Turkish Menemen is a very simple dish, and one of my favorite breakfasts to make on lazy days. The dish originates from a small region in the Izmir province called…Menemen. The dish is quite similar to Shakshuka which originates in Tunisia, but is popular all around the Mediterranean and Levant. My recipe for Menemen is one I learned last month on a trip to Izmir where I spent my birthday!
While a simple dish, there are a few ingredients that should be used. Namely eggs, tomato, and green chilies. There is a bit of a controversial ingredient that I like to use, but some people are against. That is the addition of onions. Since a proper Turkish menemen is meant for breakfast, many Turks opt out of the onion. However, it is still authentic and there are many places in Turkey that do serve menemen with onion.
The first step to making a proper Turkish menemen is to prepare the tomatoes. Some people recommend grating them, but the way I learned was to just finely dice them. Tomatoes are a versatile ingredient and do reduce down quite a bit when heated. For a two person serving I use 100 grams of tomato.
In a pan add a bit of olive oil along with a chopped small onion and a few finely chopped green chilies. When the onions begin to get translucent add in the tomatoes and stir everything up, keeping the heat on medium.
Once the tomatoes start to cook down add a good dab of butter (about three tablespoons) and stir it in. Let the butter melt down and allow the pan to come up to a simmer. Season with some salt and pepper to your desired taste.
At this point your dish should look like the picture above. As you can see the tomatoes have become quite liquified which means they are ready for the next step.
When everything is simmering crack in four eggs. Once the whites begin to go opaque I take a wooden spoon and break up the yolks. Give everything a very light mix and turn off the heat. The eggs will continue to cook in the residual heat.
Top the eggs with some crumbled white cheese (you can use Feta as it’s basically the same). I also add some cured meat and chopped green onion, but that’s entirely up to you. I definitely recommend eating your Turkish menemen with some fresh bread. I like to eat mine along with some fresh Poppy Seed Challah.
- 100 grams Tomatoes about 2 large tomatoes or 10-12 cherry tomatoes. Finely chopped.
- 4 large Eggs
- 1 small Onion finely chopped
- 3 Green Chilies finely chopped
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 3 tbsp Butter unsalted (or salted and adjust accordingly)
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder optional
- 50 grams White Cheese like Feta
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 20 grams Cured Meat
- 2 tbsp Green Onion chopped
- In a pan on medium heat add the onion and pepper and cook until the onion is translucent.
- Next add in the tomato and give everything a good stir. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Add in the butter and stir until it is fully melted. Allow everything to come to a simmer. Crack in the eggs and as soon as the whites begin to set, break the yolks and give everything a gentle mix.
- Turn of the heat, mix everything some more. Crumble over the white cheese and add the cured meat if you wish.
- Top with some of the chopped green onion and serve with some soft fresh bread for maximum enjoyment.