Şiş Köfte

Şiş köfte (Turkish), Shish kofte, or Sis kofte is a köfte or kebab variant in the Turkish cuisine. It consists of minced lamb, mutton, veal or beef, or a mixture of some of these meats with herbs, often including parsley and mint, on a şiş (skewer), grilled. The food is popular in Turkey, where there are hundreds of other versions of köfte such as ıslama köfte, sulu köfte, kuru köfte, İzmir köfte, İnegöl köfte, Tekirdağ köfte, Akçaabat köfte, dalyan köfte, sucuk köfte, çiğ köfte, and kadınbudu köfte; none of which is made in a skewer. The city of Burdur is trying to obtain a geographical indication for its şiş köfte. Tire köfte is the only other skewered Turkish köfte and is made mainly with veal.

In Turkey, köfte dishes are generally eaten accompanied by ayran, a yoghurt drink, which is a healthy choice for a balanced diet. Şiş köfte is also the basis of “yoğurtlu kebap” (kebab with yoghurt).

Şiş köfte is usually served with pilav (Turkish rice or bulgur dishes) and a salad.

Şiş Köfte
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Recipe type: Kebabs
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ¾ tablespoon kosher salt, plus a pinch
  • 450 g minced lamb
  • 3 tablespoons grated onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil, for brushing the grill
For the salad
  • handful pickled green chillies
  • handful grated carrot
  • handful cooked white beans, such as haricot
  • 1 little gem lettuce, trimmed and shredded
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • lemon wedges, to garnish
To serve
  1. Mash the garlic cloves, sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt, and, with the flat side of a large knife, smear mixture to a coarse paste. Mix the paste and the remaining ¾ tablespoon salt with the meat, onion, parsley, and spices.
  2. Line a pan with aluminum foil. Divide the meat mixture into 28 rough balls. Mould each piece around the pointed end of a skewer (if you use wooden ones, soak them in water for 15 minutes before threading them), making a 5 cm oval kebab that comes to a point just covering the tip of the skewer. Lay the skewers on the pan, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours.
  3. Heat a grill pan over medium heat or prepare a grill. Brush the pan lightly with olive oil. Working in batches, grill the kebabs, turning occasionally, until brown all over and just cooked through, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with tzatziki and flat bread.


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