|Sunday by the Bosphorus in Kadıköy on the Asian side|
It was a truly gorgeous Istanbul Sunday : blue sky, warm sun, the fishermen all out. After dropping my airport-bound husband off at the seabus port in Kadıköy, I dawdled along the sea front enjoying the people and the beautiful Bosphorus or Boğaz as it's called in Turkish, before going up into the colourful çarşi or market area. It was almost too early for those little streets even though it was already 11.30. Weekdays or better still, Saturdays, when they are thronging with people and you are in the midst of the hustle and bustle, are fun.
The joy of this area is all the little speciality shops bursting with stuff both inside and out.
|all sorts of goodies here|
Turkey is not a place where you will starve! Here is a great place to buy fish and right now, it’s everywhere. This is very much the season for palamut or bonito, a beautiful, shiny, firm-fleshed fish which comes in 3 sizes: small, medium, and large! I bought one small one for 13 TL which wasn't particularly cheap. Fish generally isn't cheap here. The fishmongers will prepare the fish for you in whatever way you want. I asked for my fish to be cut into two fillets.
|a sea of palamut|
§ Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F.
§ Lay the fish fillets on an ovenproof dish and drizzle a little olive oil and lemon juice over them. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add sliced lemons, tomatoes and onions as in the picture. Scatter a bit of dried thyme/kekik .
§ Cook for about 25 minutes depending on thickness.
§ Serve one half per person. Having said that, my husband can eat a whole small palamut quite happily. Probably a medium too!
With a mixed green salad and maybe a few boiled potatoes, this is a great meal.
1. Cooking fish is really very easy especially as Turks don’t like their fish to be diluted by sauces. You can do what I did above with any fish. I like using the oven.
2. This fish can also be cut into rounds and then fried. This is delicious. This shape isn't good for cooking in the oven as the bones are everywhere.
3. Eating fresh fish is a big deal here: if Turkish friends say to you, you must come round, we’re having fish tonight, it is like bayram, there is something festive about the idea. It also means that out comes the rakı, which is the natural accompaniment to fish, and of course mezes, so it becomes a feast.
There are tons of marvellous fish restaurants in the city, ranging from the pretty pricey to the cheap and cheerful. It’s really fun to go out for a fish meal here! Try it!