TURKISH EGGS (cilbir)

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These Turkish Eggs are BETTER than the classic version, with pan-fried garlicky zucchini slathered in yogurt and a soft-boiled egg with Aleppo pepper butter on top. It’s such a bread-scooping Mediterranean breakfast that you will want to make over and over again.

It’s the perfect weekend breakfast with a special someone. ♡

Better than TURKISH EGGS (cilbir)

What is Cilbir?

Cilbir pronounced [ jill-burr ] is an old Turkish breakfast that is constructed with thick, whole milk yogurt, herbs, and an egg on top. Actually, if you ever visit Turkey, you will be surprised not to see it on the menu in most restaurants. AND you also find that many Turks don’t even like this dish (my husband included). CRAZY!? I know.

I love this recipe.

What’s most common in homes for breakfast are dishes like menemen, greek-style cheeses, and olives—among many other side dishes.

Turkish eggs in a bowl with a broken yolk

Essential Ingredients

Yogurt: it’s very important to use a thick Greek-style yogurt for this recipe—non of that low-fat nonsense.

Herbs: the best part about the cilbir recipe is that you can use fresh or dried herbs. I like to use either fresh mint or dill. I love to use fresh herbs then garnish with dried mint or oregano.

Zucchini: using zucchini is NOT traditional. However, it adds another layer of flavor and helps bulk up the dish. You’ll need shredded zucchini.

Egg(s): the fresher the eggs, the harder it will be to poach. I would steer away from fresh from the farm’s eggs here.

Butter: no margarine, please.

Red pepper: I like to use Aleppo pepper, Turkish red pepper flakes (Kirmizi Biber), or Korean red pepper flakes known as Gochugaru.

And of course garlic, salt, and pepper.

Bread dipped into a bowl Turkish eggs

I hope that you have the best-ever eating experience.

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TURKISH EGGS (cilbir)

Difficulty: Intermediate Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 15 min Total Time 25 mins Servings: 2 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year

Ingredients

Garlicky Zucchini Yogurt

Aleppo Pepper Butter

Poached Eggs

Instructions

  1. Garlicky Zucchini Yogurt

    Shred one zucchini. No need to peel it. Next, heat a frying pan over medium-high heat, drizzle in the olive oil, add the shredded zucchini, minced garlic, and salt and pepper (to taste). Stir-fry until the zucchini has softened—about 10 minutes. 

  2. When ready, add the cooked shredded zucchini, dill, squeeze of lemon, and yogurt into a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper (to taste). Mix well to combine. Set aside. 

Aleppo Pepper Butter

  1. Add the butter, Aleppo pepper, salt, and pepper to a small saucepan and cook on low heat just until the butter has melted and turned slightly red. This can take about 5 minutes. When finished set aside. 

Poach the Eggs

  1. Bring 6 cups of water and 1/3 cup of lemon juice (or vinegar) to a simmer. When ready, lightly dop in each egg. Give the eggs a light swirl to help get rid of excess whites. After the light swirl, allow the eggs to cook still. Poach for 2 minutes. Cook longer if you don't want any runny yolks. Meanwhile, move on to the next step.

Put it all Together

  1. Grab your favorite bowl. Dollop and smear the zucchini yogurt on the bottom of your dish. Next, place the eggs right over the yogurt and drizzle the Aleppo butter right over the eggs. Garnish with more fresh or dried herbs. Serve with crusty artisan bread. 

Keywords: turkish eggs

Ashley Altan

Ashley Altan is a Food Writer, Recipe Developer & Photographer for Crave-Worthy. When she's not whipping up recipes in her kitchen, she's exploring the rich, historical culture of Turkey and its cuisine.

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