Sea bass baked in paper

Sea bass baked in paper

Kağıtta levrek

By
From
Istanbul
Serves
2
Photographer
Steven Joyce

Above the Spice Market in Eminou sits a beautiful turquoise-tiled restaurant called Pandeli, founded in 1901. One of their most famous dishes is kağıtta levrek: sea bass, herbs and raki wrapped in paper and then baked. This is my version, which I cook when I want to remind myself of sitting in one of their sunny window seats, looking out at the Bosphorous. Don’t worry if you don’t have raki in the cupboard; you can use any aniseed spirit (I often use absinthe). If you don’t like the taste of aniseed, use white wine instead.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 sea bass fillets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ripe tomato, deseeded and chopped
2 teaspoons dill, finely chopped
2 teaspoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 spring onions, sliced diagonally
1 tablespoon green capsicum, chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon raki or other aniseed spirit, or white wine
freshly ground black pepper
salt
pul biber or mild chilli flakes, (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Cut two rectangles of baking paper, roughly 25 × 20 cm, or big enough to comfortably enclose a fish fillet.
  2. Rub the olive oil into the sea bass fillets. Place one fillet in the centre of each rectangle, matching its long edges to the long edges of the paper. Scatter half of each of the chopped tomato, dill, parsley, onion and green pepper over each fillet. Pinch the paper up slightly so the liquids won’t run off and add half the lemon juice, raki or wine and 1 teaspoon water to each fish. Finish with a pinch of chilli flakes if using, and a little salt and pepper over each one.
  3. To seal the paper parcels, bring the long edges of the paper together in the middle, above the fish. Fold both edges down, about 1 cm. Continue to fold the paper over on itself a couple more times until the fold is touching the fish. Fold the loose ends in over themselves several times to seal in the steam. Place on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes. Serve the fish wrapped in its paper on the plate and let diners release the scented steam themselves.
Tags:
Istanbul
Turkey
Turkish
Rebecca
Seal
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