/İçli Köfte

İçli Köfte


İçli köfte is the Turkish name for the deep fried, bulgur wheat sheathed meatball served throughout Turkey and the Levent. The exterior crust acts the vessel within which minced meat, onions and spices cook, their delicate flavors blending together inside their starchy container. On Saturday night I had içli köfte at Hamdi in Istanbul’s Eminönü district, but found it to be a bit greasy and too soggy. But since I never turn down fried food when it was offered to me (that’s rude!), I finished it anyway, focusing on the savory blend of meat and spices within their lackluster shell as my thoughts drifted to the içli köfte at Borsa, where they get everything just right.

2016-01-07T14:37:54+00:00 June 29th, 2009|Categories: Fried Foods, Istanbul, Meat, Turkish Cuisine|16 Comments


  1. Antonello July 3, 2009 at 11:53 am - Reply

    This is incredibly good.. I will move to Turkey or hire a Turkish chef! Is this a crazy thinking or it is just stupid to not have this every day for lunch, dinner and…. ehm… breakfast!???

  2. Katie July 3, 2009 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    Moving to Turkey to eat fried minced meat is not a crazy idea. It is one of the most logical things I have heard all day.

  3. letizia mattiacci July 9, 2009 at 9:54 pm - Reply

    this looks great, I guess is the non greasy one! Looks like a Sicilian arancino with a thinner shell, YUM.

  4. Umut December 22, 2009 at 7:18 pm - Reply


  5. Joe March 23, 2010 at 11:39 pm - Reply

    also in Adana, icli kofte is boiled. the outside shell is much softer and maybe it is a more healthier option.
    i personally prefer the adana style however it can be tough to find it outside of adana.

    here is a turkish link, which has a pic. i am sorry not much is written on turkish food in english

    • Katie March 24, 2010 at 2:41 pm - Reply

      i guess i have to go back to adana, then!

  6. Ecenbt May 12, 2010 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    Well of course you can go to Adana but a good substitute in Istanbul is Kaburgacı Selim Amca in anatolian side, around sahrayıcedit. I just started following this blog so i don’t know if you’ve tasted the Kaburga dolması (stuffed ribcage) yet but they are the expert on that. also the restaurant serves very delicious boiled içli köfte and nar ekşili salata (salad with pomegranate sauce) it’s worth a try

    • Katie May 12, 2010 at 10:45 pm - Reply

      oooh sounds fabulous. Haven’t been there, nor have I had kaburga dolmasi. I’ll check it out on my next trip. thanks!

  7. narmin February 3, 2011 at 1:07 am - Reply

    en cok sevdim ve keif alarak yedim turk yemeklerinden bitanec

  8. […] and pepper spread, one of my favorite foods. There are also hot appetizers like sauteed liver, içli köfte, and […]

  9. Philip September 20, 2011 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    Moving to Turkey to eat fried minced meat is not a crazy idea. It is one of the most logical things I have heard all day.

  10. ginger December 10, 2011 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    In malatya and Mersin it’s boiled too, I was living with some friends from those cities. I just love Turkey, I die for Turkish food!!! I need to learn to make içli köfte!!! I already learnt to make çiğ köfte and mercimek çorbası hmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!

  11. Homesick for Istanbul May 6, 2012 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    […] a place everyone freaks out over, but which I sometimes find disappointing (world’s worst içli köfte, anyone?). This was not the case on Wednesday. We had some amazing seasonal kebabs like sarımsak […]

  12. […] and the dumpling dough is well completing this combination. This dish reminds me of Turkish meze İçli Köfte, which is minced beef inside bulghur wheat, served with lemon. Both combine very tasty flavours in […]

  13. Dan April 12, 2013 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    If you find yourself in Istanbul (Taksim/Istiklal st)there is a restaurant called Sabirtasi that makes the BEST İçli Köfte I have ever had, bar none. If you are a foodie, I emphasize in the strongest possible terms to go to this place, you will not regret it.

    Address: Istiklal Caddesi 112 (across from Yapi Kredi Bank), Beyoglu

    Another food review: http://istanbuleats.com/2009/12/istanbuls-top-5-street-foods-1-sabirtasis-icli-kofte/

    • Katie April 13, 2013 at 11:24 am - Reply

      greetings from istanbul:) thanks for the heads up. have had icli kofte there and will check it out again! afiyet olusn:)

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