Starting in September, when fall is coming, Bonito migrate from black sea to the Aegean via the Bosphorus. Once they were so many you could catch with your bare hands. It is the one of the most common fished of the Black Sea, it is tasty, scaleless, and dark meaty fish with thick bones, thus easy to eat. It can steamed, pickled, even salted, it is the ideal season for bonito. This dish was served for fasting Priests during fasting period during the Ottoman Empire. This is also why it is called Priest’s Stew / Papaz Yahni in Turkish.
Still now it is such a beautiful site to see small boats gather around in the Bosphorous to catch bonitos abundance this year again in September and October. Houses and restaurants are happy to add bonitos to their tables. Often prepared as fried or grilled. These are so basic. So I chose to share with you my bonito stew recipe.
The juice of the bonitos combined with garlic, lots (believe me lots) of onions is really a treat. Unfortunately makes you eat a lot of bread. It needs lots of chopping of onions and some carrots.
It looks nice even before cooked. Actually the only difficulty is cutting all the onions. Lighting up a candle next to your chopping board might releive your eyes a little bit.
So I hope you prepare and enjoy this lovely and very healthy dish.