Turkish Food: Menemen


Photo by Rebecca F

The first time I had menemen was in Kadıköy, part of the Asian side of Istanbul, on my first trip to the city the year I lived in Turkey. It came to the table still sizzling a bit, served in the small copper pan it was cooked in. Like much of Turkish cuisine, it is a simple dish, allowing the flavors of the ingredients to stand on their own.

The basic recipe is eggs with chopped up tomato, green pepper (the long Turkish variety that are like a spice lottery (sometimes hot, sometimes not), and white onion. One could loosely call this scrambled eggs, but that’s not exactly the same. The hot pan fries the outside of the dish while the center remains moist and loose. It may seem like the eggs are undercooked but it’s the juice of the tomatoes that gives them a watery appearance while the egg portions do in fact cook. Saute the vegetables first then scramble the eggs in. Cook until the eggs set, but don’t let it get too dry. Add some salt and pepper and you are good to go.

Not true menemen: this version adds some slices of sucuk (sausage). Nice, but not the same.
Not true menemen: this version adds some slices of sucuk (sausage). Nice, but not nearly the same.

I’ve seen variations with other ingredients, but this is the basic recipe. Serve it with slices of fresh-baked bread to soak up every last bit.

Other posts about Turkeyand specifically Turkish food.

Kevin Revolinski

Author, travel writer/photographer, world traveler. Writes about travel, hiking, camping, paddling, and craft beer.

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