Balik Corbasi – Fish Soup

Balik Corbasi - Fish Soup

It’s definitely not the best time of year to crave fish, but I can’t help it. Period. Those cravings would not be satisfied with frozen or farmed fish and I’m not an easy going person when it comes to less than perfect food. ‘Perfect’ fish is a bit expensive around this time of year, so the best thing to make with it is a fish soup, of course Ottoman style. In certain parts of the Black Sea region this recipe is still very common, with generous amounts of lemon juice and a hint of saffron, just like it used to be served in the Ottoman Palace. I’ve met a lot of people who fell in love with this soup at first sip, even those who claim to not like seafood. Here is the guide to your ‘Love at first sip’!


250 g sea bass fillet + 50 g (~3 palm-size pieces) of fish bones

1 medium size onion, cut into four

3 bay leaves

1 medium size carrot, chopped into cubes

1 medium size potato, cubed

1/4 cup of olive oil

1 level tablespoon of salt

A pinch of saffron or 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric

A dash of powdered cinnamon

1 tablespoon of corn starch

Juice of 3 lemons

2 egg yolks

1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley

Wrap fish bones, onion and bay leaves into a cheese cloth, put this flavor bag and the fish fillets into 5 cups of water and bring to boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove fish fillets and set aside for later use.

Add the carrot cubes into boiling water with the flavor bag still in it. Boil for 10 minutes.

Add in the potatoes. Simmer for another 5 minutes.

Add in olive oil, salt, cinnamon, turmeric/saffron. In a little bowl mix the corn flour with 1/2 cups of cold water and slowly add this corn flour mixture into the soup. Keep stirring for 10-15 minutes till the potatoes and carrots turn al dente.

Add in cooked fish fillets.

In the same bowl you previously mixed the corn starch and water, mix the egg yolks and lemon juice. This part is a little tricky. Make an even mixture and slowly add some of the boiling soup into this bowl, stir well and pour this warm mixture into the pot over the stove slowly, vigorously stirring at the same time.

Remove from the heat and keep stirring for another 5 minutes.

Garnish with parsley and serve warm.

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. How many does it serve? Doesn’t say!

    • Depends on the size of the portions, 6 I would say, if you serve it in regular 200ml bowls that is.

      • Ah, so you’re thinking of this as an appetizer!

        So, I was on the right track in the proportions I came up with for main course size.

        Thanks! Looking forward to trying it tonight!

        • Yes, soups are served as an appetizer in Turkey, except for the tripe soup eaten early in the morning as a cure for hang-overs :). Let us know of the outcome once you try this soup. Cheers.

          • I made a modified version of this (some ingredient changes, and served as a stew over cous cous, rather than as a soup) last night for my family. A definite hit!

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