Fish Kebabs in Vine Leaves

Balık kebabı


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

As long as the flesh is firm enough to cut into chunks most fish, from trout to swordfish and shark, lend themselves to kebabs. A simple kebab is made by alternating chunks of marinaded fish with pieces of tomato, onion or pepper on a kebab stick or spear, and grilling them over hot charcoal. Wrapping the chunks in vine leaves is more time-consuming, but you’ll find it’s worth it when you pop each juicy parcel into your mouth. Scallops and prawns also work well wrapped in vine leaves.


  • 12 large-bite-size chunks of firm-fleshed fish, skinned and boned
  • 12 fresh or preserved vine leaves, washed and prepared

For the marinade

  • 2 onions
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Prepare the marinade. Grate the onions into a bowl, crush the onion pulp with a teaspoon of salt and leave to weep for about half an hour. Push the pulp through a sieve to extract the juice. Add the lemon juice, oil, garlic, oregano and nigella seeds. Season with a little salt and pepper.
  • Soak the chunks of fish in the marinade and leave to sit for at least an hour, basting from time to time. Meanwhile, prepare the charcoal grill.
  • Lay the vine leaves on a flat surface and place a piece of fish in the middle of each one, fold the edges over the fish and wrap up into a small parcel. Push the parcels on to a sharp kebab spear and brush with any remaining marinade. Place on a rack over the hot charcoal and cook for 2-3 minutes each side.
  • Serve immediately with lemon wedges.