‘Spinach Börek’, in Turkish ‘Ispanaklı Börek’, is one of the most common ‘Börek’ varieties in Turkish Cuisine. Börek is a type of savory pastry, which is made of thin layer dough known as phyllo (or yufka).
In Turkish cuisine, this taste has a special place. We prefer to eat Börek at breakfasts; however, it is a nice snack to eat during the day too. There are countless variations of Börek in Turkish cuisine. You can make its filling ingredients with potato, minced meat, cheese, chicken meat, spinach, and other vegetables such as peas. This pasty has hundreds of years of heritage since Uyghur Turks and it is protected since then.
The Story of Börek
It has been said that the ‘Börek’ word comes from Uyghur Khaganate. Uyghur Khaganate was one of the arms of Turkic nations and today they are called Uyghur Turks. During Turkic migration from Central Asia to Anatolia, Turks had been added many different tastes to their cuisine and Börek was one of them.
Börek varieties have been evolved during the Ottoman period. According to the Ottoman palace kitchen notes, most of the Sultans like to eat Börek at breakfast time. The palace kitchen notes show that most of the Sultans were like to eat Börek that has minced meat filling in it. The historians say that Sultan Süleyman’s favorite Börek was the one which has spinach filling in it.
If you go to any pastry shop in Turkey and ask for Börek to order, probably the waiter reverts you back by asking you what type of Börek you want. Börek word covers all the different varieties of it so you need to specify which type of Börek you want. So for this reason, it is better for you to ask the waiter first that what type of Börek they are offering and which fillings they use in it. After you learn which type of Börek they offer, you can give your order.
Where to eat Spinach Börek?
If you are in Istanbul, ‘Kireçburnu Fırını’ is the best place to eat Spinach Börek (Ispanaklı Börek). This pastry shop has been making countless delicious Börek varieties since 1957. On the other hand, if you are not in Istanbul and want to give a try to make Börek by yourself, I believe; you will love the below recipe.
- 2 Phyllo Pastry in sheets (fresh or defrosted)
- 100 g Baby fresh spinach
- 100 g feta cheese smashed with fork
- 1 cup milk
- 1 onion
- 1 egg
- 4 tbsp olive oil
Mix the egg and milk in a small bowl. Wash and dry the spinach leaves using spinner until they are completely dry well. Then chop them.
Put 2 tbsp olive oil to frying pan and add the chopped spinach pieces and chopped onions and stir them until they get soft.
Remove the spinach and onion mix from frying pan to a bowl and close the heat. Then add 1 tbsp olive oil to the frying pan and put 2 Phyllo pastry sheets on frying pan. Add the egg and milk mix on the phyllo sheets.
After adding egg and milk mix on top of phyllo sheet; put the spinach and onion mix and then add the feta cheese pieces on top of it.
Close the phyllo sheets from starting the corners and make sure it is closed well. Then open the stove heat to medium-low level and start to cook.
In every 10 minutes flip the Börek and make sure it has reach the gold crisp color.
Tip: Service it with Yogurt and Lemon slices.