The history

Balik ekmek┬áliterally translates as “fish bread” and is a traditional Turkish street food sandwich served in Istanbul. Now, can you guess what goes in it? Pork, of course. I really hope your cooking skills are better than your deduction skills. Of course it’s fresh fish!
Anyway, you’ll find a lot of variations in the vegetables it’s served with, so I settled on a very simple salad. Let’s get cooking.

The recipe

Print Recipe
Balik Ekmek - Turkish fresh fish sandwich
balik ekmek 4
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Turkish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • a bunch of parsley
  • 1 medium green pepper
  • sumac (a traditional Middle Eastern spice)
  • some lettuce leaves
  • 4 fresh mackerel fillets (or smoked mackerel if you can't find it fresh)
  • white bread (or sourdough bread)
  • olive oil for frying
  • lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Turkish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • a bunch of parsley
  • 1 medium green pepper
  • sumac (a traditional Middle Eastern spice)
  • some lettuce leaves
  • 4 fresh mackerel fillets (or smoked mackerel if you can't find it fresh)
  • white bread (or sourdough bread)
  • olive oil for frying
  • lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
balik ekmek 4

Instructions on how to make balik ekmek

First, we’ll start with the mackerel. You can either grill it or fry it in a pan – I suggest grilling it so you can get add some charcoal flavor to it. Or, you know, burn it to a crisp. Lightly fry or grill the fish on both side until cooked. This shouldn’t take more than a few minutes (fish cooks fast).

While you’re doing this, dice all the vegetables, put them in a bowl and add the chopped parsley to them (don’t add the lettuce, you need that for a separate thing). Take the sumac and add it to your salad and that’s almost it.

Finally, slice the bread in half, add the fish, sprinkle some lemon juice on it, add a leaf of lettuce and some salad. Close the sandwich and you’re done.

Listen to this while cooking.

Enjoy.