How To Make Fethiye Köfte Burgers

Okay, before we go any further, let us just stress right now that, to the best of our knowledge, there is no such thing as a Fethiye köfte burger. It’s a completely made up name by us, but it also seems apt.

Apt because the buns are made – and bought by us – locally, hence the ‘Fethiye’ name. Apt because when you get a mental image of a burger, it’s a certain size. When you get a mental image of köfte, it’s a certain size…And if we’re making any sort of sense here, you’ll be with us in thinking köfte is generally smaller than a burger. So the logic is, something between the two that is then sandwiched between bread can be called a Köfte Burger. And if it’s Fethiye bread, it can be a Fethiye köfte burger.

Right, now we’ve possibly got that one straight, we’ve got a recipe that has been inspired by these local buns we’ve just mentioned. The buns are made and sold at Baba Fırın Cafe & Daddy’s Bakehouse and they’re little dinky things. Not massive rolls (or barm cakes, as we’d call them in Wigan) that you’d make a massive sandwich or burger with. They’re the type of roll you’d get with a bowl of soup, and, the first time we got some, that’s what we did with them. As you tear them up, they make very decent dunkers!

Fresh Turkish Bread, Baba Fırın Bakery, Çalış

Baba Fırın bread

Here they are; those little fresh, crusty buns in the baskets at the bottom. While we were at Baba Fırın a couple of days ago, having a coffee, there was a little eureka moment.

“Let’s make some little mini burgers with those buns for tea, tonight.”

That was my eureka moment. These things can be simple – simple ideas are the best and all that. We finished our coffee and went to choose four little cobs. Now, let’s not forget, these cobs were for köfte burgers. Much as we love a wholemeal cob topped with all manner of seeds, or an olive-filled cob…well, we’re making burgers here. Let’s keep it simple. So we resisted temptation and went for white bread; two plain and two topped with sesame seeds. Perfect for our recipe.

Fethiye Köfte Burgers

Fethiye Köfte Burgers

Those are our Fethiye köfte burgers, there, in the photo. Happily, they worked out very well – but then that’s obvious, otherwise you wouldn’t be seeing them here, now. For information, these little cobs are less than 10 cm in diameter. Like we said; dinky.

How To Make Fethiye Köfte Burgers

Okay, let’s make Fethiye köfte burgers. If you can find little cobs about the size of these, this amount of meat will make 4 köfte burgers – 2 for each person.

Fethiye Köfte Burgers
Recipe type: Köfte
Cuisine: Turkish
Serves: 2
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Not quite a burger. Not quite a köfte. Yummy all the same.
  • 200g minced beef
  • 2 medium-sized onions - 1 peeled and grated, 1 peeled and sliced into thick rings
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil (for cooking)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp thyme or oregano
  • Chilli flakes to taste
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 4 small bread buns (around 10cm in diameter)
Shaping Your Köfte Burgers

  1. Apart from the sliced onion and sunflower oil, add all your ingredients to a bowl.
  2. Mix and knead the mixture with your hands until everything has blended together.
  3. Divide the mixture into 4 roughly equal parts.
  4. Now shape each piece into a burger/köfte shape.
  5. If possible, leave your köfte burgers to chill in the fridge for an hour or so.

Cooking Your Köfte Burgers

  1. Preheat your oven to 50 degrees celsius.
  2. Now place a frying pan over a medium-high heat and add your oil (you need enough oil just to cover the surface of the pan).
  3. When the oil starts to smoke, place the köfte burgers into the pan.
  4. After 4-5 minutes, when your burgers are seared, flip them over and turn the heat down to medium.
  5. Fry on this side for a further 4-5 minutes and then check to see if they are cooked through. A prod with a sharp knife should reveal clear juices.
  6. Now take a baking tray, place your köfte burgers and buns onto it and put them in your preheated oven.
  7. Now return to your pan and place the onion rings into it. The juices from the köfte burgers and the oil should be enough to cook them.
  8. Fry for a couple of minutes on each side, until seared and remove from the heat.
  9. Remove your köfte burgers and buns from the oven.
  10. Cut your buns in half, through the middle and place the burgers on each base.
  11. Top each one with the fried onion, any other toppings you might want to add and then the lid.
You can be as inventive as you like with the toppings and side servings for these köfte burgers.
If you don't want to fry them, they're also great grilled or barbecued.

And this is how we build our Fethiye köfte burgers…

Turkish Recipes - Fethiye Köfte Burgers

Fethiye Köfte Burgers with toppings of choice

By the time your rings of onion have seared and fried a little, your cobs should be lovely and warm – crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. Remove them from the oven, along with the köfte. Cut the buns in half, place your köfte burger on the base, top with a slice of fried onion and then top with whatever else you want to use.

On this occasion, we mixed and matched. Good old acılı (spicy hot) ketchup for one of them and then some of Barry’s homemade chutney on the other. (If it’s summer and you’re having a barbecue, some homemade coleslaw or spicy Antep ezmesi would also go really well either as a topping or on the side).

Serve with salad, chips, other types of meze; whatever you like. Cherry tomatoes topped with balsamic vinegar was great for us. And that’s it. A Fethiye köfte burger. Not quite a burger, not quite a köfte…but nonetheless yummy!

Afiyet Olsun!

If you liked this recipe for Fethiye Köfte Burgers, you can also browse all of our Turkish recipes featured on our dedicated Turkish recipes page.

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  1. olive oil is carcinogenic when used for frying, just saying. up to you though but there are safer alternatives.

  2. Those rolls look absolutely fantastic! How I miss having access to beautiful bread. 🙂 They must make these burgers amazing.

    • We have so many great bakeries near us and Turkish bread is just fabulous. The bread at this particualr bakery is different to others and these little buns are perfect for these köfte burgers. 🙂

  3. You have just made me soooo hungry.

    • Sorry…but they are so nice. Actually, we could eat some right now, too. Might need to go back to Baba Fırın soon for more dinky rolls so we have an excuse to make some köfte for them. 🙂

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