Kebap (or kebab) simply
means "roasted," and
usually refers to lamb roasted
in some form,
but may refer to chicken—or
even (roasted) chestnuts—as
The most familiar Turkish kebap is şiş
kebap (SHEESH keh-bahp,
"shish kabob"), chunks of lamb roasted
on a skewer. It sounds simple enough,
but to make it best you need Turkish
free-range lamb, a true
charcoal grill, and the knack for
getting the outside singed while
the inside of each chunk remains
soft and succulent. (If you're allergic to lamb, read this.)
keh-bahp) is lamb roasted on a
vertical spit and sliced off when
done. When laid on a bed of chopped
flat bread and topped with savory
tomato sauce and brown butter,
it becomes İskender
(or Bursa) Kebap. More...
KURF-teh) is ground lamb mixed
with egg, rice or bread crumbs
and spices, formed into longish
meatballs and grilled. If you squoosh
the meat onto a long flat skewer
and grill it you have shish
köfte may take on the name kebap if
the chef adds his own touches to it.)
kebap with bulgur wheat,
onions and parsley as prepared
(Spice) Bazaar in Eminönü, Istanbul.
Şiş (CHURP sheesh)
is three or four little chunks
of lamb, and a chunk of fat, grilled
on a small wooden skewer: a specialty
of the Aegean region, especially
south of Izmir. More...
is chunks of lamb interspersed with
tomatoes, onions and peppers/pimientos
(although any good Turkish chef will
cook the lamb and vegetables on separate
skewers because their cooking times
are quite different).
There are many regional kebaps: spicy-hot
Adana kebap; savory Urfa kebap with sliced onions, parsley
and spices; Halep
işi kebap with chopped peppers,
parsley and tomatoes.
kebap, from the southeast,
an entire lamb is steamed in a pit. More...
Actually, some "kebaps" are not roasted
at all. Tas kebap, testi
kebap and çömlek kebap are
meat-and-vegetable stews named for
the pots in which they are cooked.