The restaurant we had this dish at was wonderful and will be reviewed separately. The stuffed carp dish is posted on its own because it is a regional speciality and we weren’t overly impressed with it. I don’t want this one dish to detract from the overall restaurant review.
Lake Egirdir is a huge (and I mean huge, 180 square miles) fresh water lake in the lake region of the Taurus Mountains, near Isparta, Turkey. This was one of our favorite places in Turkey, off the beaten path and wonderfully relaxing in the midst of tourist season.
We had never eaten carp, although I know it is eaten in many places. Hussein, the owner of the restaurant and pension we stayed at, said the lake was so clean that the carp is great to eat. There was one carp dish on the menu. You had to order it a day in advance so they could get the right fish and it was for a minimum of two people. We figured, sure, we’ll try it one night.
The carp was more than big enough for two people. It was baked, completely whole. It was stuffed with rice and some mild spices. Visually, it was appealing unless you hate
fish heads. Unfortunately, it was a bit bland and dry.
The meat was a typical white fish with a mild flavor. My favorite part was the skin, tasty and semi-crispy. But, the meat was a bit dry. The rice stuffing was also dry and I couldn’t really tell what the easonings were, perhaps not so many, as it was bland. The chef was a bit apologetic without us saying anything, he said that usually this dish uses a much larger fish for more people. The fish we got was about as small as this specialty could be.
It was interesting and I am glad we tried it. But, I wouldn’t order it again. This is an excellent restaurant, so maybe the size of the fish made a difference or maybe they just like their stuffed fish this way.