Deep Fried Whitebait, Shrimps, Crabs

Deep Fried Whitebait, Shrimps, Crabs

Platter of deep fried whitebait, shrimps and crabs, cut limes serve as palate cleanse.

Talking about Lagos street food cannot be complete without talking about seafood fries. As a little girl anytime my dad travelled to Lagos to make supplies, he would buy fried prawns, fried tiny fish and we would eat it with soaked garri.

As Lagos is a coastal city, most major markets in Lagos will have at least one street food vendor that sells fried seafood. Fried prawns, shrimps, crabs, whiting, anchovies, tiny sardines mussels… etc properly seasoned, coated with flour and deep-fried. They are either sold freshly fried or fried dried and packaged in clear cellophane (nylon) pouches.

Recently I was in a market in Ibadan and I saw a hawker selling fried and dried whitebait and shrimps pre-packed in clear cellophane (nylon) pouches.

Assortment of fried fish, yoyo, shawa, sarapore…

While the street vendor is likely going to call all the fried fish “Yoyo” (Whitings). This coated fried fish treat is usually a mix of all kinds of miniature fish like whitings, sardines, smelt, anchovies… whitebait in short.
These treats are so popular in Badagry, Epe, Lagos Island as well as other parts of Lagos.

Yoyo is a perfect treat to accompany crunchy garri soaked in ice cold water and paired with coconut.
Deep fried flour coated Shrimps
Deep fried flour coated crabs

Where to source fresh seafood in Lagos?

For bulk buying


  • Seafood of choice (whitebait, shrimps, crabs etc)
  • Salt
  • Cayenne pepper (ata gigun, atarugu, powdered dry pepper)
  • Flour (to coat)
  • Vegetable oil (enough for deep frying)
Note: You can add further seasoning of choice as you see fit.


  • Clean seafood properly,
  • Season with salt and pepper, toss lightly to ensure even seasoning. Put it in a sieve to allow the water strain.
  • Sprinkle flour and toss around to ensure it is well coated
  • Heat up oil till very hot
  • Deep fry till golden brown and slightly crisp.
  • Enjoy
This is the kind of platter that gives me joy!

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