Fresh Anchovies in Vine Leaves

Hamsi sarması


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

Small and medium-sized fish are often wrapped in vine leaves and then poached or grilled. Anchovies and small red mullet are particularly tasty this way. Sprats or small sardines could be used instead of anchovies.


  • 25-30 fresh or preserved vine leaves, washed and prepared (see p. 41)
  • 20-30 fresh anchovies, washed and gutted

Poaching liquid

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed with salt
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

To accompany

  • salt, sumak or lemon juice


  • Wrap the anchovies in the vine leaves, leaving the heads peeping out. Pack them tightly in the base of a wide saucepan. Mix the oil and lemon juice with the garlic, season to taste, and pour over the anchovies. Place a plate directly on top of them, cover the pan, and poach gently for 5-8 minutes. Serve hot or leave to cool, sprinkle with salt, sumak or lemon juice, and pop the whole anchovy package into your mouth.