Battered sprats with dill mayo

Source: Johannes Hõimoja

Battered sprats with dill mayo

Recipe author:

Janno Lepik
Head chef
Leib Resto ja Aed

They say that Estonians are the most stationary nation in Europe – thousands of years ago, our forefathers gathered on this land and decided to stay. We carry with us traditions and wisdom that has been passed down from generation to generation. The roots of our story go way back. Now we look back and appreciate our old recipes and ancient customs. We want to prepare traditional dishes in a way that all Estonians know and love while also adding a contemporary touch.

Estonian fishermen have caught sprat from our coastal waters through the ages. It is not unlikely that Baltic Germans learned to appreciate sprat from Estonians; this is evidenced by the addition of the loan word "killo" ("kilu" is Estonian for sprat) into German. The spiced sprat from Tallinn was well-known in the 19th century, whereas, smoked sprat in oil gained popularity as an everyday and festive food during Soviet times.

  • Course: starter
  • Serves: 4
  • Preparation time: 1 h 15 min
  • Difficulty: easy


1 can sprats in oil

175 g flour
1/3 tsp baking powder
25 ml water
4 eggs
2 tbsp honey

Dill mayo
100 g mayonnaise
25 g dill


  1. Weigh the flour, sugar, baking powder, water, egg and honey into a bowl. Whisk the components into an even mass. Cover the batter with plastic wrap and leave to set for 30 minutes.
  2. Drain sprats from oil.
  3. Pour the oil into a saucepan and heat to 180 ºC. Test the temperature of the oil by dripping the batter into the oil: if the batter starts to cook and rises to the surface, then the oil is ready for frying. Don't overheat the oil – make sure it doesn't smoke.
  4. Dip the sprats into the batter one by one, making sure they are evenly coated. Fry them in oil until golden brown.
  5. Place the dill and mayonnaise in a bowl and blend evenly with a hand blender.
  6. Serve on a platter or a plate with the dill mayonnaise.

Photo by: Johannes Hõimoja

Last updated : 22.04.2021