• Köfte with cannellini and tahini salad (China Squirrel)

These Turkish köfte are made from a combination of minced beef brisket and lamb belly for flavour and juiciness. You can cook them in a pan or over charcoal for an authentic flavour.






Skill level

Average: 4.4 (8 votes)



  • 500 g beef brisket, sinew and fat removed, finely minced (ask your butcher)
  • 125 g lamb belly or brisket, sinew and fat removed, finely minced (ask your butcher)
  • 1 onion, finely minced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 100 g dried breadcrumbs
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs


Cannellini and tahini salad

  • 400 g dried white (cannellini) beans
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) tahini
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp caster sugar
  • ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ bunch spring onions (scallions), white part only, finely chopped
  • 1 French shallot (eschalot), finely chopped
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 quail eggs, soft-boiled, peeled and halved
  • 2 tsp sumac


  • 8 long sweet green Turkish peppers, to serve (optional)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Soaking time: overnight

Resting time: 15 minutes

For the cannellini and tahini salad, soak the beans in warm water overnight. The next day, drain and cook in a saucepan of boiling water for 45 minutes or until tender, topping up with water as necessary. Drain and place in a large salad bowl.

Dilute the tahini with the water, stirring until smooth. Add the oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and sugar and stir to combine. Set aside.

When ready to serve, mix the tahini dressing through the beans and toss through the parsley and spring onion. Scatter over the shallot, tomato and quail eggs. Sprinkle a little sumac over the eggs.

For köfte, place all of the ingredients in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the spatula attachment and knead for 10 minutes or until the mixture is smooth.

Remove the bowl from the mixer. Pick up handfuls of the mixture and massage in between your fingers in a bowl, 15-20 times. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and rest in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Preheat a chargrill pan or barbecue to high. Add a drop of water; if it sizzles, the pan is ready.

Take 35-40 g of the köfte mixture and shape each into patties about 1 cm thick and 6 cm wide and press the top to make an indent (makes about 20).

Brush the pan with oil and cook the köfte, in batches, for 4 minutes each side or until browned and nicely charred. Remove from the pan and keep warm.

Add the peppers to the pan and cook until nicely charred.

Serve 5 köfte per person, with the salad and charred peppers on the side.


Photography, styling and food preparation by China Squirrel


Somer Sivrioglu is the head chef at Anason and EfendyThis recipe is from The Chefs' Line - a brand new series airing weeknights at 6pm on SBS. Can the passion of a home cook beat the skills of a professional chef? Missed all the action? Catch-up online and get all the recipes #TheChefsLine.

This recipe has been edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the series.