Pan Seared Smelt

Pan Seared Smelt

Makes 4 servings


  • 2 pounds smelts (they usually come gutted and cleaned up but ask your fishmonger to do it for you if needed)
  • 1 cup Panko style breadcrumbs (gluten free or not - your choice)
  • 1 tsp of kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped thyme
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided


  1. Rinse the smelts under cold water, dry thoroughly with paper towels. Reserve.
  2. Place the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and thyme in a large shallow plate. Place the lemon juice in another shallow plate.
  3. Heat up one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Dip about 1/4 of the smelts in the lemon juice, then toss in the breadcrumbs. Place them in the skillet in one single layer and sear for about 3 minutes on each side.
  5. Repeat with the remaining smelts, lemon juice, breadcrumbs and oil. Serve immediately with a simple side salad.