Top 5 Turkish Kebabs

They’re All So Delicious It’s Hard to Choose

Classic Shish Kebab, or ‘Şiş’

We’re all most familiar with the classic shish kebab. In Turkish cuisine, ‘şiş’ (SHEESH’) refers to the metal skewer the meat is laced on. Chunks of marinated lamb or beef are placed on the skewers, usually without vegetables, and turned over a coal fire until they’re done to perfection.


Adana Kebab

 ‘Adana’ is very spicy. Generous amounts of hot red pepper flakes and paprika are kneaded into the meat mixture giving it a deep red color and fiery flavor. ‘Adana’ is usually served with grilled vegetables like hot green chili peppers, onions and tomatoes, and a hearty bulgur and vegetable pilaf.

Urfa Kebab

 Another popular kebab is the cousin of ‘Adana’ kebab. Named after the city of Urfa, ‘Urfa’ kebab is prepared in nearly the same fashion as ‘Adana’ minus the heat. ‘Urfa’ has a mild flavor seasoned with onions, garlic, cumin, oregano and sweet paprika kneaded into the meat. It cooks up tender and juicy letting the flavor of the meat shine through.

Chicken Kebab, or ‘Tavuk Şiş’

‘Tavuk’ (tah-VOOK’) or ‘piliç’ (pee-LEECH’) shish kebab is made with either breast meat or dark meat marinated first in milk or plain yoğurt, then in olive oil and spices. A spicier version is coated with seasoned red pepper paste.

‘Beyti’ Kebab

‘Beyti’ is a recipe said to date back to Ottoman times. It was rediscovered by a famous Istanbul restaurant with the same name and is now popular all over the country. A mixture of perfectly seasoned ground beef and lamb rolled in a thin flour tortilla-like dough called ‘yufka.’ It’s then sliced into rounds and put on the skewer to grill.

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