Inegol Kofte

Inegol kofte is one of those dishes you will find at a nice small family run restaurant on a road trip or on the menus of large chain kebab restaurants. Wherever it is, I have not had a bad one so far. The name comes from the location it was born. Inegol is a small city in Bursa district of Turkey, in Marmara region. This kofte is one of those great additions to the Turkish cuisine from Balkan immigrants. Of course, no matter where you eat, I am pretty sure you will find the best one in Inegol. I have not had a chance to visit Inegol yet but once we take our “dream break” sometime, it is on the list.


The kofte is a little chewy and full of flavor. The flavor comes from the simplicity of the recipe and the good meat selection. It would be a bonus if you could mix lamb and beef but not necessary. It requires a resting time of at least 24 hours. Although I have seen as long as 3 days of resting time on different sources, a day is how long I am willing to keep uncooked meat in the fridge personally.


The ingredient list is short: ground meat, baking soda, salt, pepper, and grated onion. That is it. Since I do not have a meat grinder to work the ground meat, I used the food processor. I let it rest for full 24 hours in the fridge. Next day, added salt, pepper, grated-drained onion and shaped them in finger size. Placed them on a tray, covered, kept them another 4 hours in the fridge. Then cooked them on a hot cast iron pan.


It is one of those dishes that made us realize there is no way we can give up red meat to heal our cholesterol levels. We decided that “There is a pill for that” and went on to finish all 34 of them over the weekend. Turns out, I don’t like to keep cooked meat more than 24 hours in the fridge  as well.


Inegol Kofte

About 30-35 koftes

  • 1 lb ground meat (beef or lamb/beef mixture)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • ~ 2 tablespoon grated yellow onion (grated, drained and excess water squeezed out)

1. Place meat in food processor and sprinkle baking soda evenly over it.

2. Pulse about 50 times. Transfer to a bowl, cover, rest it in the fridge about 24 hours, up to 2-3 days.

3. Add salt, pepper, onion and mix well. Shape them into finger size meatballs. It can get messy while shaping, keep a bowl of water or little bit of oil to rub in your hands so the meat does not stick to your hands and koftes are shaped easily. Place them on a baking tray, cover, let it rest for another several hours in the fridge.

4. Heat a cast iron pan or your grill. Cook until brown all around.



  1. by Ozlem's Turkish Table
    8:33 am
    Jul 6, 2013

    OMG Ilke, now you’re talking, my favorite kofte!!:) eline saglik!

  2. by Connie Sevgi Tasmaz
    9:23 am
    Jul 6, 2013

    Sounds good and simple to make. Think I’ll try it soon.

  3. by Connie Sevgi Tasmaz
    9:25 am
    Jul 6, 2013

    Where are you located. We are from Georgia, Atlanta area. Right now we are in turkey for the summer.

  4. by Ilke
    10:24 am
    Jul 6, 2013

    I am located in Rock Hill, SC, about 20 min from Charlotte. Enjoy your summer vacation :)

  5. by thyme (Sarah)
    9:44 am
    Jul 6, 2013

    This is a delicious dish. We tried it at home and loved it. I enjoy reading the history of where this dish originated since I can now place real locations with food dishes from Istanbul!

  6. by A Cat From London
    11:10 am
    Jul 6, 2013

    Looks delicious with the ayran, paprika sauce and the onion piyaz. And thanks for the baking soda tip for the köfte. I never heard it before. Yummm!

  7. by Angie@Angie's Recipes
    11:41 am
    Jul 6, 2013

    They remind me of cevapcici that my husbands loves a lot. These look hearty and very delicious, Ilke.

  8. by Ilke
    1:31 pm
    Jul 6, 2013

    Never heard of cevapcici Angie. I am curious now.

  9. by Pam fjeld
    1:24 pm
    Jul 6, 2013

    Ilke-what are the sauces and sides you have in photo? Absolutely love your cooking ! How spoiled Jay is!

  10. by Ilke
    1:31 pm
    Jul 6, 2013

    Pam, the red sauce is a hot paprika sauce. Like the ones they serve at the Pita House. Or like this one:
    The other side dish is thinly sliced onions with parsley and sumac spice.
    You can buy both at Pita House probably when you are in Greenville area next time.

  11. by Terra
    9:04 pm
    Jul 6, 2013

    This recipe sounds so homey and delicious! I love the idea of using lamb to, I do enjoy working with lamb! Beautiful, Hugs, Terra

  12. by A Cat From London
    5:36 am
    Jul 7, 2013

    Cevapcici is Macedonian köfte similar to Inegöl köfte. İlk kez Vardar kıyısında birkaç masalı bir köftecide yemiştik, çok lezzetli.

  13. by john@kitchenriffs
    11:48 am
    Jul 7, 2013

    I love ground meat dishes like this! I use a food processor too – I used to have a hand crank meat grinder, but that’s long gone. Using baking soda is a new technique to me – I’ll have to try that. Great recipe – thanks.

  14. by Susan
    5:57 pm
    Jul 7, 2013

    I was going to say the shape reminds me of the chevapchichi we ordered at our favorite Serbian restaurant but I see Angie already said that! These look easy enough to make and so delicious.

  15. by turkish cuisine
    9:58 pm
    Apr 22, 2014

    this looks so delicious! inegol kofte has a lot of different ways to cook as to what i have seen on the other sites, but this recipe that you shared is the easiest way though. thanks for sharing!

  16. by EatwithMeIstanbul
    7:13 am
    May 8, 2014

    This is also my favourite type of kofte; simple, meaty without bread crumb involved. I can’t forget the taste and the smell of kofte I had in a small restaurant in Aydin. This restaurant only serves kofte. It was superb. Fresh and simple… Thanks.

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