Grilled Fish with Dill Yogurt

Izgara balık


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

For many Turks there is only one way to cook fresh fish: grill it over charcoal. It is an easy way to cook shark, swordfish, tuna, sea bass and the sweet red mullet. Large fish are occasionally gutted before grilling, but small fish are left intact. Grilled fish are most often served with wedges of lemon on a bed of rocket leaves, but they also taste good with a light tahin dressing, a mild tarator sauce, or simply with dill-flavoured yogurt.


  • 4 medium-sized red mullet, cleaned

For the marinade

  • 4 onions
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • juice of ½ lemon or 4 tablespoons sumak juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6-8 bay leaves, crushed between your fingers

For the sauce

  • 5 tablespoons thick yogurt
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed with salt
  • handful of fresh dill, finely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat the charcoal grill.
  • Grate the onions, pound the pulp with the salt and leave to weep for 10-15 minutes. Push the pulp through a sieve, or squeeze it through a piece of muslin, to extract the juice. Mix it with the lemon juice, oil and bay leaves. Pour the mixture over the fish in a flat dish. Leave to marinade for 1-2 hours, basting from time to time.
  • To prepare the sauce, beat the yogurt with the garlic and lemon juice. Season to taste, and stir in as much dill as you like — the sauce should have a lemony dill flavour. Put aside.
  • Place the fish over the hot charcoal grill, brush them with the marinade and cook each side for 3-4 minutes. Serve immediately with the dill yogurt.