‘Fırında Levrek’ in English ‘Oven Sea bass’ is a vitamin-rich fish that can be found at almost every sea. You can either make it on the grill or at the oven. You can find Levrek (sea bass) fish in Turkey at any season at any fish restaurant because culture fishery is a common business at the shores of Turkey so we don’t have any shortage of this type of fish in this part of the world. Levrek fish contains low fat rate than the most fish types so while cooking this fish, olive oil will be your best friend. In this article, I want to share ‘Fırında Levrek’ recipe and how and when the Turks include it to their cuisine with you.
The Story of Fırında Levrek.
It took thousands of years for Turks to reach Aegean Sea, Black sea and Mediterranean Sea regions. Before then, Turks were only dependent to animal husbandry to survive. So for this reason, Turkish cuisine has more meat dishes than fish dishes. Turks tasted the salty sea fish later than many civilizations.
As you know from my previous writings; rock ovens (stone ovens) are very common in Turkish cooking culture. If you visit any village in Turkey, you can see rock ovens are still in use. It doesn’t matter if the village is inland or nearby sea. So for this reason, Turks applied the same cooking method to the fishes by cooking them at the rock ovens. That is why we called it ‘Fırında Leverk’. Today, some restaurants are still using rock ovens to cook fish in Turkey.
Where to eat?
I love Aegean Sea more than Mediterranean and Black Sea. The sea life in Aegean Sea is very diverse. Bodrum is the most well-known Touristic city of Turkey and I am visiting that city since 1987. We say for Bodrum ‘The Pearl of Aegean’. The restaurant that I am going to suggest is called ‘Barboom’ at Yalıkavak Village of Bodrum. It is a fine fish restaurant and I believe you will love it. The below recipe is belong to the head chef of that restaurant.
Fırında Levrek (Oven Sea Bass)
- 2 sea bass 4x fillet
- 200 g cherry tomatoes
- 100 g shallots peel & keep it whole
- 2 clove garlic sliced
- 100 g green olive without pits
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F). Wash the fillets and rinse them. Put the fillets on to the baking paper and start to season them with freshly ground black pepper and salt.
Put the whole shallots, sliced garlic cloves, thyme leaves, cherry tomatoes and green olives on top of the fillets. Pour the olive oil to the fillets and to the ingredients evenly and cook 45 minutes.
Tip: Garnish it with dill.