Kakavia is a soup made traditionally by the fishermen in the boats after their fishing. They use the fish that don’t sell easy at the fish market, the use of sea water, onions and potatoes that are easy to bring with maybe some lemons and eaten with chunks of bread to soak the soup up. In the recipe below Thodoris Psarakis gives us his version of Kakavia in his restaurant Tziaveri in Sitia, Crete.


(There are no rules of how much of ingredients to use)

Small whole fish gutted and scaled

Olive oil

Onions cut to slices

Potatoes cut to wedges

Salt and black pepper

Corn starch



Pour olive oil in a big wide pot

Arrange the onions on the oil.

Place the potatoes in layers on the onions

Lay the fish on the potatoes and place the pot on the fire to medium hot

When you hear the onions are starting to cook pour enough boiling water to cover the fish over. Shake the pot (do not stir the soup at all) and season with salt and pepper.

Simmer for about 20 minutes, shaking the pot every now and then. When potatoes are done remove the pot from the stove.

Carefully remove the fish on a platter, with some of the potatoes.

Put everything that is left in the pot (onions, potatoes, fish heads and juices) in a blender and blend to a smooth thick liquid. Strain and bring back to the pot.

Dilute a little corn starch in lemon juice and pour it in the boiling soup. Mix well, season with salt and pepper to taste and it is ready to serve with some freshly baked bread.

Note: A good Kakavia soup must be white when finished and thicken to your liking. If you use fresh fish and boil them only 20 minutes, the soup will not smell fishy.

Recipe: Thodoris Psarakis

Watch the video here