Classic Blue Fish Stew

Lüfer yahnisi


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

A way of cooking fish using the traditional flavourings — cinnamon to spice, currants to sweeten and vinegar to sharpen. Often made with blue fish (sea perch), it works well with the fillets or steaks of any firm-fleshed fish.


  • 4 blue fish fillets, cut into large pieces
  • 2 red onions, halved and sliced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 plum tomatoes, peeled and left whole
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons currants, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6-8 fl oz/175-250 ml water
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Garnish

  • small bunch of chopped fresh parsley or Turkish saffron


  • Heat the olive oil and soften the onions with the garlic. Lightly flour the fish pieces and add them to the pan. Quickly brown them on both sides, then remove from the pan. Stir in the vinegar, cinnamon, currants and tomatoes with a little of the water, and cook for 10-15 minutes. Pour in the rest of the water, adjust the seasoning and carefully place the pieces of fish in the sauce. Cook gently for a further 10 minutes.
  • Serve hot, sprinkled with the saffron or parsley, and accompanied by a plain rice and lentil, or rice and vermicelli, pilaf.