Menemen: Eggs with tomatoes and peppers

At most breakfast/brunch places in Turkey, you can easily find menemen on the menu. It consists of eggs, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and spices scrambled together. You can typically have cheese and sucuk (dried Turkish sausage) added to it as well. Most restaurants will give you a big basket of bread to soak up all the juices. In fact, some people forgo the fork completely and just use bread to scoop up the entire thing.

The key to making good menemen is finding high quality ingredients. The tomatoes, for example, make up a huge part of this dish and can really make a difference if you find flavorful ones.

I slightly altered a traditional menemen recipe to create this healthier version. It contains less oil and uses egg whites in place of one of the eggs.


Recipe:

Serves 1, or 2 if eating with a large breakfast spread

1 whole egg
1 egg white
1 large tomato
3 thin green peppers (sweet)
`1/4 onion, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil (22 ml)
Pinch of salt 
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of red (Aleppo) pepper flakes

  1. Heat olive oil over medium flame. Add onion and peppers and sauté until slightly softened.
  2. Add tomatoes and continue to cook mixture until the tomato juices are mostly evaporated.
  3. Add eggs, salt, and pepper. Mix together over medium-low flame, scrambling the eggs into the vegetables. Do not overcook, it is meant to be slightly runny. You may add cheese or sucuk on top if you wish.
  4. Remove from heat and sprinkle with red pepper flakes.
  5. Serve with simit or whole wheat bread.

Tips & Additional Information

  • Menemen is typically served in Turkey in single-serve metal pans, but you can make it in a traditional saute pan.
  • If the regular tomatoes you buy are not flavorful enough, try using cherry tomatoes which generally have a much more concentrated flavor.
  • If you want to use sucuk in your menemen, consider cooking the sucuk in the pan first. Then, remove the sucuk and cook the menemen in the sucuk oils so it will pick up the flavors. Add the cooked sucuk to the top in the last 2 minutes of cooking the eggs.