Piper Donuts

This donut sounds fishy! Piper Donuts is definitely an interesting way of pan frying these delicious piper fish, similar method like the usual fried fish but these ones are shaped like those irresistable round fried bread.

Piper or garfish is one of those interesting looking fishes, its shiny, its slender and have that distinct long half beak that looks like a thick needle. This fish also have very sensitive lateral line in their long lower jaws and that helps them detect vibrations caused by their prey. This fish is endemic to New Zealand and see them a lot in supermarkets but never had bought them since I migrated here until now after I saw it prepared on one of the fishing shows I seen lately.

Like any other fish, frying this is quite straight forward the only difference is that to make it more presentable they are usually shaped like a donut where it is prepared by putting a small hole in the tail, carefully bending the beak towards tail then inserting beak into the hole that was created. It’s quite delicate so a light coating of flour is a good idea before frying so it does not stick to the pan. It is a small fish and quite bony, not that much of a hassle to eat since the bones are all in the middle and can be pulled in one motion, unlike milkfish where the bones are everywhere even on the meat itself. It is certainly a very tasty fish, for its size it packs a flavourful punch, certainly one of the most underrated fish.

There are few ways to prepare them, one of them is the simple pan fry, in Australia they remove the back bones, butterfly it, battered and deep fried. Finally, another interesting way of preparing them is by only using the bones, just rub it with garlic and a bit of salt, fry until really crispy and you have a really nice beer match food.

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Piper Donuts

  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: Kiwi


Piper Donuts is definitely an interesting way of pan frying these delicious piper fish, similar method like the usual fried fish but these ones are shaped like those irresistable round fried bread.


  • 20 pcs piper fish, gutted
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • lime, to serve


  1. Pierce through a small hole near the tail are of each fish, carefully bend the body towards tail making sure the bones don’t bread then insert beak through the hole.
  2. Place fish in a large flat platter, season it with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Put the flour in a plate then gently lightly coat the fish with the flour, set it aside.
  4. Prepare a pan for shallow frying, heat oil and once hot pan fry the fish in medium heat until golden brown.
  5. Remove from pan, then serve with fresh lime on the side.


6 Responses

  1. Oh, my! They actually look like donuts! The only time I’ve ever seen gar in the United States is as an answer to a clue in a crossword puzzle. I wish I could get them because I know I would love this dish.

  2. Good that I just had some fried anchovies. These look FUN and I love these fishy donuts than the sticky dough donuts. Have never seen those fish here…

  3. suituapui says:

    I love these little fishes deep fried till crispy, can eat them, bones and all. Very nice.

  4. Well this one definitely threw me for a loop – I was expecting donuts when I saw the title! I do love fried fish, though, and these sound fantastic. Hand me a cold beer and I’ll be all set!

  5. Hannah says:

    Oh wow, that’s totally not what I was expecting when I heard the word “donut”! I always learn something new when I visit your blog!

  6. I love love love fried fish. This sounds like a really cute way to do it.

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