Hamsi Tava

Pan-fried anchovies, also known as hamsi tava in Turkish is just one of the many delicious ways that anchovies are being prepared and cooked in Turkey.  Hence, it's also the most popular and best enjoyed among the Turkish locals especially in Istanbul.

So how do the Turkish people prepare this hamsi tava dish?  Well, there's nothing as simple as coating the small, slender, and silvery Black Sea anchovies with a slightly beaten egg.  Then immediately right after that, they are dusted with corn flour (mısır unu) mixture of salt and black pepper, and there you go.  The anchovies are now ready to go into the oil for pan-frying which will just only take a few minutes to cook.

Anchovies usually give a strong smell once they are cooked, so imagine pan-frying them in winter when its strong aroma would linger all around the house.  Sometimes I wish these small fishes would have been more abundant in summer rather than in winter so that it would be easier to cook the anchovies with the kitchen windows left freely opened.  This way, it's a lot more faster for the strong anchovy smell to leave not just the kitchen but all throughout the house.  So what I usually do is to prefer making hamsi tava earlier during the day rathen that cooking it for dinner.  This way, I can still leave the kitchen windows open once in awhile (even if the cold wind gets in shortly) just to let the strong smell out of the house more easily.

If you'd like to try making this delicious Turkish-style pan fried anchovies in your own kitchen, just Click Here  to get the full recipe.  Afiyet olsun!

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