Menemen is a flavorful and delicious Turkish breakfast that is (warning!) highly addictive. It is made by stewing tomatoes, onions, peppers and spices together until a thick sauce forms, and then scrambling in eggs just at the last minute, until they are just barely set. It becomes something like a very juicy omelet (or soupy scrambled egg), and is served with bread that you use to dip, soak, and scoop up the menemen. It’s one hearty breakfast that you’ll want over and over again!
There’s a little Turkish cafe in London that serves mouthwatering menemen. It’s a treat to wake up on Saturday morning and make your way over there to queue up for a hot pan of it. But sometimes, I’m a bit lazy and just want to throw together something on the stovetop at home so I can continue to lounge around in the pajamas.
This recipe is simple to make and is a nice sit-down breakfast option. Jonathan and I both dipped out of the same pan together, in a sort of racing style to eat as much as we could before the other person finished it off. You could serve the menemen in separate serving plates, but it’s much more fun eating out of the pan, as it’s traditionally done. (My tip? Use a spoon in one hand, and a piece of bread in the other hand for double quick eating).
I’m sharing a recipe for a chorizo menemen, but on the menu of the little Turkish cafe in London, you can also add in Turkish sausage, spinach, mixed vegetables, ground beef (minced meat), bacon, hot chili peppers, and feta cheese. So if you don’t have chorizo on hand, or would like a different option, you can try to swap out the chorizo for any of the above (or whatever your heart desires). It’s a really flexible dish based on eggs and tomatoes and can take on different mix-ins easily. Enjoy!
And a shout out to you all at The Espresso Room for introducing me to menemen (and many men? just kidding). Where are we going next for brunch? Can’t wait!
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small onion - chopped
- 1 clove garlic - minced
- 2 1/2 ounces spicy Spanish cooking chorizo (the kind I used was flavored with paprika and cayenne)
- 4 small ripe tomatoes (about 350 grams) - peeled, deseeded and chopped (see notes below)
- 1/2 medium bell pepper (red, yellow or green) - deseeded and cut into thin slices
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- 1 dash fresh ground black pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh parsley - roughly chopped
- bread - for dipping
In an 8 inch skillet, melt the butter on medium to medium high heat. Add in the onion, garlic and chorizo, and sauté for about 7 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent.
Reduce the heat, then add in the tomatoes and bell pepper and let it simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
In a small bowl, thoroughly beat the eggs. The yolks should be completely incorporated with the whites, and the mixture should look evenly yellow.
Turn the heat back up to medium until the tomato mixture is lightly bubbling. Slowly pour in the eggs while stirring the tomato mixture. Cook until the eggs are just barely set. It will be a soupy texture.
Remove from heat, mix in the parsley, and serve immediately with fresh bread for dipping and scooping.
To quickly and easily peel the tomatoes, cut an "X" in the bottom of each tomato. In a saucepan big enough to hold the tomatoes, bring a pot of water to boil then remove from heat. Gently put the tomatoes in the hot water and cover for about 10 minutes. Remove the tomatoes and rinse under cold water to cool it until you can handle it. The skin should peel off easily.