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Celebrating Sucuk – Turkish Sausage With Garlic & Spices

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Sucuk (Turkish sausage) is to Turkish cuisine what chorizo is to Spanish cuisine; what salami is to Italian cuisine. A spicy, cured sausage of ground meat that is packed with flavour.

Granted, these sausages are never going to fall under the ‘health food’ category, but we all need a naughty-but-nice foodie treat every now and then.

And sucuk really is a foodie treat.

Sucuk Turkish Sausage
Turkish sausage for sale at Fethiye Fish Market

Whenever we’re doing the food shopping around Fethiye Fish Market or at our local butchers, it’s always a comforting sight to see the butchers’ homemade sucuk hanging from hooks outside the shops.

And it’s always difficult to resist buying one, too!

Different Turkish recipes – and other recipes from around the world – pushing to the forefront of our minds as we make the purchase.

What Makes A Good Sucuk Turkish Sausage?

Because sucuk is so popular in Turkey, it’s available in many food shops and all supermarkets.

And, as far as we’re concerned, when it comes to this product, you get what you pay for.

In Turkey, meat isn’t cheap. If your sausage is cheap, there’s probably lots of other ingredients in there to pad it out.

You’ll get a soft, squashy texture and not much pungency to the flavour.

A good quality Turkish sausage should have strong flavour – and a decent percentage of meat and fat content.

So, if you’re buying it from the supermarket, look for the bigger, more famous brands that are either pre-packed on the shelves or behind the deli counter.

Sucuk Döner, Afyon
Afyon is famous for sucuk

The province of Afyonkarahisar is famous for producing sucuk. So, if you see that for sale, it should be decent quality. Look for the ‘Cumhuriyet’ label.

You can even buy döner kebab in Afyon that is made from sucuk!

Locally Produced

For us, we love to shop local. So we buy homemade Turkish sausage from our local butcher shops.

He makes a regular spicy sausage full of red pepper and black pepper and also a hot ‘n’ spicy version which has added chilli.

Of, course, the chilli version (acılı) is our sausage of choice.

Sucuk Turkish Sausage
A feast of Turkish sucuk for sale at a local food festival

The longer the sausage hangs, the more the drying process firms up the sausage.

One time, we bought some from our butcher and he’d only just put it on display.

He told us to hang it for a few more days before we ate it to get the best flavour and texture.

Within a few days, we had a super tasty, firm spicy sausage.

So, for us, we like homemade, lots of flavour and a firm texture. Not so hard that it feels like you’re slicing through a brick. Just a little bit of give.

Meat Content

A good sucuk needs a good ratio of meat, fat and spices.

In Turkey, sucuk is most often a beef sausage.

Sucuk is also eaten around the Middle East, Balkan areas of Eastern Europe and in Central Asian countries. In these Central Asian countries, horse meat will sometimes be used.

Camel Sausage
Deve sucuk – spicy camel sausage – for sale at the camel wrestling event

And, at least in Turkey, we also have deve sucuk.

This is made from camel meat and – as you might expect – we had this when Fethiye hosted a traditional camel wrestling event.

Sucuk Turkish Sausage FAQs

How do you pronounce sucuk?

In Turkish, the letter ‘c’ is pronounced as ‘j’. The ‘u’ sound is quite soft so when you ask for this Turkish sausage, you need to ask for ‘soojook.’

Is Turkish sausage spicy?

Sucuk is a strong tasting Turkish sausage with spices such as paprika and cumin in the mix. Not forgetting the garlic of course.

If you want a chilli-spiced version you need to look for the word ‘acılı’ on the packet or the label.

Is sucuk healthy?

The two main ingredients of this Turkish sausage are ground beef and animal fat.

Whilst the fat may not be the healthiest option, it does make this sausage a really tasty treat.

No extra oil is required for frying – the sausage’s spicy, red-coloured oil will release from the meat almost immediately so you can flavour your other ingredients with it.

How do you cook sucuk Turkish sausage?

Take a look at our full list of recipes below for lots of tasty ways to cook and enjoy your sausage.

In some dishes, it’s the star of the show, whilst in others, it’s a subtle background companion.

Whether you’re frying, simmering, grilling or baking, there are many dishes that benefit from the addition of sucuk.

Sucuk Recipes – What To Do With Your Spicy Bounty

So, if you’re now tempted to buy some Turkish sausage (you can find some on Amazon) and enjoy the juicy texture and spicy flavours, how best can you make use of it?

There are lots of great traditional dishes that include Turkish sausage in the recipe and we wouldn’t like to say which is our favourite sucuk recipe.

We make these different recipes at home a lot – and we also use sucuk as a substitute when recipes call for chorizo or similar sausages.

Let’s start with the famous street food sandwiches and toasties first of all. And then we’ll post our list of recipes that you can try out at home.

In Bread, Of Course

There are lots of traditional fillings for tost – the ubiquitous Turkish toastie.

Combined with cheese and tomato, sucuk is one of those fillings. If you’re in Fethiye, Iksirci Tezcan are famous for their Turkish sausage and cheese toasties.

Sucuklu tost is an absolute classic.

Sucuk Half Bread
On a sandwich

Ekmek arası sucuk – a good old sausage sandwich – takes some beating when that’s what you’re in the mood for.

Turks love to thrown some vertically sliced sucuk on the barbecue and then place it between crusty bread.

Dollop some homemade ketchup over it. Divine!

Eating Çeşme Kumrusu
The Çeşme Kumrusu

Oh, and let’s not forget the famous Çeşme Kumrusu.

Sucuk is just one of a few ingredients that combines to make up the fillings of this must-try crusty cob.

Sucuk Turkish Sausage Recipes To Try At Home

From the breakfast table, right through to lunch and dinner – there’s always room for sucuk!

Sliced beef sausage cooked in fried eggs. A wedge of bread is on the side.
Sucuk & Eggs
Is this our favourite Turkish sucuk recipe?
Served with chunks of fresh, crusty bread, sucuk and eggs (sucuklu yumurta) makes for a perfect weekend brunch – or any other day for that matter!
An ideal indulgence after a morning run or other exercise.
If you're going the full monty and enjoying a leisurely Turkish village breakfast, it's a disappointment if this Turkish sausage nestled amongst the fried eggs doesn't make an appearance.
Look out for the little sizzling circular slices sitting on top of the eggs. A lovely colourful contrast to the sunshine yellow of the yolks.
Read More
A Serving Of Pide Topped with Spinach And Meat
Sucuklu Pide
Make your own Turkish pide at home and then top it with thin slices of Turkish sausage.
There's something wonderfully satisfying about the sight and sound of sizzling sucuk flavouring your pide base.
And it will flavour it! All those tasty oils oozing into the dough.
Your big decision will be whether or not to introduce some cheese into the equation.
Obviously, sucuk Turkish sausage makes for a great pizza topping, too.
Read More
Casseroled vegetables in a terracotta casserole pot.
Güveçte Sucuk Recipe – Turkish Spicy Sausage Casserole
This spicy Turkish sausage casserole is slow cooked in a clay pot – güveçte sucuk. It's full of Mediterranean flavours.
This time, rather than thinly slicing the Turkish sausage, we're going in for big meaty chunks so that the sucuk keeps its shape and robust texture.
The oils from the sucuk flavour your casserole sauce as it cooks.
Serve with crusty bread, a side portion of traditional rice pilaf or a lokanta-style bulgur pilaf.
Read More
Whole baby broad beans cooked in a tomato sauce with sucuk
Sucuklu Bakla – Turkish Sausage With Broad Beans
Sucuk with beans is a perfect combination.
In springtime when broad beans are in season, we like to buy the baby ones and serve them with chunks of Turkish sausage – sucuklu bakla.
When the beans are still young, you don't even need to pod them.
In winter, when you need something more comforting, kuru fasulye is a great go to dish.
You can make this as a Turkish vegetarian or vegan dish with just the white beans and tomato sauce.
Or you can add meat, too.
Our kuru fasulye recipe uses beef but you can also use chicken or lamb or our wondferfully tasty Turkish sausage – sucuklu kuru fasulye.
Read More
Saffron Milk Cap Mushrooms with sucuk Turkish sausage
Çıntar Mushrooms With Sucuk
We love this sucuk recipe.
As well as the broad beans mentioned above, Turkish sausage also goes well with another of Turkey's famous seasonal ingredients.
In autumn, the Saffron Milk Cap Mushroom makes an appearance.
In areas of Spain, this mushroom is often paired with chorizo.
So, we thought, why not do similar by pairing it with sucuk.
Read More
Brussels Sprouts With Sucuk and Chestnuts
Sauteed Brussels Sprouts With Chestnuts & Sucuk
Still on the seasonal food theme – and this is a love hate relationship for many. We fall in the love camp, these days.
During the winter months when Brussels sprouts and chestnuts are in season, they go perfectly together with sucuk.
Three contrasting textures, colours and flavours that combine to make a tasty lunch.

Of course, this is an ideal dish to add your Christmas party food list.
Read More
A close up shot of a cooked mushroom stuffed with melted cheese and sucuk.
Stuffed Mushrooms with Cheese & Sucuk
Whether it's barbecue season or not, these simple stuffed mushrooms are utterly delicious.
Let the heat from your barbecue melt the cheese and sizzle the sucuk til the fats ooze together.
A perfect combination.
Read More
A terracotta bowl filled with hummus and topped with a sprinkling of chill flakes
Hot Hummus With Sucuk
Hot hummus is a current fashion trend amongst the restaurants around Fethiye – and no complaints from us!

Follow our hummus recipe and then at the bottom of that article.
Heat it up with either pastırma or sucuk and this will take your hummus to a whole new level!
Read More

If you venture into the world of sucuk, we hope you find some inspiration with the recipe ideas in this article.

And don’t forget, we also have an ever growing collection of Turkish recipes that you can try at home, too.

Afiyet Olsun!

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