Region or stateBalkans and Middle East
Main ingredientsPickled bonito
Similar dishesCeviche

Lakerda is a pickled bonito dish eaten as a mezze in the Balkans and Middle East.[1][2][3] Lakerda made from one-year-old bonito migrating through the Bosphorus is especially prized.


Lakerda (λακέρδα) comes from Byzantine Greek lakerta (λακέρτα) 'mackerel', which in turn comes from Latin lacerta 'mackerel' or 'horse mackerel'.[4] The Turkish word lakerda, attested before 1566, is a loan from the Greek.[5]


Steaks of bonito are boned, soaked in brine, then salted and weighted for about a week.[6] They are then ready to eat, or may be stored in olive oil. Sometimes large mackerel or small tuna are used instead of bonito.


In Greece, lakerda is usually served as a mezze, with sliced onion. Lemon juice and olive oil are common but criticized accompaniments.[3] In Turkey, it is usually served as mezze, with sliced red onion, olive oil and black pepper. It is generally accompanied with rakı.


Lakerda is very similar to a prized ancient Greek dish, tarikhos horaion 'ripe salted fish' or simply horaion. Other ancient salt bonito preparations were called omotarikhos and kybion.[7]

See also


  1. ^ Clifford A. Wright (2003). Little Foods of the Mediterranean: 500 Fabulous Recipes for Antipasti, Tapas, Hors D'oeuvre, Meze, and More. Harvard Common Press. pp. 14–. ISBN 978-1-55832-227-1. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
  2. ^ Donald Quataert (2000). Consumption Studies and the History of the Ottoman Empire, 1550-1992: An Introduction. SUNY Press. pp. 173–. ISBN 978-1-4384-1662-5. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
  3. ^ a b Diane Kochilas, The Glorious Foods of Greece, 2001, ISBN 0-688-15457-3, p. 209 excerpt
  4. ^ Andriotis et al., Λεξικό της κοινής νεοελληνικής
  5. ^ "lakerda - Nişanyan Sözlük". Nişanyan Sözlük (in Turkish). Retrieved 2020-10-21.
  6. ^ Alan Davidson, Mediterranean Seafood, Penguin, 1972. ISBN 0-14-046174-4, p. 123
  7. ^ Andrew Dalby, Food in the ancient world from A to Z, 2003, ISBN 0-415-23259-7, p. 336 snippet