever bought, but then that was also the one and only time he sold it.
There’s also another wet market behind Holland Village food centre. The auntie sells western vegetables like fennel, yellow squash, tomatoes on the vine and giant red onions etc. She sells western herbs too, which is impossible to find in normal wet markets. She kept the herbs in the fridge so you can’t see them displayed outside, so you have to ask for it. She also sells the cheapest white button mushrooms I ever bought I always buy 500g for $7 only.
The Ghim Moh market actually has a lot of herbs and “Ang Moh” vegetables. I remember at Christmas the lady dug out a giant bag of sage for me. I’ve also visited the Farrer road one which has some herbs and rarer vegetables but I found the prices there quite unfavorable.