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Posts Tagged ‘ çiğ köfte ’

Jan 18
Wednesday

Çiğköftecisi Orhan Usta: Hot Stuff

Filed under Reviews (Eats)

Orhan usta, photo by Paul Benjamin Osterlund

Visitors to Istanbul’s iconic Spice Bazaar encounter a place packed wall-to-wall with overzealous shopkeepers selling everything from saffron to sumac assembled in rows of majestic pyramids at slightly inflated prices.

But for our money, the only spices worth a damn are found just outside in a humbler setting. Crammed behind a tiny kiosk perched in front of a fast-food restaurant that flanks one of the bazaar’s entrances is the endearing Orhan usta. The loveable 65-year-old is a veritable master of çig köfte and a connoisseur of the spicy red pepper flakes cultivated in his hometown of Gaziantep, the southeastern city considered by many to be Turkey’s culinary capital.

While it’s traditionally made of raw meat (çig köfte translates to “raw meatball”), the versions found around Istanbul are typically vegetarian, a mix of bulgur wheat, tomato paste, pureed potato and, in Orhan usta’s version, a healthy dose of fiery Antep red pepper.

Read the rest of the review at Culinary Backstreets.


All entries filed under this archive


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no responses - Posted 09.18.15
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no responses - Posted 05.24.13
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Hacı Beşir Usta: The Raw and the Hooked
1 response - Posted 08.07.12
(Editor’s note: This post was written by “Meliz,” an intrepid explorer of Istanbul’s culinary backstreets and frequent Istanbul Eats guest contributor who would like to keep her anonymity.) At Istanbul Eats HQ, the conversation comes up every once in a while about how çiğ köfte has emerged as a sort of fast-food franchising ...continue
Huseyin’s Çiğ Köfte Cart: Seriously Handmade
3 responses - Posted 05.24.10
Hands stained red by pepper paste is an occupational hazard of the wandering çiğ köfte man. “Machine-made doesn’t look like this,” said Huseyin usta with the intensity of a misunderstood artist, thrusting up a freshly formed lump of çiğ köfte. Just as the çiğ köfte’s red pepper left its mark ...continue
Çiğ Köfte: The Raw Deal
no responses - Posted 10.12.09
It may not quite be up there with Japan’s fugu, blowfish meat that if prepared incorrectly can lead to death, but Turkey’s çiğ köfte is one of those foods that carries with it a certain frisson of danger. Literally translated as “raw meatballs,” the dish is made out of uncooked ...continue

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