25 Finest Sorts Of Turkish Kebabs You Have To Attempt

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Post author Nicky

Written by our native skilled Nicky

Nicky, initially from the UK, is now an area in Turkey. She moved to Marmaris, Türkiye for love 12 years in the past and is now your Turkey journey planner.

I get it. You’ve visited Turkey a few times, and also you’ve tried a number of several types of kebabs. You preferred them, however you need to strive extra. Nevertheless, when a menu is positioned in entrance of you, you’re so confused by the sheer variety of differing kinds you discover it arduous to decide on the very best one.

It’s an everlasting wrestle; belief me, it has taken me greater than a decade of residing in Tükiye to determine all of it out.

Or perhaps it could possibly be that you simply’re about to go to Turkey for the primary time, and also you need to strive essentially the most conventional kebabs. In that case, you want steerage.

Don’t fear. I think about myself an skilled on discovering the very best Turkish kebabs, having tried a lot of them and having been confused about the entire thing, similar to you. I did my analysis, and I’ll go that on to you. Seize your pide bread, and let’s go.

Skip Forward To My Recommendation Right here!

25 Prime Kebab Sorts You HAVE To Attempt

Turkish kebabs will not be all the identical. Sure, they’re meat-based, however that’s the one similarity between them. There are completely different spices concerned, preparation strategies, and serving strategies.

That can assist you work out your good Turkish kebab, let’s check out the highest 25 several types of kebab you’ll discover while you’re exploring this stunning nation, listed in no explicit order.

1. Adana Kebab

Traditional Turkish Adana Kebab or Kebap

This can be a spicy kebab made with minced lamb or beef (often lamb), seasoned with pink pepper flakes, and grilled on skewers. It’s often served with rice grilled peppers, and tomato, however you may as well get it in a wrap from road meals distributors. Beware – this one is often spicy.

2. Çökertme Kebabı

Originating from the Bodrum area in Turkey’s Aegean coast; this kebab is made by layering pita bread soaked in tomato sauce topped with chunks of lamb or beef cooked on skewers then garnished with melted butter and yogurt sauce.

It’s scrumptious and is commonly served over a mattress of fries.

3. Kuzu Güveç

A slow-cooked lamb casserole is made with tender chunks of lamb, greens, and spices, cooked in a clay pot for a wealthy and flavorful dish.

This can be a conventional meal that the majority households eat through the winter months and the meat merely melts in your mouth.

4. İnegöl Köfte

Originating from the city of İnegöl, these juicy meatballs are constituted of a combination of floor beef, breadcrumbs, onions, garlic, and spices earlier than being grilled or fried.

There are numerous several types of köfte, however the principle distinction right here is the spices used and the form.

5. Iskender Kebab

Traditional Turkish Iskender kebab_Bursa Turkey_Depositphotos_244229222_S

Originating from Bursa, this kebab consists of thinly sliced lamb or beef (often beef) served over a mattress of pita bread, topped with tomato sauce and melted butter. When carried out properly, this can be a scrumptious kebab, and the sauce actually provides to the flavour.

Search for eating places which have Iskender within the title for the very best ones.

6. Shish Kebab

This can be a traditional kebab made with marinated chunks of meat (often lamb or hen) threaded onto skewers and grilled to perfection. These are sometimes served with rice and peppers and onions, however once more, you’ll be able to typically get them in wraps.

7. Külbastı

This specialty kebab originating from Gaziantep options marinated chunks of lamb or beef cooked on an open fireplace grill till tender and smoky. The meat is so tender that it actually melts in your mouth and there’s a sauce created from the cooking course of, which is scrumptious when mopped up with bread.

8. Hünkar Beğendi

This can be a royal dish consisting of slow-cooked chunks of meat (often lamb meat) served over a mattress of creamy smoked eggplant puree generally known as “beğendi.” It appears just a little like mashed potato however has a particular eggplant style.

9. Kaşarlı Köfte (Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs)

Meatballs are filled with melted cheese earlier than being grilled or baked. Whereas different meatballs are sometimes served in a wrap, this one is sort of at all times served on a plate with rice and grilled peppers and tomatoes.

10. Doner Kebabs

Food in Greece - greek gyros with tzatziki sauce and fries on parchment

Often known as gyro in different international locations, döner kebab is made by stacking layers of seasoned meat (sometimes lamb or hen) on a vertical rotisserie, which is then slowly cooked and thinly sliced for serving. It’s then served in a wrap or pitta with salad.

If you’re searching for a very good döner kebab, take a look at the meat on the rotisserie and see if it appears juicy or dry. If it’s dry, steer clear.

11. Beyti Kebab

Named after the well-known Turkish chef Beyti Güler, this kebab options floor lamb or beef blended with spices, wrapped in lavash bread, grilled till crispy, and served with yogurt and tomato sauce on prime.

That is one among my favorites, and it’s often served alongside bulgur and salad.

12. Urfa Kebab

Hailing from town of Urfa in southeastern Turkey, this spicy kebab is made utilizing minced meat blended with garlic and pink pepper flakes earlier than being grilled to perfection. That is typically confused with Adana kebab, however they’ve a special style.

When ordering a Urfa kebab, be sure to inform the server whether or not you need it spicy or not – Acili is spicy, acisiz is just not spicy.

13. Ali Nazik Kebab

This can be a particular one, and it’s a scrumptious mixture of smoked eggplant puree topped with tender items of marinated grilled meat (often lamb), drizzled with garlic-infused yogurt sauce.

14. Tavuk Şiş Kebap (Hen Skewers)

What To Eat In Turkey - Turkish Food - Tavuk Shish

You’ll see this one quite a bit, significantly in vacationer resorts. It’s a easy but scrumptious meal of hen skewers marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and paprika powder earlier than being grilled till juicy and tender.

Once more, it’s served with rice and greens however in most vacationer eating places there might be chips too.

15. Patlıcanlı Kağıtta Köfte (Meatballs Wrapped In Eggplant)

This kebab consists of meatballs constituted of floor beef blended with onions and spices, wrapped inside skinny slices of eggplant earlier than being baked to perfection.

16. Çöp Şiş (Lamb Gut Skewers)

This can be a distinctive kebab that may not be for everybody. It’s made with marinated lamb intestines threaded onto skewers and grilled till crispy.

I can’t say I’ve ever been courageous sufficient to do this one, however it’s extremely popular domestically, so maybe you would possibly need to give it a strive?

17. Kuzu Tandır (Lamb Tandoori)

Gradual-cooked lamb is marinated in a mix of yogurt and spices till tender and succulent.

This is without doubt one of the dearer kinds of kebabs however it’s actually scrumptious and often comes served with rice, greens, and bread.

18. Ciğer Kebabı (Liver Kebab)

Thinly sliced items of liver are seasoned with spices equivalent to cumin and paprika earlier than being grilled and served both with rice or in pita bread.

19. Kokoreç

Istanbul street food - Turkish Street Food Kokorec made with sheep bowel

Once more, you may not be up for this one, however it’s a extremely popular road meals. It’s constituted of skewered lamb kebab or goat intestines wrapped round sweetbreads, seasoned with herbs and spices, then cooked on a charcoal grill.

You’ll see this in all main cities and cities.

20. Şiş Köfte (Meatball Skewers)

Grilled meatballs are constituted of floor beef blended with onions, parsley, breadcrumbs, egg yolks, and numerous seasonings threaded onto skewers for straightforward grilling.

21. Karışık Izgara (Combined Grill)

An assortment of various meats, equivalent to hen shish kebab, Adana kebab, and köfte, are served collectively on a platter, providing a wide range of flavors in a single meal.

This can be a good possibility if you wish to strive several types of grilled meats and also you’re unsure which to decide on. Nevertheless, they are typically basic, reasonably than being any of the extra ‘speciality’ kebabs.

22. Tavuk Döner (Hen Doner)

This one is just like the standard doner kebab however made utilizing hen as an alternative of lamb or beef for a lighter different.

23. İskorpit Kebabı

This can be a specialty kebab constituted of complete fish (often pink mullet) marinated in olive oil and lemon juice earlier than being grilled till crispy on the skin but tender on the within.

It’s an excellent different sort of kebab in the event you’re not the most important meat lover.

24. Testi Kebab

Sultan palace cafe restaurant_ Testi Kebab_Pottery Kebab meal Mate 5

Testi means ‘jug’ in Turkish. Testi Kebab is an Anatolian specialty, ready in a clay pot or jug-shaped cooking utensil, which helps protect the freshness, aroma, and flavors of the kebab because the elements cook dinner slowly in their very own juices.

You’ll see such a kebab in giant vacationer eating places specifically, however it’s very conventional. It’s often described as a meal for 2 and will probably be served with rice, greens, and often chips too.

25. Manisa Kebab

Manisa kebab is one among my favorites, and it originates from town of Manisa in western Turkey.

It consists of items of marinated lamb or beef, served over pitta bread that has been soaked in a tomato sauce, with extra sauce excessive and melted butter to complete off.

You’re feeling hungry now, proper?

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The Historical past Of The Turkish Kebab

First issues first, let’s return in time. Turkish kebabs have an extended that dates again centuries. They’re an integral a part of Turkish delicacies and have gained immense reputation worldwide.

The origins of kebabs will be traced again to the nomadic Turkic tribes who roamed Central Asia. These tribes used to cook dinner meat over open fires, skewering it on swords or wood skewers for straightforward dealing with. As these tribes migrated westward, they introduced their culinary traditions with them, finally reaching Anatolia (modern-day Turkey).

In Anatolia, the Turks tailored their cooking strategies to go well with the native elements and flavors. They started utilizing vertical rotisseries known as “ocakbaşı” to cook dinner meat slowly over charcoal fires.

This methodology allowed for even cooking and resulted in tender and flavorful meat. You’ll see many ocakbaşı eating places these days, which simply implies that they cook dinner their meat this fashion.

One of the well-known varieties of Turkish kebab is the “döner kebab.” The döner kebab is made by stacking layers of marinated lamb or hen on a vertical spit, which rotates slowly because it cooks. The outer layer will get crispy whereas the interior layers stay juicy and succulent.

However there are numerous others that are made of various meats, cooked in numerous methods, and are served with different elements.

All scrumptious kebabs are sometimes served with numerous accompaniments equivalent to rice pilaf, grilled greens like peppers and tomatoes, yogurt, and freshly baked bread. They’re usually loved with conventional Turkish drinks like ayran (a yogurt-based beverage) or şalgam (fermented turnip juice).

Over time, Turkish kebabs have gained worldwide recognition and have change into a much-loved road meals in lots of international locations. However after all, attempting them in Turkey is at all times the very best factor to do.

The place To Discover The Finest Kebabs

A man is preparing a kebab in Istanbul at Karadeniz Doner Asim Usta, Besiktas

Kebabs are in all places in Turkey, however they’re not all equal.

As an illustration, in the event you’re visiting Istanbul, you’ll most likely be tempted to enter a flowery restaurant in Sultanahmet as a result of the person on the door guarantees you the very best meals you’ve ever tasted. It’s most likely not. Touristic eating places do good meals, that’s for certain, however they’re not the very best kebabs. For that, you could go someplace extra conventional.

Ask locals you recognize, or the resort workers, the place they go for his or her meals. They’ll most likely inform you they go to an area ocakbaşı restaurant, and that’s often the place you’ll discover the only option and high quality.

Additionally, in the event you see a restaurant that has an enormous menu of many, many kebab varieties, steer clear. They will’t presumably cook dinner that many kebabs that properly. Typically a smaller menu is a greater indicator of high quality, in my expertise.

Most kebabs in Turkey come from numerous areas. As an illustration, the Adana kebab comes from town of Adana, Urfa Kebab is from Sanliurfa, and the listing goes on. But, there are some extra basic ones which have their roots in particular areas however have expanded to the remainder of the nation, just like the well-known döner kebab, which originates from Bursa.

If you get a very good kebab, you be ok with life. When you could have a foul one, you would like you hadn’t bothered. That’s why it’s a good suggestion to take your time in selecting the place you spend your cash.

FAQs ABout Turkish Kebabs


What are Turkish kebabs?

Turkish kebabs are a well-liked and scrumptious dish made with numerous varieties of meat, equivalent to lamb, beef, or hen. The meat is often marinated in a mix of spices after which grilled to perfection.

It’s usually served with bread or rice and accompanied by flavorful sauces and facet dishes.

What are the several types of Turkish kebabs?

There are numerous several types of Turkish kebabs, every with their very own distinctive flavors and preparation strategies.

Some fashionable varieties embody Adana kebab (spicy minced meat), lamb shish kebab (skewered chunks of meat), döner kebab (rotisserie-style cooked meat), iskender kebab (sliced doner served over bread with tomato sauce and creamy yogurt), and beyti kebab (floor lamb wrapped in lavash bread).

How are Turkish kebabs historically cooked?

Conventional Turkish kebabs are sometimes cooked on a charcoal grill known as a mangal or on skewers over an open flame. This methodology imparts a smoky taste to the meat whereas making certain it stays tender and juicy.

What sort of spices are utilized in Turkish kebabs?

The spices utilized in Turkish kebabs fluctuate relying on the kind of dish being ready. Generally used spices embody cumin, paprika, sumac, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and pink pepper flakes.

These spices add depth of taste to the marinade that coats the meat.

Can I make Turkish-style kebabs at residence with no grill?

Completely! Whereas grilling is conventional for cooking genuine Turkish-style kebabs, you’ll be able to nonetheless obtain scrumptious outcomes utilizing different strategies equivalent to broiling or pan-frying.

What are some fashionable facet dishes that go properly with Turkish kebabs?

There are a variety of delectable facet dishes that complement kebabs completely. Some favored choices embody rice pilaf, bulgur pilaf, grilled greens, cacik (yogurt and cucumber dip), hummus, tabbouleh salad, and contemporary pita bread.

Are Turkish kebabs spicy?

Not all Turkish kebabs are spicy. Whereas some varieties, like Adana kebab, will be fairly spicy as a result of addition of pink pepper flakes or chili powder within the marinade, others have milder flavors.

Simply point out to the server whether or not you need it spicy or not while you’re ordering.

And there you could have it – a journey by the scorching streets of Turkey, exploring the varied and totally mouthwatering world of kebabs. Whether or not it’s the tantalizing spices of Adana or the succulent layers of döner, every sort of kebab we’ve mentioned brings its personal distinctive taste to the desk, actually!

Subsequent time you end up wandering in Turkey, bear in mind to bask in these culinary delights. Belief me, your style buds will thanks.


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