Füme alabalık ezmesi – or, to give it its English language name: smoked trout pate. So simple and, yet, a complete revelation for us in the kitchen department. We love pate, we love seafood – why had we never mixed the two until recently?
That’s because many a lazy Saturday has been spent watching TV programme, James Martin’s Saturday Morning. For those of you unfamiliar with the name, James Martin is one of the UK’s top chefs. And one of our favourites, too.
And, one morning, he whipped up a smoked mackerel pate in a matter of minutes. Mind boggling that two people like us – always playing around in the kitchen – had never even considered making anything similar. But now, we do!
How To Make Smoked Trout Pate
‘Similar’ is the important word, here. By the time we’d bought our ingredients to make our own pate at home, the only thing we had on the worktop in front of us that was the same was a lemon!
This is a homemade recipe using local ingredients. Hence the Turkish name; füme alabalık ezmesi. (You might recognise ‘ezme’ from the famous meze dish, Antep Ezmesi. ‘Ezme’ is the word for ingredients that have been finely chopped, crushed, ground or pureed into a paste or dip.)
First of all, we took ourselves off to our local fishmonger for a couple of smoked mackerel – the key ingredient for a smoked mackerel pate! When we got there, the shelf was bare.
But there were lots of smoked trout. A smoked trout pate it was to be, then. We already knew what we were going to be using for our other ingredients.
If, like us, you’re not using ready-filleted smoked trout, it’s really easy to remove and discard the skin and then tease the flesh away from the bones.
No knives or other utensils needed. This can all be done by hand and only takes a few minutes. Just keep an eye out for the odd stray bone.
Place the trout in a mixing bowl and then we’re going to add our other local ingredients to make our pate.
A lot of smoked mackerel or smoked trout pate recipes add chopped chives. We want that fresh crunch with just a hint of onion flavour so we use the green stems from a bunch of spring onions. We’re going to cut the darker green stem away from the white and lighter green part of the onion.
Put the onions in the fridge to save for another day and another recipe. Now, finely chop a handful of the green stems. (You can keep the rest of the green stems for a homemade stock). Add the finely chopped onion stems to the mix.
Then, we’re going to be using labne (labneh)! Some smoked trout pate recipes will use cream cheese. We don’t want a pate that takes away from the smoky seafood flavours, so, for us, cream cheese is too strong. Other recipes use creme fraiche.
The mild flavour of labne with a hint of sourness is a good substitute, here. Zest and juice of a fresh lemon. And then we like to add a teaspoon of sweet paprika.
Smoked Trout Pate Recipe – Füme Alabalık Ezmesi
Here are the full ingredients and method for our smoked trout pate recipe – a food-life changer for us. For years, Barry has made a wonderfully-velvety chicken liver pate and I’ve always thought it would be great to have a seafood counterpart. We just never thought about how simple it would be!
Smoked Trout Pate Recipe (Füme Alabalık Ezmesi)
- 2 whole smoked trout or four fillets
- 5 spring onions cleaned; bulbs & light stems removed
- 175 g labne or cream cheese/creme fraiche
- 1 lemon zest & juice of
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp chilli flakes to garnish
- First of all (if needed), fillet your fish. Remove the skin with your hands, tease the chunks of flesh away from the bones with your fingers and add to a mixing bowl.
- Discard any small bones that come away with the flesh.
- Take the upper lighter parts and some of the green shoots of your spring onions and finely chop them until you have a small handful.
- Add these to your smoked trout chunks.
- Add your labne to the bowl.
- Now add your lemon juice and zest followed by the paprika.
- Mix everything carefully with a spoon, allowing some of the chunks to form part of the paste but leaving some intact.
- Serve on toasted bazlama bread - or your bread of choice.
- Sprinkle with chilli flakes before eating (optional).
- The smoked trout we use are quite small. We get approximately 200g of meat from two trout.
- Your smoked trout pate can be swapped for smoked mackerel pate or any other smoked fish.
- In many supermarkets, you can buy fillets of smoked fish rather than whole ones if you don't want to to remove the meat from the fish yourself.
- Lots of people add dill to their smoked trout pate. We like to keep the flavours simple so we leave it out.
- If you want a smoother pate, you can mix it up more rigorously to break up the flakes more - it breaks down easily. Use a food processor if you want a completely smooth paste.
Once you have added all of your smoked trout pate ingredients to your mixing bowl, it’s time to mix them. It is completely up to you whether you want a smooth pate or a coarse pate at this stage.
If you want a coarse smoked trout pate, like we do (see photo below), be careful when you mix the ingredients together. The fish will break down quite easily so it’s just a case of giving it a few careful stirs and then adding it to a serving bowl.
If you want a smooth smoked trout pate, give your mixture a more rigorous stir. And if you want a really smooth paste, a quick whizz in your food processor will arrange that for you.
But, for us, smoked trout or smoked mackerel pate is all about the texture – the creaminess of the labne, the fresh crunch of the spring onion stems and the soft flaky chunks of the fish. So, we keep it as a coarse pate – similar to how we like our hummus, for that matter.
But how to enjoy your smoked trout pate once you’re ready to serve? Toasted bread, of course. And, again, we’re keeping it Turkish and local. So, for us, lightly toasted bazlama bread.
Spread your smoked trout pate over the top of your toast. And – if you like – a light sprinkling of chilli flakes. Perfect!
So, there you have it. Certainly not a traditional Turkish recipe – but definitely a traditional dish made with local Turkish ingredients. Füme alabalık ezmesi!
Füme Alabalık Ezmesi – Afternotes
- If you can’t find smoked trout for your pate, you can experiment with other smoked fish such as mackerel or herring.
- Pate can also be made with unsmoked fish if you’re not a fan of the smoky flavours.
- Smoked trout fans can also give our smoked trout and sweet potato fishcakes a go.
- And, if you love seafood and want something more traditionally Turkish, try our seafood muska böreği.
- You can find smoked trout pate in our international recipes section of the blog. If you want to cook Turkish, check out our Turkish recipes listings.