Turkish Eggs aka. Cilbir is one of the best and well known Turkish breakfast egg recipes. I discovered this wonderful-looking poached egg recipe while traveling Turkey for a month a few years back and was blown away by its unique, super delicious, and refreshing taste.
Cilbir not only looks super beautiful, but it also tastes like that. The combination of a garlicky yogurt base together with perfectly poached eggs, spiced butter, and fresh herbs is just phenomenal. These Turkish eggs are perfect for breakfast, enjoyed with some fresh Turkish flatbread or another kind of crunchy bread. However, Cilbir works also great as a side dish for lunch next to other things or just as a comfort snack during the day.
According to its fancy appearance, one might think that Cilbir or Turkish Eggs would be difficult to make. However, these Turkish breakfast eggs are quite simple to make in just 15-20 minutes.
If you’re ready to immerse yourself into an oriental world for breakfast and to enjoy a flavor-packed poached egg recipe, you should consider trying this recipe!
I especially like Turkish poached eggs during the warmer months. Apart from a great egg dish for breakfast or lunch on weekends, Cilbir is a healthy and quick snack to enjoy on the balcony in the warming sun.
Ingredients for the best Turkish Eggs
These are the base ingredients for delicious Turkish breakfast eggs. Especially in the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean kitchen, yogurt is often to find in the fridge. This makes Cilbir a great staple dish if you’ve some fresh herbs in your garden and some eggs.
- Greek Yogurt
This yogurt is thicker, creamier, and richer than normal yogurt. The thick yogurt works as a good base for the eggs and won’t end up that runny than normal yogurt.
Garlic has just an amazing aroma and I use garlic in almost every dish I cook. As we’re using fresh-grated garlic here in this dish, be sure not to use too much. Garlic can suppress the other aromas, so I’m taking just half a clove of garlic for a two-person serving.
- Aleppo Pepper
For me, Pul Biber or Aleppo Pepper is the secret star in this Turkish egg recipe. These crushed red pepper flakes are adding fruity flavors and a slight heat, which is a great contrast to the creamy and milky yogurt.
- Fresh Herbs
Usually, fresh dill is used for Cilbir, but you can also add further herbs like oregano, mint, or parsley depending on your liking.
It is recommended to use fresh eggs here. With fresh eggs, the egg whites are firmer and will keep together better while poaching. If you’re using eggs that are already several days old, you can crack them first into a sieve to drain the excess wateriness.
As a flavor carrier, which adds its own, hearty aromas as well as the ones from the infused peppers to the dish.
How to do poached eggs
Poaching eggs might be one of the more complex ways of preparing eggs and sounds a bit intimidating. But once you did your first poached eggs, I’m sure you’ll love them. The goal is to get firm-enough egg whites but a golden-runny egg yolk. Poaching an egg will retain most of the egg’s nutrients. This makes poached eggs among the healthiest ways of preparing eggs. Here are some points for a successful poached egg made at home:
- Fresh Eggs
As mentioned above, it is important to use fresh eggs, as the egg whites are still firmer and the egg doesn’t have that wateriness. If the eggs are older, crack them in a sieve and let the excess watery egg whites drain into a bowl.
Vinegar helps the proteins coagulate, which can help the egg to stay together in the first few seconds of poaching. I’ve done it several times without vinegar as well and it was still a success. If you’re using vinegar, a tablespoon or so is enough.
Same as the Vinegar, creating a vortex before adding the eggs to the simmering water, can help the egg to stay together in the middle of the pan. If you don’t want to make one egg at a time, you can skip the vortex and poach multiple eggs at the same time. Just be sure to slowly and carefully add the eggs to the water.
I suggest poaching the eggs at a slight simmer for no longer than 3 minutes. For me, 2.5 to 3 minutes have been the sweet spot to get a firm enough egg whites with a runny egg yolk.
How to make Cilbir – Step by Step
- Preparing the yogurt base
Mix together the room-temperature Greek yogurt with grated garlic, salt, and some pepper.
- Poaching the Eggs
Poach the eggs one at a time with the vortex method or together using the tips mentioned above.
- Spiced Butter
Melt butter together with some olive oil at medium heat in a small pan. When the butter is melted and you start to hear some sizzling, add the Pul Biber and mix together for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and put aside.
- Assemble the Turkish Eggs
Spread the yogurt on a large plate. Add the poached eggs and sprinkle over with the spiced butter. Finish with some chopped dill and other fresh herbs and enjoy with some nice, crunchy bread.
Looking for some other breakfast or healthy recipes?
Turkish Eggs (Çılbır)
Preparing the Yogurt
- Add the room temperature yogurt to a medium bowl. If the yogurt is too cold from the fridge, you can mix it with 1 tbsp of boiling water.150-200 grams thick greek yogurt
- With a Microplane or garlic press, add half a clove of garlic to the yogurt. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper and mix well together. Put aside the yogurt for later.1 clove garlic, 1 pinch salt, 1 pinch pepper
Poaching the Eggs
- Bring to boil half a pot of water and add the vinegar, this will help the egg whites to stay together.1 tbsp white vinegar
- If the eggs are fresh, you can put them directly into the simmering water. If they are already a few days old, it can help to crack them first in a small sieve. This will drain the wateriness of the egg whites. If you're poaching an egg at a time or it is your first time doing poached eggs, it can also help to create a vortex first with a spoon. This can also help to keep the egg and egg whites together in the middle of the pan in the first few seconds until they're slightly firm.2 eggs
- Put the eggs carefully into the water and simmer for 2.5-3 minutes. If you're not using the Vortex method, you can poach multiple eggs at the same time by carefully and slowly adding them to the simmering water.
- Take the eggs out with a slotted spoon and put them on some kitchen paper for later.
Preparing the spiced-butter
- In a small pan, melt the butter together with some olive oil at medium heat. The olive oil is optional but I like to add some.30 grams unsalted butter, 2 tbsp olive oil
- when the butter is melted and starts to sizzle, add the Pul Biber (Aleppo Pepper) and mix in for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and put the pan aside.2 tsp Pul Biber (Aleppo Pepper)
Assembling the Turkish Eggs
- To assemble and serve the Cilbir, spread the yogurt on a large plate. Put the eggs on top of the yogurt and drizzle with the spiced butter you just created. In the end, add some chopped fresh dill. You can also add more herbs like parsley or fresh mint.1 handful fresh dill