The Turks attach great importance to breakfast, so they have many recipes for their meals in the morning and dinner. With the high protein ratio and the taste that fits perfectly into breakfast recipes, eggs are considered the mainstay of Turkish breakfast. The types of eggs for breakfast, along with the recipes for frying, stewing, and omelets, occupy quite a lot of space on the tables. In addition, the Turks quite enjoy combining eggs with other foods, such as tomatoes, peppers, onions, and meat.

How to Make Menemen

  • 4 eggs

  • 3-4 medium-sized tomatoes

  • 1 medium-sized onion (optional)

  • 2 green peppers

  • 1-2 cloves of garlic (optional)

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

  • Spices of preference

  • Salt& pepper 

One of the most important recipes that the Turks think of first when they say breakfast and prepare for their guests may be menemen (scrambled egg with tomatoes). Scrambled egg with tomatoes is made by combining onions, peppers, sometimes parsley, various spices, tomatoes, and eggs. You can also make this recipe of menemen at home, which you can eat for breakfast or even lunch in many restaurants.

To make menemen, you will first need fresh or canned tomatoes as the most essential point of this recipe is to combine scrambled eggs with tomatoes. First of all, peppers and tomatoes are finely chopped and fried in oil, and spices are added. Before mixing the scrambled eggs with tomatoes, you need to wait for a little while because the peculiarity of menemen is that the tomatoes should be soft. You can also add onions and garlic to the tomatoes if you want. Then you can add as many eggs as you want, combine them with tomatoes, and leave your menemen to cook.

Menemen is usually eaten with bread by the Turkish nation, and foods such as cheese, olives are consumed alongside it. This flavor, which you can see in many artisan restaurants and the breakfast menus of luxury restaurants, creates an unexpected flavor from the combination of scrambled eggs with tomatoes.

The history of the menemen dish is actually based on a cultural synthesis and has been made on the territory of Turkey for many years. The menemen dish is thought to have started with the Cretan Turks who came to the Menemen district of Izmir for the first time. The Cretan Turks mostly used herbs from the mountains for their meals. 

After boiling these herbs in water, they would eat them by pouring olive oil or breaking eggs. One of the reasons it is thought that the menemen was cooked for the first time in the same-named district of Izmir is that tomatoes grow a lot in this place. After the 1930s, this scrambled egg with tomato dish spread throughout the country.

Turkish Breakfast

When breakfast is mentioned in Turkish cuisine, long family and friendly conversations and an intimate atmosphere come to mind. Turkish culture, whose recipes are pretty diverse, believes that most of the energy possessed all day long comes from eating a good breakfast. Egg recipes will be an important point that you will often encounter in this kitchen, where animal products such as dairy products and eggs are consumed, especially for breakfasts. In other words, eggs are one of the food ingredients used a lot in Turkish breakfast recipes and other ingredients. Eggs are boiled, fried, and put on a special recipe like menemen. 

A must-have for Turkish breakfasts are tea drunk in a thin-waisted glass. Turks brew tea differently from the western world and consume it almost every meal of the day. No matter which Turkish breakfast recipe you tried earlier in the day, you will have tea with it. After having a Turkish breakfast, you should definitely drink Turkish coffee because, in this part, pleasant conversations and a warm atmosphere continue. Breakfast is already a combination of the words “under-coffee” in Turkish, which means a meal is eaten before drinking coffee

Frequently Asked Question

What is menemen?
Menemen is a Turkish food made with tomatoes and eggs. You can have additional ingredients such as cheese, onions, green peppers and more.
Which country is menemen from?
Menemen originated in Turkey, and the country makes the best menemen today.
Is menemen a Shakshuka?
No, shakshuka is another traditional Turkish food with baked eggs.
What is a typical breakfast in Turkey?
Typical breakfast in Turkey includes eggs, cheese, olive, bread and other apperatives. Sometimes Turkish breakfast can include menemen, too.
What is the difference between menemen and shakshuka?
shakshuka has a thick tomato base, whereas menemen has very thin tomato slices with scrambled eggs.