Kutum (kütüm), a 2-4 kg white fish unique to the Caspian, is traditionally used in this recipe. Another popular type of smoked fish for kuku is chub mackerel (scomber colias), which, unlike kutum, does not require boiling as it is already soft. The usual substitutes for kutum can also be smoked and used in kuku: sea bass, sea bream, grey mullet, red mullet or snapper.
Preparation time: 30 min
Cooking time: 20 min
- 400 g/1 lb cold smoked fish (kutum, bream, sea bass, grey or red mullet, snapper or chub mackerel)
- 6 eggs
- 1 large bunch of spring onions
- 1 large bunch of coriander
- 1 large bunch of dill
- 50 g/2 oz white breadcrumbs (optional, but these help to hold the kuku together)
- salt & pepper
- butter or vegetable oil
- If using smoked kutum or another fish that is tough when smoked, boil for 10 minutes then scale and fillet.
- If using a softer smoked fish, such as chub mackerel, just scale and fillet.
- Wash and finely chop the spring onions. Wash and coarsely chop the coriander and dill.
- Break up the smoked fish into flakes.
- Beat the eggs. Add the chopped herbs, fish pieces and breadcrumbs, salt & pepper and beat again.
- If cooking the kuku on the hob, melt the butter or oil in a heavy frying pan. When the butter is sizzling pour in the whole mixture.
- Cover the pan and turn down the heat. When the egg has solidified, remove the lid, cut the kuku into pieces and turn the pieces over.
- Leave to cook for another 10 minutes until the eggs are cooked through. Don’t replace the lid, as this will cause the herbs to water.
- If cooking in the oven, rub an oven-proof dish or deep baking tin with generous amounts of butter. Pour the eggs and herb mixture into the dish and bake in a medium-hot oven for 20 or 30 minutes until the eggs are cooked through. Rub butter or drizzle oil over the kuku after you have taken it from the oven.
- Kuku is best served hot with yoghurt, but can also be served cold and makes great picnic food.