Sauté Whitebait, Creamy Potato Mayonnaise, Nut Brown Butter and Lemon

11:41 pm on 11 September 2006

One of only a few seasonal foods that are left, Whitebait brings out the hunter/gather instinct in us, whether used in the recipe below or the iconic fritter; they are without a doubt part of New Zealand’s culinary repertoire.


Sauté Whitebait

  • 300gm whitebait
  • ½ cup plain flour
  • Freshly milled pepper
  • Salt
  • 150mls Rice bran oil
  • 2 lemons

Creamy Potato Puree

  • 500gms Agria or Ilam hardy potatoes
  • 100mls extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Salt
  • Freshly milled pepper

Nut Brown Butter

  • 100gms salted butter, (diced)
  • ½ lemon juiced


Cut potatoes into roughly 3 cm pieces and stem until cooked approximately 25 minutes.

Place the egg yolks in a food processor and pulse while streaming in the oil as you would when making mayonnaise. Add the potatoes gradually and process till you have a smooth puree. Correct consistency with a little warm milk if required. Season to taste and keep warm.

For the Nut Brown butter:

Place butter in a small fry pan and cook till a nut brown colour around 2 to 3 minutes remove from heat immediately and add lemon juice to arrest the cooking. Set the butter to one side in a warm place.

For the Whitebait

Toss in seasoned flour, place in a sieve and give a good shake to remove excess flour. Heat oil in a large fry pan and toss whitebait for 30 to 45 seconds no more.

To serve:

Spoon a little of the potato mayonnaise into the middle of each plate, drizzle around a little of the nut brown butter. Divide the whitebait between six plates and using a pair of tongues gently mound in the middle of the potato mayonnaise. Accompany with a wedge of lemon.

Peters Notes:

At Bracu we also accompany the whitebait with a few drops of soy balsamic. You can use parsnip puree, or celearic puree to replace the potato.

Suggested Wines to Go With Today's Recipe


Glazebrook Hawke’s Bay 2005

Maven Marlborough Reserve 2005

Herzog 2005

Jacobs Creek Reeves Point 2003

From Nine To Noon

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