Istanbul-Style Fish Sandwiches

Istanbul-style fish sandwiches (balik ekmek) make a delicious 15-minute dinner. This popular Turkish street food is typically made with grilled mackerel.


2 mackerel fillets
1 tbsp olive oil
Grated zest and juice ½ lemon
2 ciabatta rolls
1 little gem lettuce

For the pickled onions
1 small red onion, finely sliced
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
pinch sugar

For the dill yogurt
4 tbsp thick greek yogurt
Small bunch dill, roughly chopped
Pinch sumac


  1. Prepare the barbecue for direct heat (for cooking right over the coals; or see alternative cooking instructions above). Mix the onion with the vinegar and sugar in a small non-metal bowl and set aside. In a separate small bowl, mix the dill yogurt ingredients together and season.
  2. Rub the mackerel with half the oil and the lemon zest, then season. Barbecue skin-side down for 5-7 minutes until cooked through and the skin is crisp, then transfer to a greased baking tray, skin-side up. Split the ciabatta rolls and toast the cut sides on the barbecue for 1-2 minutes until a little charred and warmed through.
  3. Drizzle the lettuce with the remaining oil and the lemon juice, then season. Spread the yogurt on the rolls, then top with the lettuce, mackerel and drained pickled onions.

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