Whitebait fritters are a staple of the Kiwi dining table, but you may not be aware those little fishies are in grave danger of going extinct.
According to 1News, four out of the six native species in Aotearoa are in decline or at risk of extinction.
The Department of Conservation has already got a bunch of measures in place to help preserve the species, which include limiting the fishing season, creating sanctuaries and phasing out the export of whitebait.
If all of this chat feels like the end of the iconic whitebait fritter, don't fretter (sorry, couldn't help myself). Instead, it could be worth trying a mock whitebait fritter. These ones are made up of ingredients you probably already have at home, rather than an endangered fish species.
Edmonds has a really simple recipe to follow, and they even suggest sprinkling on a few poppy seeds at the end to mimic whitebait eyes and make the fritters feel more like the real thing.
1 egg, beaten
2½ Tbsp Edmonds Standard Grade Flour
2 Tbsp Meadow Fresh milk
3 Tbsp Meadow Fresh grated cheese
salt and pepper
1 potato, peeled and grated
1 tsp Edmonds Baking Powder
3 Tbsp oil
Add the flour, milk, cheese and seasonings to the beaten egg and set aside for 10 minutes.
Add the grated potato to the batter with the baking powder just before you cook the patties.
Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan and drop in tablespoonfuls of the mixture.
Cook for 5 minutes on each side until golden, drain on paper towels and serve hot, or keep warm in the oven at 160ºC for up to 20 minutes.
They may not quite be the real deal, but they sound pretty good to me. Long live whitebait!