Armenian cuisine is considered one of the oldest in Asia
and the oldest in the Transcaucasus. Its characteristic
features were formed during the millennia BC enriched
over the centuries, because the Armenians were
moving from one place to another. Preparation of
making Armenian dishes is often difficult and laborious.
There are many varieties of dishes of minced meat,
fish, stuffed vegetables, etc.
They come from antiquity, for example, still popular
dishes such as khorovats (barbecued meat) and byorek
(dough stuffed with meat). Armenians cooked these
dishes almost nearly for 1500 years.
For the preparation of Armenian meals, there is a
need to use about 300 types of herbs and wild
flowers using them as condiments or even staple.
• Soups in Armenian cuisine are very popular. They are
cooked so skillfully that you'll remember their taste
for the rest of your life. The preparation of meat, fish,
and vegetable dishes in an Armenian kitchen requires
stuffing, frothing and pureeing. Lamb, eggplant,
mayonesie, yogurt, and bread (lavash) are basic
features of Armenian cuisine. Armenians use cracked
wheat in preference to the maize and rice popular
among their Caucasian neighbor
• Armenian housewives cook fragrant is khash!
• Khash is a traditional dish in Armenia.
Formerly a nutritious winter food, it is
now considered a delicacy, and is
enjoyed as a festive winter meal,
usually by a company of men who sit
around in a table, early in the morning.
• Dolma is a family of stuffed vegetable dishes
common in the Middle East and surrounding
regions including Balkans, Russia, Central Asia.
Common vegetables to stuff include tomato,
pepper, onion, zucchini, eggplant and garlic. Grape
or cabbage leaves wrapped around a filling are
called ‘sarma', but are also often called 'dolma' or
'yaprak dolma' The stuffing may or may not include
meat. Meat dolmas are generally served warm,
often with egg-lemon or garlic matsoni sauce;
meatless ones are generally served cold. Stuffed
vegetables are also common in the Italian cuisine,
where they are named ripieni ("stuffed").
• Much of the traditional Armenian homeland is inland and
mountainous, which has meant that there really aren’t
many fish dishes in Armenian cuisine and those that are
are mainly for fresh water fresh – most especially Ishkhan,
a lake trout native to Lake Sevan in Anatolia, whose name
translates as "Prince," giving some idea of how highly
esteemed this species was to a cuisine so largely based
upon lamb, chicken and vegetables. Sig, another variety of
lake trout, is also a favorite and has advocates who insist
it tastes even better than Ishkhan. Fresh water sturgeon
and its caviar are popular traditional fish to eat, as well. In
those areas with access to mussels, midia are also
• Today, Ishkhan is an endangered species, due to years
of over fishing, but a farm-raised variety has found a
commercial market and much of the Sig found in the
markets comes from Russia.
• Along with various species of lake trout, any variety of
white fish also works pretty well with these basic
• Traditional Method:
• The most basic – and probably most ancient – method
for cooking fish Armenian Style is to place whole bay
leaves on both sides of the cleaned fish, wrap it in wet
cheesecloth (or, today, oiled aluminum foil!) and grill it
over hot coals, taking care to keep the cheesecloth
quite damp. The fish half steams/half grills and the
finished product is both moist and quite flavorful from
1 white or trout, cut into 4 individual servings
½ cup diced carrots
½ cup diced celery
½ cup chopped, skinned tomatoes
¾ cup diced potatoes
½ cup finely chopped herbs (especially parsely,
tarragon, basil, oregano and thyme – equal parts, or to
1 garlic clove, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
¾ cups of extra virgin olive oil
• Blanch the chopped vegetable mixture in water.
• Remove from boiling water when they are still quite al
dente and drain.
• Place the oil in a clean baking dish and swirl to coat the
• Place the cleaned fish in the dish.
• Cover the fish portions with the blanched vegetables.
• Cover this with the chopped tomatoes.
• Liberally sprinkle the chopped herb mixture over the
• Cover and bake at 350 degreee F for 30 – 40 minutes
(until fish is tender and flakes easily).
• Serve with lemon slices
• Alternative Method:
• Make individually sealed packets of the fish portions
and vegetables with well-oiled aluminum foil.
• Grill over hot coals – or bake in oven, as above.
Freshly caught fish on a family camping trip tastes
wonderful with this method!