Almost a national dish - Hamsi Kizartma (fried anchovies)

Almost a national dish - Hamsi Kizartma (fried anchovies)

At this point we would like to continue the description of our typical Black Sea menu in the Senyer family's house. During a visit from friends to Ayvalik, we first heard about and tasted the delicacy of fried anchovies, which can be eaten as desired with or without the inner main bone.

The main bone is actually very easy to remove once you have mastered the “technique”. The gourmet may do this with a knife and fork, the normal connoisseur takes the small fish in his hand, pulls the flesh from one side of the bone with his teeth, then turns the fish over and ultimately only has the thin main bone in his hand.

Emin Senyer, our host, talked about families...

hamsi 5Hamsi Kizartma is almost considered a national dish in Turkey, at least on the Black Sea. Emin Senyer, our host, talked about families where anchovies are a must for breakfast. Well, if you want to eat like that, you are of course free to do so.

Fish is definitely healthy, and that certainly doesn't need to be explained here. And since pure, virgin olive oil is also used in the production and meal, it can really be said to be a healthy meal. With the fish we were served Trabzon Ekmek, comparable to German gray bread, which was dipped in bowls with olive oil and herbs before being eaten. Better than a spread with margarine or butter.

hamsi 07When the plate with the freshly fried anchovies came to the table, the appetite was already great just from the placement of the Hamsi Kizartma on the plate. Portions were distributed onto our plates with flat tongs and a first glance around showed that everyone was using their fingers to eat. Small bowls of lemon juice made it easier to clean your fingers every now and then.

In addition to the Trabzon Ekmek, beans were also served that had been pickled in a slightly sour way and then briefly fried. Also, a delicious side dish, almost reminiscent of bean salad. To cut a long story short, the hamsi were absolutely fresh and deliciously prepared, so countless of these little anchovies were eaten.

Here is the recipe, which does not require extensive explanations:

hamsi 06The heads and innards of the anchovies are removed with a knife. As a note: In some restaurants, the hamsi are even fried with the head on, so that when the meat is eaten, the main bone remains connected to the head and the whole thing is set aside as a unit. After removing the innards, the fish are washed thoroughly and then dried; a linen cloth is ideal.

If you want a little breading on your fish, mix the eggs with the flour, salt and pepper. The fish is briefly pressed into the breading on both sides. However, the taste of the anchovy is simply excellent even without the breading.

hamsi 09The olive oil is now heated in a large pan and the anchovies, whether with or without breading, are briefly fried over medium heat until golden brown. The cooking time is very short simply because of the size of the fish, but you quickly get the right feeling for it. Little by little, all the anchovies are fried and arranged on a plate or in a shallow bowl.

If you like, you can drizzle the hamsi with lemon or garnish with onions and herbs, but it's not necessary. If you value decoration, you can also drape the anchovies artfully on the plate.

Bon appetite!

Ingredients for 4 persons:

1kg anchovies
3 tbsp flour
3 eggs
Salt, pepper, olive oil
2 lemons
Herbs as desired (but not necessary)

Please read as well:

Gözleme - a Turkish meal for the small hunger

Traditional Galanty Show - Karagöz and Hacivat


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