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British pronunciation/wˈa‍ɪtbe‍ɪt/
American pronunciation/wˈaɪtbeɪt/

the young of European herrings that are silvery white and edible

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whitebait definition and meaning

What is "whitebait"?

Whitebait is a small fish of various species, typically herring or sprat, that are caught and consumed as a delicacy. These tiny fish are usually around one to two inches long and are often enjoyed as a whole, including the head, tail, and bones. Whitebait is known for its delicate and slightly sweet flavor, with a tender and soft texture. It is commonly prepared by lightly dusting in flour and deep-frying until crispy. Whitebait is a popular dish in many coastal regions and is often served as an appetizer or as a component of fish-based dishes. Its small size and distinct taste make it a unique and sought-after culinary delight.


minnows or other small fresh- or saltwater fish (especially herring); usually cooked whole

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1Is it whitebait?
2Oh, it is whitebait!
3That estuary aye it's really good for our whitebait, īnanga, tuna and all our little birds as well like pūkeko and kōtuku.
4It's the whitebait kakiage with some blow torched prawns and the whole thing is served with two different dips.
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