Gordon demonstrates how to make these spiced crispy fried fish, perfect for sharing with just a squeeze of lemon
Toast the Sichuan peppercorns and the coriander seeds in a dry frying pan for 1–2 minutes until aromatic. Transfer to a mortar, add the chilli flakes and pound with a pestle until powdered, then set to one side.
Gently wash the whitebait and pat dry with kitchen paper. Pour the oil into a deep-fat fryer and heat to 170°C, or fill a large saucepan one-third full of oil and heat until a cube of bread dropped into the hot oil sizzles and turns golden after 30 seconds.
Season the flour with salt and pepper and mix with the ground spices. Dust the whitebait in the spiced flour, shaking off any excess, and deep-fry in batches for 1–2 minutes on each side until golden and cooked through.
Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Taste and season with a little more salt if necessary. Repeat with the remaining batches.
Serve while still warm with wedges of lemon.
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