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Istanbul Inspired Grilled Mackerel Flatbread

" One of Istanbul’s best street food (which every visitor should try) is Balık ekmek, a grilled fish sandwich. It is grilled mackerel, fresh lettuce, and onions in 6-inch sandwich bread. It is delicious but be careful of the bones, and do not forget to squeeze lemon!

Rather than going to a restaurant, we recommend getting your Balık Ekmek from one of the many boats in Eminönü shore that cook it on their boats. Ordering your fish from a boat may look like they are using fresh, local fish, but the truth is that these boats and most of the restaurants in Istanbul use Norwegian mackerel for fish sandwiches.

Generally, the best time to eat Balık ekmek is between noon and nightfall. Finding these boats is usually impossible after the dark. You can also buy pickle juice or turnip juice sold nearby; locals enjoy these drinks with their fish sandwiches."

Now I've loosely based this recipe on these famous Mackerel sandwiches from Istanbul, Rather than sandwich bread, I'm making home made flat breads, and I've also added in the wonderfully creamy Labneh, which I think works fantastically well with this recipe, and adds a wonderful creaminess to the finished dish.

If you are able to BBQ your mackerel, then I'd highly recommend you do so, that smokiness you get just can't be replicated when cooking in a pan or under a grill! I'm also not sure about pickle juice or turnip juice!! I'd prefer a glass of ice cold beer or crisp white wine, but I'll leave this up yo you!

I've recently cooked these fantastic Mackerel flatbreads at a local Taste of the Sea Festival, and they went down a storm! Even converting one lady who said she didn't like mackerel!

This recipe will serve 4 people, Takes a little time of advanced preparation, but is well worth the effort.