Whitebait (bianchetti or gianchetti) is the young, immature fish of many important food species. Here in Italy, we mainly consume whitebait of sardines and anchovies.
Whitebait typically are between 25 and 50 millimetres long. It is very tender and completely edible, head, fins, bones, and guts included.
Since it’s so young animals, in several countries whitebaiting is strictly controlled and regulated, in order to avoid extinction of species. Here we can usually fish whitebait in the period among December and March. Anyway, on the market there also is frozen Whitebait available.
Before using Whitebait, you need to thoroughly wash it, in order to remove any residual sand and dirt, then you can store it in the fridge, and consume them within 2 days.
You can use Whitebait to make fritters, frying, or you can even steam it.