Adana Kebab

Adana Kebab

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 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 as Kebab. 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 the ‘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.

Adana Kebab on the grill

How to combine meat and tail fat?

To make a proper Adana Kebab, you will also need a special knife called ‘Zırh’ knife. When we translate to English, it means ‘shield’ knife. It may not mean anything language-wise but it has a key role at 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’ in Turkish. This is the most important part of making a delicious Adana Kebab.

Where to eat Adana Kebab?

In Turkey, there are countless Kebab restaurants that make this amazing Kebab. 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 of 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 3 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.


6 thoughts on “Adana Kebab”

  1. Mohan Anand

    5 stars
    I had added sumac powder and it tasted awesome

    1. Turkish Foodie

      Hi Mohan; let me try that too. 👍

  2. 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. 🔥🔥

  3. 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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