• Jocette Lee

Menemen in the Making.


Have you ever given a minute to try menemen?

Menemen is a classic Turkish scrambled-egg dish served for breakfast (kahvaltı). There are many variations of the dish - with or without cheese, with or without sausage or potatoes or onions, etc.

When I was living in Istanbul, menemen was a go-to meal that filled our tummies but didn't empty our wallet. Two men owned a menemen café near our home and they made the most creamy and flavorful menemen in the neighborhood. We often had fresh bread served along side to scoop up everything in the bowl. Don't forget to brew some çay to round out the meal!

Menemen is often prepared in a specific pan made just for this breakfast dish. These pans are sold everywhere in Turkey. But if you're not in Turkey, lucky for you, I have a few for sale in my shop! These beautiful copper pans are directly imported from Izmir, Turkey and they are waiting to be used to cook up this dish!

Below is Food52's recipe for menemen so that you can try this very approachable meal at home!

Menemen for 2

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1 small white onion, diced

  • 3 green, mild Turkish peppers, seeded and chopped (or substitute 1 red bell pepper and 1/2 green bell pepper)

  • 1/2 teaspoon good-quality red pepper flakes, ideally a medium-spicy Turkish or Aleppo variety

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 4 large tomatoes, chopped

  • 5 eggs, room temperature

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Parsley, chopped

  • Turkish simit or other crusty bread

  • Optional: fried sujuk (garlic sausage) and beyaz peynir (brined Turkish cheese similar to feta), to sprinkle on top

  1. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter.

  2. Once the butter has melted into the oil, add the onion and peppers, a pinch of salt ,and the red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, for around 5 minutes or until both onions and peppers have softened and smell fragrant.

  3. Add the garlic and allow to fry briefly before adding the chopped tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have lost some but not all of their liquid and everything is coming together. This will take between 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the juiciness of your tomatoes and how thick or liquidy you want the end result to be.

  4. While the tomato mixture is cooking, lightly beat the eggs together in a bowl. Slowly add the beaten eggs to the skillet, folding gently into tomato mixture but take care not to stir too much. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the egg whites are barely opaque. The eggs will continue to cook once they're off the heat and it’s important to remove the pan at this point to prevent the mixture from drying out. Again, it's a personal decision: If you like very soft, wet eggs, take the mixture off the heat immediately after incorporating the eggs into the tomatoes.

  5. To serve, spoon into individual bowls and top with chopped parsley, fried sujuk, and beyaz peynir. Menemen is traditionally served with simit, a Turkish sesame bread ring, but feel free to substitute that with any bread of your liking.


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©2020 by Jocette Lee.

All photos are the property of Jocette Lee unless otherwise noted.