I came home and this happened! Char, chanterelles, lentils. I cooked the lentils in a homemade mushroom stock with shallots, ginger and lemon thyme — finished with homemade preserved lemons, Nicoise olives and brine. The char is cooked rare, chanterelles seared on high heat. Finished with bronze fennel, chervil; thyme, garlic mustard, lavender and chive flowers #mediterranean #fish #food (at Pine Woods Park) High-res

I came home and this happened! Char, chanterelles, lentils. I cooked the lentils in a homemade mushroom stock with shallots, ginger and lemon thyme — finished with homemade preserved lemons, Nicoise olives and brine. The char is cooked rare, chanterelles seared on high heat. Finished with bronze fennel, chervil; thyme, garlic mustard, lavender and chive flowers #mediterranean #fish #food (at Pine Woods Park)

Red mullets Mediterranean shrimp Akya -- the versatile leer fish. 20 lb giants. Here are cuddle fish tainted by their own ink Needle fish. It's great shape lends itself for creative preparations. John Dory and Muhammad's thumbprint. It's actually an adaption to confuse prey by emulating the look of a larger eye. Beautiful turbot One of the alrgest monk fish I've ever seen. The other side of the fish is too ugly to display. Well, not really, but the bottom is more easily damaged. Oysters and scallops

Sayat Explores FoodReblogged from Sayat Explores Food

sayattheexplorer:

It’s red mullet season in Istanbul and these respectable fish in the first photo were so bright and beautiful that I thought I was snorkeling right next to them. I went to the Istanbul fish market (wholesale market in Yenikapi) for the first time this week.

On my explorations in India and Thailand, I followed a simple formula to get the most out of the local food culture. 

  1. Read about the cuisine
  2. Visit markets; understand the season, the land and the bounty. 
  3. Eat street food wherever you see it
  4. Eat where the ”people” eat
  5. Eat at fine dining establishments
  6. Read about the cuisine

I found that the second step is undisputably the most essential one. I always helped my mother with her shopping growing up but I had not paid a visit to the markets with a trained eye. 

I absolutely loved the Balik Hali (the wholesale fish market) in Yenikapi!

I parted from good friends at about midnight after a good (not great) dinner at Karakoy Lokantasi (a respectable establishment) and hookah in Tophane. I walked up to Taksim and walked the Red streets of Istiklal until about 1 AM. There is always something happening there and it’s always interesting to talk to the people on the street. 

I got a haircut and a straight razor shave and hopped into the shuttle right after — yes, you can get a haircut in Istanbul at 1 AM. I missed the point where I had to get off and walked back about six miles. Amazing walk by the water, half of it in the rain, listening to NPR’s The Splendid Table. 

Well, I got to the Balik Hali at about 2:30 AM. It was buzzing with excitement. Almost literally. Instead of bees they had seagulls flocking all around in an unobtrusive way, waiting their turn at the pick. 

Boats were loading off their catch, fishermen were setting up their humble displays of not so humble fish, and procurement specialists were lining up around the displays. Cuddlefish (calamari), sand sharks, monk fish (Tr: Fener), mullets, leer fish (akya), turbot, John Dory (Tr: Dulger), scallops. needlefish (Tr: Zargana)… What a beautiful scene. 

The market buzzed for about two hours after 2:30 and then it led to a calmness. Everyone was tired and ready for bed, including myself. 

I had great educational conversations — especially the one about Muhammad’s thumbprint on John Dory. Very entertaining. And convincing. 

A most successful reconnaissance mission! Also, I think fish are the most beautiful of all proteins. There, I said it! 

I had the privilege of working with these 7 lb monsters, minokopi or umbrine fish (Umbrina cirrhosa). What an amazing flavor and texture. As an angler fish, this is a relatively exotic product that has apparently become more commonplace in Istanbul. Reminiscent of the Mediterranean turbot, the flavor is mildly fishy — it has large flakes and an excellent succulent texture. 
I served this with a potato dauphinoise and simply pan fried it with a rice flour / AP flour dusting. The first course was legendary. A three wheat (freekeh, spelt, and kamut) risotto with Romano beans and Mediterranean shrimp cooked in a fennel and shrimp stock, finished with tallegio and lemon zest!  High-res

I had the privilege of working with these 7 lb monsters, minokopi or umbrine fish (Umbrina cirrhosa). What an amazing flavor and texture. As an angler fish, this is a relatively exotic product that has apparently become more commonplace in Istanbul. Reminiscent of the Mediterranean turbot, the flavor is mildly fishy — it has large flakes and an excellent succulent texture. 

I served this with a potato dauphinoise and simply pan fried it with a rice flour / AP flour dusting. The first course was legendary. A three wheat (freekeh, spelt, and kamut) risotto with Romano beans and Mediterranean shrimp cooked in a fennel and shrimp stock, finished with tallegio and lemon zest! 

Sh* pampered culinary students say

I have the role of a group leader in my class at the CIA. Though the administration makes an attempt to glorify the position and though I take the role seriously, it's no more than the role of an administrative liaison.

You hear interesting things every once in a while. Anonymous has a history of tardiness and no-call / no-shows. After I finished the work with four hardworking colleagues in the ice room of the fish fabrication class, here is the conversation that took place between myself and anonymous.

(Oblivious to the reality of the moment as the ice team walks into the room) I think you should go ahead and put me on ice a couple times more before the end of class. I want to contribute more. Anonymous:

Of course, do you want to jump on now?They need one last push. Sayat:

But I don't have my apron with me. Anonymous:

You don't need your apron, you're going to wipe some surfaces and dump old ice down the drain. I take full responsibility. Sayat:

I can't get my chef coat fishy. Anonymous:

Why? Sayat:

Because fish smells bad. Anonymous:

I turned around and walked away aware of the danger that I posed to anonymous's mental and physical well being.

Anonymous was absent the next morning. He missed the biggest ice day and short-changed his entire team. No call -- no show. I had a talk with him and put him on ice for the remaining of class.

He showed up each day on time and ready but each day he made a point to negotiate that extra day of ice with me. I received six text messages pleading with me about ice duty.

Each time, I walked away.

Red mullets Mediterranean shrimp Akya -- the versatile leer fish. 20 lb giants. Here are cuddle fish tainted by their own ink Needle fish. It's great shape lends itself for creative preparations. John Dory and Muhammad's thumbprint. It's actually an adaption to confuse prey by emulating the look of a larger eye. Beautiful turbot One of the alrgest monk fish I've ever seen. The other side of the fish is too ugly to display. Well, not really, but the bottom is more easily damaged. Oysters and scallops

It’s red mullet season in Istanbul and these respectable fish in the first photo were so bright and beautiful that I thought I was snorkeling right next to them. I went to the Istanbul fish market (wholesale market in Yenikapi) for the first time this week.

On my explorations in India and Thailand, I followed a simple formula to get the most out of the local food culture. 

  1. Read about the cuisine
  2. Visit markets; understand the season, the land and the bounty. 
  3. Eat street food wherever you see it
  4. Eat where the ”people” eat
  5. Eat at fine dining establishments
  6. Read about the cuisine

I found that the second step is undisputably the most essential one. I always helped my mother with her shopping growing up but I had not paid a visit to the markets with a trained eye. 

I absolutely loved the Balik Hali (the wholesale fish market) in Yenikapi!

I parted from good friends at about midnight after a good (not great) dinner at Karakoy Lokantasi (a respectable establishment) and hookah in Tophane. I walked up to Taksim and walked the Red streets of Istiklal until about 1 AM. There is always something happening there and it’s always interesting to talk to the people on the street. 

I got a haircut and a straight razor shave and hopped into the shuttle right after — yes, you can get a haircut in Istanbul at 1 AM. I missed the point where I had to get off and walked back about six miles. Amazing walk by the water, half of it in the rain, listening to NPR’s The Splendid Table. 

Well, I got to the Balik Hali at about 2:30 AM. It was buzzing with excitement. Almost literally. Instead of bees they had seagulls flocking all around in an unobtrusive way, waiting their turn at the pick. 

Boats were loading off their catch, fishermen were setting up their humble displays of not so humble fish, and procurement specialists were lining up around the displays. Cuddlefish (calamari), sand sharks, monk fish (Tr: Fener), mullets, leer fish (akya), turbot, John Dory (Tr: Dulger), scallops. needlefish (Tr: Zargana)… What a beautiful scene. 

The market buzzed for about two hours after 2:30 and then it led to a calmness. Everyone was tired and ready for bed, including myself. 

I had great educational conversations — especially the one about Muhammad’s thumbprint on John Dory. Very entertaining. And convincing. 

A most successful reconnaissance mission! Also, I think fish are the most beautiful of all proteins. There, I said it! 

In the absence of ovens, Thai cooks and street food vendors have become masters of slow cooking over coals. Scales-on, salt-crusted, lemongrass and chili stuffed fish; catfish with a sweet glaze! 

The fish stays delicate without overcooking and the flavors infuse through the meat. 

Sala Daeng, Suam Phlu and Yaowarat, Bangkok, Thailand

Thai street vendors are masters of slow cooking on a grill. This one was a fish, Thai chili and lemongrass mix that was steamed in the banana leaf to a delicate omelette texture… Unwrap the leaf, place the gem on the fragrant jasmin rice, and top it with the sauce… Thai fish sauce, Thai chili, garlic and lemon… Yumm. 

Yaowarat, Bangkok, Thailand

South Indian cooking generates a lot of deep flavors with use of strong spices and long cooking times, which is different from tropical cooking that I’m used to eating from North and South America as well as the Caribbean. 
A fish masala served with lemon coconut rice and a rice paratha. 
The fish was a white snapper. It was simmered in young coconut, kokam, mustard seeds, curry leaves, garlic, onions, and red chili powder. Truly delicious. 
At Fort Kochi, Kerala, India High-res

South Indian cooking generates a lot of deep flavors with use of strong spices and long cooking times, which is different from tropical cooking that I’m used to eating from North and South America as well as the Caribbean. 

A fish masala served with lemon coconut rice and a rice paratha. 

The fish was a white snapper. It was simmered in young coconut, kokam, mustard seeds, curry leaves, garlic, onions, and red chili powder. Truly delicious. 

At Fort Kochi, Kerala, India