Menemen is essentially a Turkish scrambled eggs recipe that can be prepared in just one pan, and in as little as 20 minutes! It’s a wonderful vegetarian breakfast that everyone is sure to love.
The first time I tried a version of menemen was in my early teens – it was mistakenly introduced to me as shakshuka, and that’s what I associated as shakshuka for several years. They’re close, but menemen and shakshuka are two different things.
When I finally tried this Turkish scrambled eggs recipe when visiting Istanbul, I was hooked (I feel like I say this about almost everything I ate in Turkey…but the food there is honestly really, really, good!).
What is Turkish Menemen
Menemen is a traditional Turkish breakfast dish. An easy way to think of it is as Turkish scrambled eggs with tomatoes, and green peppers. Some recipes add onions, herbs, meats, and additional seasonings to mix up the flavor – this recipe is designed to be a base recipe that tastes great by itself, but can easily be spruced up to your liking!
What does menemen mean in Turkish
“Menemen” shares its name with a region in Turkey, most people agree that is derived from the Greek “menemenos”, which means “flood” – and that’s a pretty apt description of this Turkish egg breakfast!
Menemen vs shakshuka
Menemen and shakshuka are quite similar in composition – both are a mix of eggs, vegetables, and tomatoes however, there is a key difference. In shakshuka, the vegetables and tomato sauce are mixed together, while the eggs are poached in the mixture.
Whereas with menemen, the tomato sauce, vegetables, and eggs are all mixed together to form a delicious scrambled egg breakfast (some people call it an omelette, but I think it’s much better described as scrambed eggs).
Ingredients for Turkish scrambled eggs
There are no fancy ingredients required to make a traditional menemen recipe. All you need is:
- Green peppers – In Turkey, a type of regional pepper known as Sivri biber is used, however standard Western green pepper works pretty well too.
How to make menemen
The prep and cooking process is relatively simple. Once the peppers and tomatoes have been chopped, it’s simply a matter of cooking and mixing all the ingredients together in one pan (peppers first, then tomatoes), before adding the eggs and scrambling the mixture. The meal is often served in the pan itself!
The trick to menemen is to not overdo it – it’s a simple dish, and there’s beauty to simplicity.
- When cooking the eggs, be gentle. And remember to remove your scrambled eggs from the heat just before they’re completely done (this is general scrambled egg advice) as they’ll continue to cook in the pan.
- Make it your own! This is base recipe, so if you want to add a little pizzazz to your Turkish scrambled eggs, then you do you.
- This is traditionally a breakfast recipe, but it’s often served for lunch or dinner as well. (The first time I tried it in Istanbul was for lunch, along with a little Turkish bread!)
- While you can use any standard frying pan to make this recipe, a Turkish egg pan (like in the photos!) adds an authentic aesthetic that everyone will appreciate!
There are plenty of ways to spice up this recipe (geddit?), but here are a few ideas based on what I do at home:
- Add some cooked sujuk/sucuk or merguez for a meatier finish (these are both types of sausage).
- Top it off with melted cheese – smoked gouda or a raclette would be lovely!
- Spice it up – oregano, Aleppo pepper or whatever spices you like can make this dish a whole new experience.
More breakfast recipes with eggs
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One of the best things about a delicious Turkish breakfast like this one is that there’s no special equipment required – a good frying pan and you’re ready to go! If you want a bit more of an authentic Turkish feel, check out this Turkish egg pan.
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And that’s it. What did you think of this menemen recipe? Have you tried Turkish scrambled eggs before? Let me know in the comments below.Print