Kokoreç is a delicious food that is made from baby lamb’s sweetbread, small intestine, and large intestine. After all, the ingredients are cleaned and rinsed, it wraps onto a cast iron skewer and then cooks on the charcoal grill. Once it cooks on a charcoal fire, it is served within bread or on a plate with various spice seasonings. Kokoreç is widely consumed in Turkey, Azerbaijan, and some other Turkic countries. There is no specific evidence of when it was first found and how involved in Turkish cuisine.
In other countries, such as the Balkans or in Greece, they also cook Kokoreç look-alike food. In the Balkans, they call it Kukuruz and in Greece, they call it Kokoretsi. Turkish Kokorec is different than the Balkans and Greece look-alike ones in terms of how it prepares and tastes.
In the Balkans and Greek cuisine, they use lamb offal such as liver, heart, lungs, kidneys, etc. In Turkey, we only use the small intestine, large intestine, and sweetbread (thymus gland) to make Kokoreç and we do not add any additional ingredients. This is the main difference between Turkish Kokorec and other cultures’ look-alike ones.
Today, Kokoreç is also a very popular food among foreigners and expats who live in Turkey. It is so popular that even China Food Association has sent its personnel to negotiate with the Turkish Exporters Assembly to import monthly 50MT (Metric Tonnes) of Kokoreç to China. Unfortunately, our officials kindly rejected to export because the monthly production of this magnificent taste barely meets the demand in Turkey.
Where to eat Kokoreç?
In Turkey, there are countless Kokorec restaurants and street food sellers where you can eat this delicious food; however, there is one restaurant that I love the most. The name of the restaurant is Ozzie’s Kokoreç and it is located in the Beyoğlu district in Istanbul. It is a very small Kokoreç restaurant, but the taste of the Kokoreç that I eat there is simply amazing. It is by far the best that I have ever tasted so far. The restaurant is in service since 1968 and I am strongly recommending you stop by this restaurant if you are visiting Istanbul.
How it is made?
Kokoreç is one of those food varieties that you may not want to prepare by yourself. It is because Kokoreç needs to be cleaned and prepared by professionals. As it is made from lamb intestines and sweetbread, they need to be cleaned well and be suitable to consume. So for this reason, instead of giving the recipe that I usually do at the end of each post, this time I just want to introduce this delicious taste to you as a regular post.
How it is served?
If you buy Kokorec from a street food seller, it usually serves as a chopped form in the half bread. On the other hand, if you prefer to eat it at a restaurant, then you will have the option to request it on the plate either finely chopped or cut in round form. Either way is good, but I prefer to eat in a chopped form in the bread instead of eating on a plate. I hope one day you can able to taste Turkish Kokorec.