Adana Kebab

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Adana Kebab is one of the most delicious and famous kebab varieties of Turkish cuisine. Its popularity has already reached all corners of the world. It is called Adana Kebab because its originally found in Adana city of Turkey.

When you first see this Kebab, you may think that it is just minced meat on a skewer. However, it is not. There is one special ingredient that separates this Kebab from minced meat on a skewer called tail fat and it is not possible to source in every part of the world.

If you source tail fat in your country, there are not many things left to make a proper Adana Kebab. But if you cannot source it and try to make it, please save your time and don’t try to do it. It will be just minced meat on a skewer and it is not considered a Kebab either. So before starting to make Adana Kebab, first source the tail fat from your butcher shop.

The most delicious meats come and distribute throughout the country from the Thracian region of Turkey. And the most delicious Kebabs are made with Thracian Curly Lamb meat. I know it is not possible for you to source such special lamb meat in your country, but I just want to inform you about how it is important for us to use special meat to make the perfect Adana Kebab.

How to combine meat and tail fat?

To make a proper Adana Kebab, you will also need a special knife called a Zırh knife. When we translate it to English, it means shield knife. It may not mean anything language-wise but it has a key role in making proper Adana Kebab. When you first see it, it may look like a big Mezzaluna Knife to you. The purpose of using this special knife is to combine lamb meat cubes with tail fat. The action of using the Zırh knife and combining the ingredients is called Zırhlama (the action of using zırh knife) in Turkish. This is the most important and time-consuming part of making a delicious Adana Kebab. Because if you don’t make the Zırhlama action well enough, you can taste the stiffness of tail fat during chewing. Zırlama action allows you to combine tail fat and lamb meat cubes in the best possible way.

Where to eat Adana Kebab?

In Turkey, there are countless Adana Kebab restaurants that make this amazing Kebab variety. I cannot say this one is better than another however when I want to eat it, I like to go to Develi Kebab restaurant. It is one of the famous Kebab restaurants in Turkey and they have delicious Adana Kebab and other Kebab varieties. It is an upscale franchise restaurant but they are very good at preserving the original taste of Adana Kebab and other Kebabs.

Adana Kebab
5 from 5 votes

Adana Kebab

Course Main Course
Cuisine Turkish
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Calories 250 kcal


  • 500 gr Lamb meat from leg of lamb cube cut
  • 100 gr tail fat cube cut
  • 2 red carmen pepper mezzaluna cut
  • 3 tbsp red hot chili pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Combine lamb meat cubes and tail fat cubes by using mezzaluna knife. It will take 30 minutes to combine lamb meat and tail fat well together. 

  2. Once the lamb meat cubes and tail fat cubes are combined well by using mezzaluna knife, they will look like ground meat.

  3. Combine mezzaluna cut red carmen pepper, red hot chili pepper flakes and salt with the mix and use mezzaluna knife again to combine all them well. It will take additional 10 minutes to combine all the mix well. 

  4. Put the kebab meat on to the skewers. (You can use water to prevent the kebab meat to stick on your hand while putting the meat on to the skewers.) 

  5. Put the skewers on a charcoal grill and cook around 15-20 minutes. While grilling, don’t forget to flip the each side of the Kebab continuously to keep the tail fat’s and ingredients’ juice in the meat.

Recipe Notes

Tip: Serve with Lavash bread, sliced onions and sliced tomatoes for wrapping.

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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Kannan Kumar

    5 stars
    This is incredibly insightful, especially the importance of the Zırh knife and the technique of Zırhlama for perfecting Adana Kebab. It’s fascinating to learn how crucial the integration of meat and fat is, and how this special method impacts the final texture and taste of the kebab. Thank you for sharing these details — they really highlight the art and skill involved in traditional Turkish cooking!

    1. Turkish Foodie

      Hi Kumar; I am so glad you liked the cooking technique and the Adana Kebab recipe. ☺☺

  2. Bob

    5 stars
    I lived on Incerlik Air Force base in Adana Turkey over 40 years ago. There was guy that had a stand on base that made Adana Kabobs and put them on pita bread. They were amazing. Now I am partners in a sheep company. I’ll have to see if our butcher is able to make the tail fat. Thank you for posting the recipe.

    1. Turkish Foodie

      Hi Bob; Thank you for your comment. Congrats on your new sheep business. The tail fat is the keystone of Adana Kebab and if your butcher is able to make it, you will get the finest ingredient of Adana Kebab. Don’t forget that meat and tail fat must be combined very well. You can mix meat and tail fat well with a Zırh Knife or a proper mezzaluna knife. You can find this knife in the post and see how it looks and works.

  3. Mohan Anand

    5 stars
    I had added sumac powder and it tasted awesome

    1. Turkish Foodie

      Hi Mohan; let me try that too. 👍

  4. Lamin

    5 stars
    Hello, is sumac not used as an ingredient for the Adana kebab?

    1. Turkish Foodie

      Dear Lamin; we don’t use sumac in “Adana Kebab”. We use red hot pepper flakes. If you don’t like spicy taste, I suggest you try “Urfa Kebab“. It is the non-spicy version of “Adana Kebab”. I hope you enjoy your Kebab both at making and eating. 🔥🔥

  5. Jeff Miller

    5 stars
    I tried making both with tail fat and without tail fat. With tail fat, it had an amazing taste. The combining tail fat with the meat was kinda hard but it totally worth it. My friends loved the taste so much. Thank you!

    1. ilke Barış

      I am glad you liked it Jeff. Next time try Urfa Kebab. You will like that one too. 👌👌

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