Nippon Smelt Katsu

purepac nippon smelt katsuPrep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

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  • ½ pound Purepac dressed smelt
  • Kosher salt
  • Olive oil for frying, about 1/4 cup
  • ½ cup whole wheat Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


Lay smelt out on a paper towels and salt.

Mix Panko crumbs and all the seasonings in a medium bowl.

Heat a large frying pan over high heat for a minute or two. Turn the heat down to medium-high and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan by about 1/8 inch. You do not want the smelt swimming in oil. Let this oil heat up for 2-3 minutes.

While the oil is heating, dredge your smelt in seasoned Panko breadcrumb mixture and set aside. Lay out paper towels to drain the smelt after quick frying.

When the oil is hot, arrange smelt in one layer with room between and fry over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Turn and fry for an additional minute. Do most of the cooking on one side for golden crust.

Quick fry on their sides for 3 minutes

The other side takes less time and you don’t want overcooked fish. Set your smelt aside on paper towels to drain off excess oil.