As part of my breakfast series, we are travelling to Turkiye for a well-known egg dish served at most restaurants, known as menemen. This delicious dish consists of scrambled eggs with tomatoes, peppers and onions and is said to have originated in the Turkish town Menemen located in Izmir.
One of the things I love about this dish is that it is a one pan wonder and requires nothing more than a little bit of chopping and sautéing and you end up with deliciously velvety and flavourful eggs.
Of course, as is the case with many dishes, everyone makes their Menemen differently, some omitting the onions or peppers, others adding tomato paste or spicy chillies. It is really up to you to add or omit whatever you like to tweak it to your own taste. I like to use red bell peppers for this, but whatever you have on hand will work. Bullhorn peppers are popular in Turkiye, but any mild pepper you have will work too, like serrano or jalapeno peppers.
When making simple dishes like this, it is important to use the freshest ingredients possible to get the best flavour. Ripe tomatoes are best and it is the perfect way to use up your tomatoes when they begin to go soft. You want to take your time sauteing the vegetables in the butter, or olive oil if you prefer, to unlock all the flavours before adding in your eggs. It is also the best time to taste the vegetable mixture to make sure the seasoning is to your liking, making sure to make it slightly saltier than you want because you’ll be adding your eggs.
Once you add your eggs, you want to lower the heat and cook these on low, making sure you do not overcook them. They should be just set, otherwise, you won’t get the fluffy and pillowing texture menemen is known for. Mop up this delicious dish with some crusty bread and give yourself a taste of Turkiye from the comfort of your own kitchen.
1 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium red pepper, finely chopped
1 bullhorn pepper, finely chopped
1 large tomato, finely chopped
Chilli flakes, optional
Salt and pepper
- In a frying pan, heat the butter and then add the onion. Sauté until soft.
- Add the red pepper and bull horn pepper and sauté. Once they begin to soften, add the tomatoes.
- Add the salt, pepper and chilli flakes, if using, and cook until soft.
- Once soft, add the eggs and stir gently on medium low heat until cooked through.
- Serve with your favourite bread and enjoy!