How They Do Brunch in Turkey

At most breakfast or brunch places in Turkey, you can easily find menemen on the menu. This dish typically consists of eggs, tomatoes, peppers, onions and spices scrambled together, with cheese and sucuk (dried sausage) as optional additions. Most restaurants provide a big basket of bread to soak up all the juices. In fact, some diners completely forgo their forks and use bread exclusively to scoop up the entire thing.

The key to making good menemen is using high-quality ingredients. The tomatoes, for example, make up a large part of this dish and can really make a difference if you find flavorful ones. If larger tomatoes are not in season, try using cherry or grape tomatoes instead. In absence of fresh tomatoes, you can use canned.

For this recipe, I slightly altered a traditional menemen recipe to use less oil and replaced one egg with an egg white. 


Recipe by Brittany Peterson


  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • ¼ onion, diced
  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes


  1. Heat olive oil over medium flame. Add onion and green pepper, and sauté until slightly softened.
  2. Add tomatoes and continue to cook until the tomato juices are mostly evaporated.
  3. Add eggs, salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Scramble eggs into the vegetables. Do not overcook; the dish is meant to be slightly runny.
  4. Remove from heat and sprinkle with red pepper flakes.
  5. Serve with Turkish simit bread or whole-wheat bread.
Brittany Peterson on InstagramBrittany Peterson on LinkedinBrittany Peterson on Pinterest
Brittany Peterson
Brittany Peterson, MS, RDN, is a supermarket dietitian based in New Jersey.