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South Island Whitebait Sandwich

Try this whitebait recipe by Simon Wright, demonstrated at Langham Melbourne MasterClass during the 2012 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.


  • Lemon Mayonnaise

  • 2 egg yolks

  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard

  • 2 lemons, juiced

  • Pinch salt

  • 125ml olive oil

  • 75ml lemon oil

  • 30ml warm water

  • Whitebait

  • 4 eggs

  • 100ml cream

  • 1 lemon, zest only

  • 1 tbsp chives, finely chopped

  • Sea salt

  • 250g fresh whitebait

  • Sandwich

  • 1 loaf white bread, unsliced

  • soft butter

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • Salad

  • Micro watercress

  • Herbs

  • Baby cos

  • Shaved fennel

  • Verjus dressing


  • Lemon Mayonnaise:

  • 1.

    Place the egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice, and salt into a food processor and blend together.

  • 2.

    With the motor still running slowly add the oils followed by the water.

  • 3.

    Check the seasoning and place in the fridge until required.

  • Whitebait:

  • 1.

    Pre-heat oven to 100°C.

  • 2.

    Place the eggs, cream, lemon zest and chives in a bowl, season with sea salt and whisk together.

  • 3.

    Divide the whitebait between 5cm x 6cm x 4cm silicon moulds or non-stick muffin moulds.

  • 4.

    Pour in enough egg mixture to cover and mix well with an end of a spoon.

  • 5.

    Place in the oven for about 35 minutes or until the whitebait custards are cooked but still have a very slight wobble in the middle.

  • 6.

    Allow the whitebait custards to cool in the moulds, carefully unmould and refrigerate until required.

  • Sandwich:

  • 1.

    Wrap the bread in plastic wrap and place in the freezer overnight.

  • 2.

    Pre-heat oven to 230°C.

  • 3.

    Remove the plastic wrap from the bread and slice the bread thinly to about 3mm in thickness on an electric meat slicer. Alternatively slice the bread thinly using a serrated knife.

  • 4.

    Using a 6cm pastry cutter, cut 10 circles from the sliced bread and discard the trimmings.

  • 5.

    Butter the bread lightly with soft butter and place the buttered side of the bread circles on the top and bottom of the whitebait custards to form a sandwich.

  • 6.

    Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in an ovenproof frying pan, add the whitebait sandwiches and place in the oven for 4 minutes, turning them once half way through the cooking time.

  • 7.

    Remove the whitebait sandwiches from the frying pan and place on absorbent paper.

  • To Serve:

  • 1.

    Place the whitebait sandwich and some lemon mayonnaise on a plate, dress the salad leaves and shaved fennel with a little verjus dressing and place around the whitebait.


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