In the summer of 2023 my husband and I were lucky enough to return to Turkey, this time, Istanbul. We were definitely tourists on those days, visiting the Blue Mosque, the Sultan’s Palace, plus more stunning architecture and art from the Ottoman Empire.

Then, of course, there was the food! I was especially excited that our hotel’s breakfast menu offered çilbir, which I’ve made for the blog and dreamt of ever since. (Please make it!) My blog photo is lower left. What I ordered at the hotel is lower right. Same ingredients, different presentation.

The next morning, it was suggested by the waiter that I try another traditional breakfast, called Menemen. Of course I would! And a Turkish coffee afterwards. (Don’t bother trying to order it during breakfast!)

This breakfast is easy and straightforward, and so worth making. One could easily double the recipe for company.

The recipe I used for Menemen is from New York Times Cooking, by Joan Nathan.

She writes, “Although a year-round dish, it is especially pleasing in the summer, with really ripe tomatoes from the garden or farmer’s market. Be creative with this dish: Add shallots, chiles, fresh herbs or Aleppo pepper, or treat it as purists do, with only tomatoes and eggs. Cook slowly, stirring infrequently, until the eggs form billowy puffs. You can serve topped with feta cheese or lamb sausage, with any warm flatbread on the side.

These eggs are so so good. The recipe is even better than what I had in Istanbul.

An anecdote: This morning I was in an Uber in Dallas, Texas, after visiting a friend. The driver is Turkish, and of course we talked food! He told me that the “real” name for Menemen is “a single man’s best friend!”


5 small tomatoes
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, to taste
1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper, to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 mild but flavorful long green pepper, stemmed, seeded, diced (I used 1 Anaheim)
4 large eggs
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Flatbread, toasted or untoasted, for serving

Remove the peels from the tomatoes by boiling them for approximately 30 seconds in water. Remove gently and let cool. When you’re able, remove the skins and chop half of the tomatoes, removing some of the seeds. Place the other half of the tomatoes in a small blender and purée.

Heat the oil in a nonstick medium skillet over medium-high. Add the onion, oregano and Aleppo pepper, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in the green pepper and cook until soft, 5 to 7 minutes.

Once the onions and peppers are soft, add the remaining chopped tomatoes to the onions and peppers. Make sure and let all of the tomato water cook off before continuing with the recipe. Crack the eggs into a medium bowl, add the puréed tomatoes and whisk until foamy.

Once the mixture in the skillet comes to a simmer, stir in the 1/4 cup parsley and the butter.

Reduce heat to low, add the egg mixture on top and cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggs are set but still soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Taste, adding a little more salt, oregano or Aleppo pepper, if needed.

Sprinkle with remaining parsley and serve immediately with flatbread alongside.

The eggs are traditionally served in the actual cooking skillet.

By Published On: November 3rd, 202341 Comments on Menemen

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. spicedblog November 3, 2023 at 6:38 AM - Reply

    Wow, this sounds like a fantastic brunch recipe, Mimi! I do love scrambled eggs, and this recipe seems like a fancy version of scrambled eggs. Anytime I can include feta cheese and warm flatbread in a recipe sounds like a good time to me!

    • Chef Mimi November 3, 2023 at 8:29 AM - Reply

      No kidding! That kinda sums up how I feel! This is so good.

  2. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen November 3, 2023 at 7:00 AM - Reply

    What a great looking recipe Mimi! I am definitely going to have to try this. I’m intrigued by adding the tomato puree to the eggs!

    • Chef Mimi November 3, 2023 at 8:30 AM - Reply

      It’s such a wonderful combination!

      • Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen November 3, 2023 at 4:34 PM

        Learn something every day!

      • Chef Mimi November 4, 2023 at 1:46 PM

        This is really fabulous.

  3. thatskinnychickcanbake November 3, 2023 at 8:20 AM - Reply

    Sounds delicious, Mimi!!! Perfect for a weekend breakfast!

    • Chef Mimi November 3, 2023 at 8:30 AM - Reply

      It’s really fabulous!

  4. angiesrecipes November 3, 2023 at 10:35 AM - Reply

    That looks so FRESH and loaded with flavours…and I happen to be a huge fan of eggs :-) A perfect dish for me.

    • Chef Mimi November 4, 2023 at 1:42 PM - Reply

      I love eggs as well. You’ll love this recipe!

  5. Bernadette November 3, 2023 at 11:41 AM - Reply

    Mimi, this looks soooo good. I have my summer tomatoes canned and I will use them for this recipe.

    • Chef Mimi November 4, 2023 at 1:43 PM - Reply

      I turned all of my tomatoes into sauce! Now I wish I’d canned some!!!

  6. Charlie DeSando November 3, 2023 at 11:42 AM - Reply


    I have a WordPress question. Do you use any 3rd party software or plugins for your e-mail? When I get a notice from your website about a new post, it has the full article, photo, comment button, and but no “like” button. Mine only has a snippet, no photo, and no “Like” button.

    Just curious, because I would rather have what you have out-going.

    Charlie DeSando

    • Chef Mimi November 4, 2023 at 1:44 PM - Reply

      Charlie, I know so little that I hardly understand your question! Worse than that, I wouldn’t know how to fix it. Sorry.

  7. David Scott Allen November 3, 2023 at 11:43 AM - Reply

    I’m so glad you got to Turkey! Your photos are beautiful — it really makes me want to go. And the Menemen looks amazing — I chant wait to try it. Looks like a perfect lunch (in addition to being a perfect breakfast).

    • Chef Mimi November 4, 2023 at 1:44 PM - Reply

      Yes, it’s a fabulous country and it has fabulous egg dishes!

  8. Travel Gourmet November 3, 2023 at 4:09 PM - Reply

    I loved Istanbul when I visited. I missed having this but sounds fantastic. What a great egg recipe.

    • Chef Mimi November 4, 2023 at 1:45 PM - Reply

      I hope you got the çilbur dish when you were there. I still dream about that! I just need to make it again.

  9. Sherry Mackay November 3, 2023 at 10:57 PM - Reply

    how stunning is that architecture! and this dish looks pretty tasty too.

    • Chef Mimi November 4, 2023 at 1:46 PM - Reply

      Turkey is so beautiful. I need to go back a few more times.

  10. Tandy I Lavender and Lime November 4, 2023 at 12:13 AM - Reply

    This is going to be on my lunch table soon! I didn’t enjoy the Turkish coffee we had in Istanbul.

    • Chef Mimi November 4, 2023 at 1:47 PM - Reply

      I imagine it was too strong for you? It’s definitely potent!

  11. Tandy I Lavender and Lime November 4, 2023 at 12:16 AM - Reply

    This will be on my lunch table soon!
    I’m hoping the comment comes through as your blog is having a bad gateway issue.
    Our Turkish coffee in Istanbul was not a good memory.

  12. aodenwalder November 4, 2023 at 1:31 PM - Reply

    I love this recipe! And your trip looks fabulous. And that Turkish coffee cup and saucer is gorgeous!

    • Chef Mimi November 4, 2023 at 1:49 PM - Reply

      It was such a great visit, and they have such great breakfasts in Turkey!

  13. Healthy World Cuisine November 4, 2023 at 7:00 PM - Reply

    Now this is one delicious recipe. Quick and easy! We even have feta and tomatoes at the moment – just need to sort out some flat bread and we are on it!

    • Chef Mimi November 5, 2023 at 11:23 AM - Reply

      Yay! You’ll love it. There’s nothing not to love!

  14. terrie gura November 6, 2023 at 12:15 PM - Reply

    I loved the pictures of this place, Mimi! The design is so intricately detailed.

    • Chef Mimi November 6, 2023 at 4:12 PM - Reply

      Too bad they can’t design tile work these days!!!

  15. Coco in the Kitchen November 7, 2023 at 1:56 PM - Reply

    Looks delicious! My parents have seen Istanbul and says it’s mesmerizing.

    • Chef Mimi November 7, 2023 at 6:02 PM - Reply

      The food is SO good in Turkey!!!

  16. Ron November 8, 2023 at 6:54 AM - Reply

    This is a dish we have enjoyed, but I have never made it. Thanks for the great post and inspiration…

    • Chef Mimi November 9, 2023 at 7:18 AM - Reply

      You are so welcome Ron!

  17. Raymund November 8, 2023 at 8:25 PM - Reply

    What a delightful culinary journey you had in Istanbul! Menemen sounds like a wonderful addition to your Turkish food exploration. I appreciate the recipe you’ve shared. The combination of ripe tomatoes, eggs, and aromatic spices makes it an appetizing breakfast.

    • Chef Mimi November 9, 2023 at 7:18 AM - Reply

      It’s so easy to make and so delicious!

  18. Ben | Havocinthekitchen November 9, 2023 at 8:04 PM - Reply

    I love Turkish cuisine, but I’ve never heard of / tried Menemen. Oh my goodness, it looks and sounds terrific – adding it to my agenda!

    • Chef Mimi November 11, 2023 at 6:32 AM - Reply

      I agree! It’s fast becoming my favorite cuisine. Have you made çilbur yet?

  19. sarchakra November 10, 2023 at 5:15 PM - Reply

    I would love to visit Istanbul some day. This dish looks so satisfying and nourishing. Turkish cuisine is amazing. When we lived in London I always went for the different kofte and kebabs. There’s not much Turkish food in Rochester sadly :-(

    • Chef Mimi November 11, 2023 at 6:27 AM - Reply

      London has such a wonderful variety of restaurants! My daughter lived there for years so I was able to visit quite often and enjoy the restaurants and markets.

  20. Frank | Memorie di Angelina November 12, 2023 at 8:52 AM - Reply

    A lovely dish and it sounds like it’s packed with flavor. I’ve always wanted to visit Istanbul. I kick myself for not having gone during my Roman years, when it was only a short plane ride away..

    • Chef Mimi November 12, 2023 at 9:11 AM - Reply

      Oh right. Well, you’ll be back in Italy soon, I imagine! It’s a beautiful city.

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