With so much fresh fish available throughout the city in Istanbul, you can have a simple and healthy meal any day of the week. If you follow your nose you are sure to find a fish market.
In Turkey, fish is considered to be best when served with rakı (Turkish anise-flavored liquor) and roka (arugula). In fact, some restaurants are simply called "rakı-roka" and the fish is implied.
While I prefer to have a little bit of fresh lemon juice on my fish, some restaurants are very "purist" and will refuse to serve you lemon with your fish, even if you ask. They think it ruins the taste of the fish.
Olive oil for brushing
Salt to taste
- Clean the fish under running water. Make sure all of the scales are peeled off.
- Dry the fish.
- Brush with a very little bit of olive oil on both sides and inside the body cavity. Sprinkle all over with salt.
- Put fish on the grill.
- Cook for 10-15 minutes per side, or until flesh is white and flaky.
- Serve it with arugula and lemon slices.
Many Turkish families consume tahini halva after grilled or fried fish dinners. You can buy this at specialty shops or any regular grocery store!