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Tag Archives | red onion

Chicken Soup with Vegetables in lemon & egg sauce – Terbiyeli, Sebzeli Tavuk Corbasi

Chicken and vegetables soup in lemon & egg sauce; Terbiyeli Sebzeli Tavuk Corbasi

Chicken and vegetables soup in lemon & egg sauce; Terbiyeli Sebzeli Tavuk Corbasi

Cold winter days call for a warming meal; this delicious chicken and vegetables soup is ideal to turn  the left over bits of vegetables and cooked meat (you can meat omit for a vegetarian option) into a hearty, delicious soup. With nice crusty bread aside, this chunky soup makes a complete meal for us (and just the thing if you have a cold). Soups, Corba as we call in Turkish, have a special place in Turkish cuisine and the meals mostly start with a soup. In Anatolia, it is very common to have soup to start the day, especially in winter.

There is a special technique used in this soup; lemon juice is beaten with egg yolks to thicken the sauce and add a delicious sort of tangy flavor. This method is called “terbiyeli” in Turkish cuisine and it requires a staged tempering of the egg sauce into the hot liquid, so that the soup won’t curdle.

I have used parsnips, celery, carrots, red onion here; you can also use potatoes, regular onion or any other vegetables you like and needs finishing. I hope you enjoy this delicious, nutritious, warming soup.

Healthy, delicious chicken soup with vegetables in lemon & egg sauce

Healthy, delicious chicken soup with vegetables in lemon & egg sauce

Serves 4 – 6

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes                                     Cooking time: 30 minutes

225 gr/8 oz./1 cup cooked (left over) chicken meat, cut in small chunks (you can omit this for a vegetarian option)

75gr/3oz/scant ½ cup long grain rice (plain or basmati, if you prefer), rinsed

1 large red onion, quartered and chopped

3 celery stick, trimmed and coarsely chopped

3 medium carrots, coarsely chopped

3 parsnips, peeled and cut in small chunks

Handful of fresh flat leaf (Italian) parsley

30 ml/2 tbsp. olive oil

2 lt/ 3 ½ pints/8 cups hot chicken stock (or vegetarian stock, or water)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Lemon & egg sauce:

2 egg yolks, beaten

Juice of 1 lemon

To serve:

Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle when serving (optional)

Turkish red pepper flakes (pul biber) or chili flakes and a wedge of lemon to serve

Crusty bread to serve

Heat the olive oil in a deep heavy pan and stir in the onion, sauté for a few minutes. When the onion begins to color slightly, toss in the celery, carrot and parsnip. Stir and cook for a further 2 minutes. Then add the rinsed rice, giving a good stir. Pour in the hot stock or water and the cooked chicken pieces (if you are using), combine well. Season with salt and freshly grounded black pepper to your taste. Cover and cook over medium to low heat for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked though still have a bite to them.

 Gently pour in a ladle of the hot soup to the egg mixture and blend well.

Gently pour in a ladle of the hot soup to the egg mixture and blend well.

Afterwards, in a small bowl, thoroughly blend the egg yolks with the lemon juice. Gently pour in a ladle of the hot soup to the egg mixture for tempering and blend well. Then slowly pour this egg mixture into the simmering pan; stir constantly so that the eggs don’t curdle. Add the chopped parsley and cook the soup very gently on low heat for 3-5 minutes. Do not allow the soup to boil, or it may curdle. Check the seasoning and turn the heat off.

Warming chicken and vegetables soup in lemon & egg sauce.

Warming chicken and vegetables soup in lemon & egg sauce.

Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls. Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over and sprinkle red pepper flakes, pul biber over, if you like. Serve hot with some crusty bread and a wedge of lemon aside.

Afiyet Olsun,



Ozlem’s Turkish Table at the Turkish Chefs of the World, “Dunyanin Turk Sefleri” TV program aired on TRT Turk  TV Channel

Click to view on YouTube.

I was delighted to take part in Dunyanin Turk Sefleri, “Turkish Chefs of the World” TV program on TRT Turk TV Channel.

I was delighted to be involved in the Turkish Chefs of the World, “Dunyanin Turk Sefleri” TV program aired on Turkish National TV, TRT Turk channel (aired over 70 countries) a few weeks ago. The program was shot in major gastronomic centers like New York, Berlin, Tokyo, Vienna, Paris and London, exploring world cuisines and the presence of Turkish cuisine around the world. I was involved in their London program; the presenter and Milliyet food author Mr. Sureyya Uzmez and I talked about the vibrant London food scene and the growing presence of Turkish cuisine abroad. I delightfully mentioned the increasing global interest for the healthy, delicious Turkish cuisine and my admiration for your enthusiasm, dear readers, to learn and tackle many aspects of Turkish cuisine, from baklava to Simit, karniyarik to Turkish Delight and more. The interview is in Turkish but I thought you may still enjoy viewing, here is the YouTube link for the program (my part starts as of 2.30 minutes onwards). Hope you enjoy it!

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Grilled Fish on Sourdough Bread with Sumac Salad – Balik Ekmek

One of the most popular street foods at home is grilled (or lightly fried) fish, served between slices of our traditional white loaf. Fishermen grill the fish at their boats and prepare this sandwich right there for you; with a breeze from the Bosphorus and view of boats passing by, that first bite is just heavenly.

Fishing with a view; fishermen by the edge of the Bosphorus and Sea of Marmara, overlooking the Topkapi Palace, Istanbul

Turkey is bounded by the sea on three sides – the Mediterranean,Aegeanand the Blacksea. With the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and Dardanelles at northwest, Turkey has over 7,000km (4,350 miles) of coastline. The plentiful fishing waters provide daily catches of bluefish, red and grey mullet, swordfish, sea bass, tuna, bonito, turbot, plaice, mackerel, sardines, anchovies and many more. In most of the coastal regions, fish is bought very fresh, straight off the boats at the daily fish market, still swimming around in the buckets or beautifully arranged on ice.


Well, my inspiration for this easy and delicious grilled fish served over crunchy sourdough bread with capers & herb mayonnaise came from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage TV series;  I love their fresh, no fuss intake on food and making the most of seasonal ingredients. I tweaked their recipe with my sumac dressed red onion, tomato and parsley salad. The citrusy, tangy sumac really goes well with the grilled fish.

 Baked fish with sumac piyaz and capers with mayo on bread 026 with OTTBaked fish with herb mayonnaise and sumac salad over sourdough bread

I hope you have a go at this easy, delicious fish sandwich (Balik Ekmek, as we say it in Turkish) with the refreshing sumac salad. Haddock fillets, mackerel, sea bass, cod or sardines would especially work well here. If you’re not a big fan of bread, boiled potatoes by the side is excellent too.

This delicious fish recipe along with over 90 scrumptious and healthy Turkish recipes are included at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My HomelandSigned copies are available to order at this link for a limited period, if you’d like a copy for yourself or gift to a foodie.

Grilled Fish on Sourdough Bread with Herb Mayonnaise, served with Sumac, red Onion and Tomato salad; “Balik Ekmek ” with a twist

 Serves 4   

Preparation time: 20 minutes               Cooking time:15-20 minutes (please check                                              the suggested cooking time for the fish of your choice)

4 fillets of white fish of your choice (mackerel, haddock fillets work well)

10ml/1bsp olive oil

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Slices of sourdough bread to serve

Slices of gem lettuce, washed, to serve

For mayonnaise with capers & parsley:

20-30ml/2-3 tbsp of good quality mayonnaise (you can use light version if you like)

20ml/2tbsp baby capers, rinsed

A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

For Red Onion, Tomato and Parsley Salad with Sumac:

1/2 red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced

3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped

A handful of flat leaf (Italian) parsley, finely chopped

30 ml/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

5 ml/1 tsp ground sumac

Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4

Grease the baking tray with a little olive oil (or line aluminium kitchen foil on a baking tray then grease, for the ease of cleaning). Place the fillets of the fish, drizzle a little olive oil over them. Coat the fish with the seasoning and bake or grill for the required amount (please refer to the cooking instructions for the fish of your choice).

Capers and parsley work well with mayonnaise

While the fish is cooking, make the herb mayonnaise with capers. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, chopped parsley and the rinsed baby capers. Drizzle with a little olive oil; your herb mayonnaise is ready.

Tangy sumac flavors red onions, tomatoes and parsley beautifully and the salad is excellent with the grilled fish.

Tangy sumac flavors red onions, tomatoes and parsley beautifully; this salad is excellent with the grilled meat and fish.

For the sumac salad; work the salt and sumac into the onion slices with your hands really well in a bowl. This will soften the onions, make them more palatable and let the sumac really penetrate to the onions. Add the chopped tomatoes, parsley, juice of lemon and extra virgin olive oil into the bowl and combine well. Season with ground black pepper; your salad is ready to go.

Piyaz; lovely, refreshing salad with red onions, tomatoes, parsley with sumac and olive oil dressing

Piyaz; lovely, refreshing salad with red onions, tomatoes, parsley with sumac and olive oil dressing

Once the fish is baked, slice the sourdough bread (you can toast the bread if you like too.) Spread a thin layer of the herb mayonnaise over the bread and place a cooked fish fillet over it. Then place a spoonful of the sumac salad over the bread. You can add the gem lettuce and another slice of bread over the top. Or you can simply enjoy as an open fish sandwich with one slice of bread. The sumac salad is also lovely served on the gem lettuce slice.

Balik ekmek; Open fish sandwich with herb mayonnaise and sumac, red onion and tomato salad

Balik ekmek; Open fish sandwich with herb mayonnaise and sumac, red onion and tomato salad

Afiyet Olsun!


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Bulgur Wheat Salad with Red Onion and Vegetables – Kirmizi Soganli Kisir

This is a lighter version of the spicy Kisir, bulgur wheat salad I posted earlier. The use of red onions and lemon and olive oil dressing make the salad wonderfully refreshing. And it is a bowl of health, packed with fiber and vitamins, thanks to the vegetables and bulgur. It can be rolled into balls and served nestling in crunchy lettuce leaves. This dish is perfect for buffets or as part of a barbecue spread.

Serves 4 – 6
Preparation time: 25 minutes

175gr/ 6oz/1cup bulgur
8fl oz/ 1cup hot water
15ml/1 tablespoon tomato paste
5ml/1 teaspoon paprika flakes
Juice of 1 lemon
60ml/4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
3 spring/ green onions, finely chopped
3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
Handful of finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1 teaspoon salt
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Lettuce leaves to serve

Mix the bulgur wheat, salt, ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, tomato paste, and onion and knead thoroughly. Pour the hot water over this mixture and stir, then leave to stand for about 15 minutes. It should absorb all the water by the end of this period. The bulgur should be of a dry consistency.

Add the lemon juice with the extra virgin olive oil and knead well again. Stir in tomatoes, spring/green onion and the parsley and combine thoroughly. Please check the seasoning and add more salt or spices to your taste.

Serve as a salad in a bowl garnished with lettuce leaves. Alternatively, take spoonfuls of the mixture and with wet hands roll into balls the size of walnuts. Refrigerate until required. This dish can be prepared a couple of days in advance and can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days. As a matter of fact, it tastes even better a day or two later it’s made!

Afiyet Olsun,


Note: Bulgur wheat unlike cracked wheat, is a grain made from the cooked wheat berries which have the bran removed, and are then dried and pounded. There are two varieties generally available, fine and coarse. Because it is precooked, it only requires a minimal amount of cooking to reconstitute itself.

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