How to Make KÖFTE: Not Meatball, It’s a Miracle | Get the Science, Make Perfect Meatballs & Eatballs

I want to tell you about Köfte. Thinking köfte just as a recipe would be unfair because we found 368 different types of köfte with their own names and recipes. It means, approaching it as a technique, understanding the algorithm and role of every ingredient help creatively adapt this technique to many other things. Las but not least I have the perfect köfte recipe for you which cooked in every single house in Turkey and called mother’s köfte.


Köfte Recipe

½ kg double ground minced meat, ground from rib
1,5 medium onions, grated
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs or 1 stale bread (200 gr)
3 tablespoons köfte spice mix, recipe below or you can buy on
1 levelled teaspoon salt
1 levelled teaspoon black pepper
1 egg
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, any vinegar work great
10-12 sprigs parsley, stems and leaves finely chopped separately

• Add in the meat, onion, köfte spice mix, salt, black pepper, egg, vinegar and olive oil in a large bowl.
• Add the breadcrumbs. If using stale bread, trim the crust of the bread- just use the white crumb-, make small pieces and wet bread pieces in a bowl. Then squeeze the excess water and add in the köfte mix.
• Knead everything together for about 5-6 minutes.
• Then add in the stems of the parsley, give it another minute of kneading.
• Lastly, add leaves of the parsley and give a last kneading for a minute.
• Ideally rest for 2 hours but if you don’t have time cooking as it is would taste great.
• Wet your hands and take 18-20 small lumps from the mixture. Shape them into balls and then press with your fingers. This way, there will be finger marks on köfte and it will increase the surface area. Small but effective way to increase the crisp for the texture.
• For cooking, heat a seasoned large cast iron pan on high heat. Set the heat to medium and place the köftes on the pan. Unlike searing meat, köfte should be flip occasionally while cooking. This helps to keep all the fat inside and becomes tastier. After one side is partially done, flip them by the order of placing and cook until both sides brown and well done, flipping for a couple of times each köfte.
• Transfer them in a plate and cover with another plate. Let it rest for 5 minutes and the great köfte is ready! We eat köfte with 3 different P, which are, Potatoes, Piyaz or Pilav. You can fry potatoes or try delicious Cyprus potatoes ( ). For the Piyaz with tahini ( ). Finally, the legendary Turkish rice Pilav ( ).

Refika’s Köfte Spice Mix

80 gr salt- 3 tablespoons
80 gr ground cumin- 5,5 heaped tablespoons
40 gr sweet paprika- 2 heaped tablespoons
40 gr chili paprika -2 heaped tablespoons
20 gr garlic powder- 1 heaped tablespoon
12 gr nutmeg- 3 small nutmeg, grated
13 gr ground coriander- 1 heaped tablespoon
7 gr dry mint-2,5 teaspoons
7 gr oregano- 2 tablespoons

• Mix all the ingredients. Fill in a jar and store in a dark and dry cabinet.

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