Skip to Content

Cooking With Edible Wild Plants The Turkish Way – Bulgurlu Çiriş Otu Yemeği

Share this article

There’s something really satisfying about cooking with edible wild plants – that knowledge of eating something that has just sprung up at the side of the road, in a meadow, a forest or in the mountains.

No one planted it or cultivated it; the seed just came to be there, and, as it starts to grow, an edible wild food is born.

If you know your stuff and have a good knowledge of edible weeds and wild plants, you can of course take yourself off foraging and get yourself a nice little feast.

Lots of our Turkish friends do this (that’s how our wild radish leaf salad came about) and occasionally they offer us some of their spoils.

And then there’s us; we’re more than happy to let local people do the foraging for us.

We buy our edible wild plants from places like Fethiye market because we like to work on the assumption that those people know far more than we ever will about such matters!

Edible Wild Plants Recipes – It’s Çiriş Season

Çiriş Otu Edible Wild Plants
Çiriş Otu for sale at Çalış Market

We’ve told you all about çiriş otu before so we’ll not repeat ourselves here.

But, by the time we’d spoken to a chef friend about them, last year, it was already too late and the very short çiriş season was over…and so we’ve waited patiently until now to experiment with çiriş recipes.

Depending on how mild or harsh the winter has been in the yayla (the hills and hanging valleys) around Fethiye, the season for çiriş is roughly March or April as the snow starts to melt.

Well, we can see with our own eyes that the snow is melting…so, last Sunday at Çalış market, we kept our eyes peeled for these edible wild plants, determined to cook with them and add to our little portfolio of Turkish dishes.

As you can see in the photo above – we spotted some!

A Recipe For Çiriş Otu With Bulgur Wheat

Let’s give it its Turkish name, shall we? Bulgurlu Çiriş Otu Yemeği.

Because it seems that when it comes to edible wild plants recipes, us Brits are not too hot on eating these shoots – but in Turkey, there are recipes galore.

And so there should be. It’s a really tasty ingredient and also good for you, too.

A white bowl with cooked bulgur wheat in an oil-based tomato sauce. A green leafy vegetable - çiriiş - is also in the mixture.
Drizzle some natural yoghurt over this once it’s at room temperature and you’ve got dream lokanta food

We started off with a recipe using bulgur wheat because that’s also a really well-used Turkish ingredient and also a good healthy option.

The tomato bulgur pilaf dish is perhaps one of the most famous – but bulgur wheat is also often used to fill out vegetarian dishes like this.

So, now we’ve got our hands on these edible wild plants, let’s make bulgurlu çiriş otu yemeği.

This is the sort of wholesome food that you get in lokantas all over Turkey.

And you know what they do in places like this, don’t you? Well you drizzle a load of natural Turkish yoghurt all over the top of it.


Let your dish get to around room temperature and drizzle the natural yoghurt over.

Then you can either eat everything up as it is or you can grill some chicken or barbecue some köfte and use your bulgurlu çiriş otu yemeği as a side serving.

If you’re wondering how on earth you can make this Turkish edible wild plants recipe at home when you can’t get your hands on çiriş, never fear, there are alternatives.

A similar taste and texture is the green ‘leafy’ bit at the top of leeks. You can also use the green stems of spring onion, too.

A white bowl with cooked bulgur wheat in an oil-based tomato sauce. A green leafy vegetable - çiriiş - is also in the mixture.
5 from 1 vote

Çiriş Otu With Bulgur Wheat

Bulgurlu çiriş otu yemeği is a Turkish edible wild plants recipe that makes a healthy side dish. It works really well with grilled meats such as chicken & köfte.
Save Print Pin
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Turkish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 200kcal
Author Turkey’s For Life


  • ½ kilogram çiriş otu washed & chopped into pieces around 3cm long
  • 1 handful coarse bulgur wheat
  • 1 medium-sized onion peeled & chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt & pepper to season


  • In a deep saucepan, gently heat the olive oil and add your onions.
  • Stir around until the onions start to sweat and then add your bulgur wheat.
  • Keep stirring over low heat for around 5 minutes so that your bulgur wheat begins to soften but doesn’t stick to the pan.
  • Now stir in your salça (tomato paste) and a pinch of salt and pepper
  • Immediately add your çiriş otu and 2-3 cups of hot water.
  • Give it all a stir around, bring to the boil and then place a lid on your pan and reduce the heat.
  • Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes until your bulgur wheat is cooked through.
  • Remove from the heat and serve luke warm or at room temperature.


  • Obviously, not everyone can get access to çiriş otu. If you would still like to make this dish, you can substitute these edible wild plants for the leafy bit of leeks or the green shoots of spring onions.
  • Bulgurlu çiriş otu yemeği is very tasty with some natural yoghurt drizzled over the top.
  • Calories per serving are approximate.


Calories: 200kcal

Afiyet Olsun!

Share this article

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Evelyn T Woodson

Thursday 29th of March 2018

Hi I reside in Izmir Poligon I purchased some Ciris Otu on 3 -28 -2018 , I learned it is good for many medical uses and is cooked in a variety of way, growing up on a Farm ins Southern USA stayed with me. hope to have feed back ,

Turkey's For Life

Monday 2nd of April 2018

Hi, yes there are supposed to be health benefits to çiriş. It has antimicrobial properties which can prevent secondary infections in cancer patients. Çiriş also helps with menstrual flow, too, apparently. Would need to look into it further. :)

Adonis Villanueva

Tuesday 21st of March 2017

Yum! I love Turkish food. I was in food heaven when I visited Istanbul. I wish I found some Çiriş Otu, I would love to try it!

Turkey's For Life

Wednesday 22nd of March 2017

Hi, thanks a lot for your recipe rating, Adonis Villanueva. Much appreciated. :) Çiriş otu has it's own special texture and tasre but people make this dish with spinach for the rest of the year. Hope you get to try this recipe sometime. :)

Diane Conti

Monday 5th of December 2016

This looks lovely. I'm sure they are a regional delight, not to be found here in Ankara. Sigh.

Turkey's For Life

Tuesday 13th of December 2016

Oh, hope you can find them in Ankara, Diane Conti. Perhaps not right in the city centre - ;) - but it's a plant that does grow widely. Good luck.


Sunday 8th of May 2016

I love eating wild plants too, but like you I let others do the foraging. Haven't seen Çiriş in our neck of the woods though. Could you describe the taste?

Turkey's For Life

Monday 9th of May 2016

Hmm, Mette... We discussed the flavour and then, just to be sure, we also discussed the flavour with our Fethiye chef friend who told us it was called çiriş. Verdict: Çiris is a wild edible plant that tastes like a cross between spring onion and leek...but çiriş keeps its flavour on cooking. We cooked spring onion stalks recently, in the same way, and the flavour disappeared. :)


Thursday 7th of April 2016

I still haven't seen this green around Bodrum. I'll have to guess what it tastes like.

Turkey's For Life

Sunday 10th of April 2016

Wondering if these wild edible plants might not grow in your parts, BacktoBodrum. According to a friend, it only grows in the yayla...although if it's the plant we think it is, we've seen it around flat areas, too. A bit more investigation necessary. :)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.