Fish Balls with Sunflower Seeds and Currants

Balık köftesi

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

Fish köfte are particularly popular in Istanbul and Izmir. They can be prepared with fresh or cooked fish flavoured with a variety of herbs and spices. They even work well with canned tuna.


  • 1 lb/450 g fresh fish fillets
  • 2 slices stale bread, rubbed into crumbs, or soaked in water and squeezed dry
  • 4-5 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed with salt
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon currants, soaked in water
  • 2 teaspoons tomato purée (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • small bunch of parsley and dill, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • a little plain flour for coating the köfte
  • sunflower oil for frying


  • In a bowl, break up the fish with a fork. Add all the other ingredients and knead well with your hand. Form the mixture into small balls, flatten them, and coat them in the flour.
  • Heat the oil in a shallow pan and brown the köfte on both sides. Then reduce the heat and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes, occasionally turning them until they are golden-brown all over.
  • Serve hot with wedges of lemon and a salad version of cacık.