Kokoreç is one of the most enjoyed street foods for offal lovers in Turkey.
Whilst the Turks are addicted to their Kokoreç, the thought of it can make some foreigners recoil. It is surprisingly subtle and tasty for those brave enough to try it.
How is it made?
It is made from baby lamb’s sweetbread, small intestine, and large intestine cooked over a grill on a cast iron skewer.
The offal, along with some fat, is washed and cut into ½ to ¾-inch thick pieces, and lightly seasoned with lemon, olive oil, oregano, salt, pepper, and sometimes garlic. The intestines are turned inside out and carefully washed, then rubbed with salt and often soaked in vinegar or lemon juice and water.
The marinated filling meats are threaded onto a long skewer and wrapped with the intestine to hold them together, forming a compact roll.
How is it cooked?
Kokoreç is usually roasted on a horizontal skewer over a charcoal, gas, or electrical burner, and may be basted with lemon juice and olive oil.
A quite different preparation mixes the chopped innards with chopped tomatoes and green peppers and then cooks them on a large griddle with hot red pepper and oregano added. The cook constantly mixes and chops the mixture using two spatulas. When done, the dish is kept warm aside on the griddle until someone orders a serving.
How is it eaten?
The cooked kokoreç is chopped or sliced, sprinkled with oregano, and served on a plate. Sometimes it is served on a piece of flatbread. Some add tomatoes or spices.
It may also be served in half a baguette, plain or garnished, almost always with oregano and red pepper. Common side dishes are pickled peppers or cucumbers. It is often seasoned with lemon, oregano, salt, a pepper, and typically accompanied by wine or rakı.
Kokoreç is one of the most consumed fast foods in Turkey. Most of it is prepared, cooked and sold in small kiosks year-round, and is usually consumed as a sandwich after having alcohol.
It is also served in some restaurants.
Here’s a recipe if you fancy making Kokoreç at home.
Kokoreç ( Grilled Sheep’s Intestines )
- 3 kokoreç
- 1 tomato
- 1 onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 4 green peppers
- chilli pepper
- ground black pepper
- 6 bread (ekmek)
- Chop the kokoreç into small pieces
- Chop the tomato, onion, garlic and green peppers
- Put the kokoreç in a pan and cook for 10 minutes
- Add the onion and garlic and brown – it takes about 2 minutes
- Add green peppers and continue to brown
- Add tomato and stir
- Add spices and brown for about 5 minutes
- Slice the bread open and fill it with the mixture
- Heat in a toaster