Fish | Balık
Fish is an important part of Turkish cuisine. Bordered the Aegean, Mediterranean and Black Sea, fish are bountiful. Common varieties of local fresh fish include anchovy, bluefish, bonito, mackerel, pandora, red mullet, sardines, sea bass, sea bream and turbot. Fish is served baked, grilled, fried, poached and even pickled.
Common Varieties of Fresh Fish
The Black Sea Region is well-known for anchovies. Anchovies are a featured ingredient in the regional food are served grilled, baked, fried and even pickled. Anchovies are in season between December and February.
Bluefish is one of the most common fish in Turkish Cuisine. It is said that highest quality bluefish come from the Bosphorus Strait. Bluefish is most commonly served grilled. Bluefish is in season beginning in August through December.
Like bluefish, it is said the highest quality bonito come from the Bosphorus Strait. The flesh of bonito has a rich, dark color with a firm texture. Bonito is commonly served grilled. Bonito is in season from August until December.
The highest quality mackerel are said to come from Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara. Grilled mackerel served on toasted sourdough bread (balık ekmek) is a street food classic in Istanbul. Mackerel is in season from June to March.
Called the ‘Fish of Summer,’ the highest quality pandora is said to come from the Aegean. It is commonly grilled and served with a squeeze of lemon. Pandora is in season in June and July.
The best red mullet are said to come from the Aegean and Mediterranean. Red mullet is commonly served both grilled and fried. Red mullet is in season from August to November.
The best sardines are said to come from the area around Gallipoli, where the Aegean and Marmara Sea meet. Sardines are served grilled fried and pickled. Sardines are in season from July to September.
Sea bass may be the most popular of all fish in Turkey. The best is said to come from the Aegean Sea. Sea bass is most commonly served grilled. Sea bass is in season during the summer months May through August.
Sea bream is among the most popular fish in Turkey. The best sea bream is said to come the Aegean and Mediterranean. Sea bream is most commonly served grilled. Sea bream is in season from September to January.
The best turbot is said to come from the Black Sea Region. Turbot is most commonly grilled. It is also available as thick strips, coated with flour and fried. The season for turbot begins in September and last until February.
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