"Kofte" is a common name that is used for meatballs in Turkey. Almost every city in Turkey has its own kofte dish named after them such as "Izmir Kofte" or "Tekirdag Kofte". Inegol Kofte is originated from the Balkans and brought to Inegol by an immigrant in the late 19th century. It then became quite popular in the 1930s and quickly spread all over the country.
The main characteristic of Inegol Kofte is that it doesn't contain any spices or seasoning apart from salt, which makes it child-friendly. These soft and juicy meatballs are best when grilled on the BBQ but you can also cook them in the oven or on a skillet. They are typically served with Piyaz (Turkish Bean Salad) in the restaurants but also go great with my Tabbouleh Salad.
Inegol Kofte is very easy to make but it requires overnight marinating after the first stage of preparation. You need to rest it for a further few hours after shaping them. It might take some time to prepare these soft and juicy meatballs but the result is definitely worth it. They will be your favorite in no time. This recipe makes around 30-32 meatballs. You can half the recipe or store them in your freezer for up to 3 months if that's too many for you.
How to Make Inegol Kofte?
This is a straightforward recipe to follow. However, to achieve the best results you need to follow a few simple steps:
- Use the right type of mince - The most important tip for soft and juicy meatballs is to use mince with a minimum of % 25- 30 fat content. It might sound a bit too much but it's the fat that gives the softness and flavour to the kofte. I generally use beef mince made from brisket but a mixture of %80 beef and %20 lamb mince would work as well.
- Marinate the kofte mixture - Mix the mince with salt, water and breadcrumbs in a large bowl and knead for about 6-7 minutes until firm. Cover the bowl and let it marinate in the fridge for 24 hours. After 24 hours of marination in the fridge, mix the lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda in a small bowl then add it to the mince- breadcrumb mixture. Then add the grated onions and mix all together until nicely combined.
- Shape the koftes, let them rest and then cook - The traditional way of shaping Inegol Kofte is to take walnut size pieces from the mixture and turn them into a finger shape. You can also shape them like small burger patties if you prefer. Place them on a plate, cover and put back in the fridge for another 2 to 3 hours. Grill them on the BBQ or oven-grill or shallow fry on a skillet. It is enough to cook for about 5 to 6 minutes until nicely browned. Avoid overcooking them for soft and juicy meatballs.
I hope you enjoy the process of making these delicious and juicy Inegol Koftes as much as you enjoy eating them!🙂
Bon appétit! / Afiyet Olsun!
- 1 kilo minced beef from brisket (or any beef mince with %30 fat)
- 125 g breadcrumbs
- 125 ml water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 medium onions (grated)
- Mix the mince with salt, water and breadcrumbs in a large bowl and knead for about 6-7 minutes until firm.
- Cover the bowl and keep it in the fridge and let it marinate for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, mix the lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda in a small bowl then add it to the mince.
- Add the grated onions as well and mix them all until nicely combined.
- Take walnut size pieces from the mixture and turn them into a finger shape. Alternatively, shape them like small burger patties if you want to cook them on the BBQ.
- Repeat until all the mixture is finished. You should end up with around 30-32 koftes. Place them on a plate, cover and put back in the fridge for another 2-3 hours.
- Grill the koftes on the BBQ or oven-grill or shallow fry on a skillet for about 5 to 6 minutes until they become golden brown.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Don’t leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
See more guidelines at USDA.gov.
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