How to make Romanian saramura de peste

August 23, 2018
Doru Radutu

Saramura de peste is a traditional dish of fishermen along the Danube River. It might be Romanian, Bulgarian, Serbian or Lipovian — nobody knows its origins — but the taste is genuine and exquisite, and loved by our local tour guides in Bucharest and Brasov.

In most cases, carp is the prefered fish because of its specific taste and fatty meat, but all kinds of fresh water fish are as good: rudd, gibel carp, perch or bream. It goes well with a young, spicy white wine.


  • Medium-sized carp (1.5 to 2kg or equivalent in smaller fish)
  • 200 ml white wine
  • 50 ml vinegar or lemon juice
  • 200 g onion
  • 500 g red bell  peppers
  • 50 g garlic (chopped and diced)
  • 50 g chili (chopped and diced)
  • Parsley
  • Coarse salt and pepper to taste


  • Cut the head of the carp off, clean the guts and keep the scales on.
  • In a large pan, cover the bottom with coarse salt and place it over high heat.
  • Cook the fish on the salt bed, turning each side every 3 minutes until fully cooked. Scales will protect the flesh from burning or overcooking.
  • After cooking, clean the scales and set the meat aside to rest.
  • Meanwhile in a saucepan, sauté the onion, red bell peppers, garlic and chili. Add salt and pepper according to your taste.
  • Place meat and vegetables on a large oven tray, and add the white wine and vinegar or lemon juice.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 180°C.
  • Serve with polenta or potatoe purée and sprinkle finely chopped parsley over top.

Serves 4.

Learn to make traditional Romanian dishes on our Home Cooked Bucharest tour, where you get to cook (and eat!) in a local’s home.