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Fish in Bread or Balik Ekmek: Traditional Turkish Dish

If you’ve ever gone down to the pier near the Galata Bridge, you’ve probably seen crowds of people standing patiently in line and waiting. Around them, everything is shrouded in smoke and there is a spicy smell of fish, which can be heard throughout the area. This is the most famous Turkish fast food, but much more healthy. A stunningly delicious Turkish snack, fish in bread. Instead of the usual yeast loaves, pita is used here.

The history of this dish originated a long time ago, when fishermen for many years brought fish caught on the Bosphorus to the Galata Bridge to sell. However, after a while they realized that it was possible not only to sell raw fish, but also to cook it. The kitchen was installed right on the spot. They put a grill in the boats and started roasting the fish, which was then put on a loaf. The dish immediately became very popular. That’s how easily and quickly the Ekmek Balyk became a real symbol of Istanbul’s Eminenyu district. The queue of those who want to taste this unusual sandwich here, it seems, never runs out. By the way, you can try it all along the embankment. The pier is full of cozy cafes and restaurants, where tourists are conveniently accommodated for an impromptu feast.

Fish is caught right on the embankment, marinated in spices, and then grilled right in front of you and separated from bones and skin. It turns out an insanely tender fish. What is unusual here, you ask? First, various greens, tomatoes, peppers, onions, a lot of Turkish spices, salt are put on the pita bread, supplemented with fish and at the end poured with a proprietary sauce. They wrap everything up like a standard kebab and put it on hot coals. The whole thing takes 5 minutes, but you can stand in line much longer, because all tourists want to try this dish. Local citizens, of course, also love this dish very much, but they prefer to eat it in proven places, because they constantly eat such budget fast food. The price of the dish depends on the place where you bought it, on average for 1 piece will be 25 tl.

If you ever visit this hot country, be sure to try this dish, you will definitely want to return to Turkey to remember its taste once again.

You can read this article in Russian language: Рыба в хлебе или Balik ekmek (Балык экмек), традиционное турецкое блюдо

Anna Yablochkina

Hello, I'm Anna, I live in Istanbul. I love traveling and discovering new places. I share my trips on Expat Guide Turkey.

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