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Blog Words : Food & Drink | 25 May

Recipe of the week: Istanbul fish stew

Got a dinner party to impress? Make like the Turks with this colourful Balık buğulama: tasty one-pot fish stew

If you’re close to the sea and some local fishermen, you’ll have access to an interesting medley of rockfish that are ideal for this stew. If you’re living in an urban area, try to scour fish stalls at farmers’ markets or find a good fishmonger to give you an interesting selection of small fish like gurnard, weever, wrasse, scorpion fish and grey and red mullet. You can also use sea bream and grey mullet as the Turks like to do.

Serves 4-6

1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 fresh bay leaves
3 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, including stems, roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
2 long green peppers, deseeded and chopped
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1kg mixed soup fish (see introduction above), cleaned, with heads left on
100ml extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper, to serve
1 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
4–6 lemon wedges


In a large saucepan, place the onion, bay leaves, parsley, carrots, tomatoes, peppers and lemon slices. Cover with cold water and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.

Lay the fish on top of the ingredients in the pan and season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour over the olive oil and enough water to just cover the fish, then bring back to the boil. Lower the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes or until the fish is tender.

To serve, carefully transfer the fish and vegetables to a large serving bowl or individual bowls and ladle some of the liquid over the top. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over the soup.




Hungry for more? You'll find another recipe from Eat Istanbul in the June issue of Wanderlust, out now...

Recipe taken from Eat Istanbul by Andy Harris and David Loftus (Quadrille, £20) - buy a copy here.
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