A food with a sexy name

I was a kid with weird eating habits. For example I hated rice pilaf but adored plain boiled rice, like the kind they eat in Japan or China. I also despised anything that has rice in it as an ingredient like rice pudding (which I still can’t stand to this day), any green leafy vegetables cooked with rice grains (like spinach or purslane stew) and the infamous kadınbudu köfte (lady’s thigh’s meat patties) that is actually a favorite in my household.

After my long stay in the United States I came back and started working at a culinary school in Istanbul. Sometimes just for a change, some of my colleagues and I would skip the staff lunch at the school and sneak out to the local tradersmen’s restaurant (we call them esnaf lokantası in Turkish where they make home style meals) and get a the daily menu.

On one of those days one of my colleague ordered the kadınbudu köfte and started devouring it in front of me and I got tempted to try this golden lacy meatballs that had a bit of a crunch on the outside and a soft meaty texture inside and I fell in love.

Because I rarely eat or make fried dishes, kadınbudu köfte became a special dish that I ate once in a while if I came accross in a restaurant. But tonight I decided that it was time for me to try making this classic dish of Ottoman/Turkish cuisine.

So here is how I made it and if you follow this recipe to exact specs you will get to enjoy these delightful morsels.

Oh! By the way, you might be wondering about the name… well it is said that the name comes from the shape of the köfte that resembles a plump lady’s thighs 😊

There are two critical steps in this recipe:

The first one is that half of the meat needs to be sauteed and then added to the final köfte mixture. This step ensures to equalize the cooking time of the egg coating and the beef inside the meat patties.

The second step is that after te köftes are fried, they need to rest in a pot with a lid, this creates a really soft texture.

Kadınbudu Köfte (Fried egg-laced meat patties a.k.a. Lady’s thighs meat patties)
For the köfte mixture:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium sized yellow onion, minced
¼ cups long grain rice, washed
½ cup water, boiled
1 lbs (500 gr) minced beef (a little on the fatty side, 20% will be better)
2 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon*
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp black pepper

For frying:
4 tbsp. flour (maybe a little more)
2 eggs, whisked
Enough oil for frying (I used sunflower oil, you can use any type of frying oil of your choice but make sure it is a vegetable oil)

Heat the olive oil in a small pan and start sautéing the onions until softened, making sure they don’t change color.

Add the rice and stir together with the onions for a few minutes then add the boiled water, over medium heat and covered cook until all the water is absorbed. The rice should be just cooked or about al dente at this point.

Take half of the minced beef and place in a warm pan and sautee until fully cooked. No need to add any oil or butter as the minced beef will render its own fat.

In a large bowl, place the raw minced beef, add cooked minced beef (no need to cool it), cooked rice with onions, 2 eggs, cinnamon, salt and black pepper. Mix well until everything is well incorporated.

Divide this mixture into 14 equal pieces. Shape each piece into oval shaped köftes. Transfer to a platter, cover with a cling wrap and keep in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare a pan with frying oil, and a pot with a lid. Take the köftes out of the fridge, let it come to room temperature for about 5 minutes.

Drench each köfte in flour (making sure to dust off extra flour) then drop in the whisked eggs and place in hot oil. Make sure to do them in batches as to not crowd your frying pan.

Once golden brown on all sides, remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate with paper towel for a few minutes then place in the pot and cover with the lid. Continue this process with all the köftes until they are fried.   

Serve these with mashed potatoes (my personal favorite) or with french fries (the tradermen’s restaurant style) and enjoy!!!! Afiyet olsun 😊

*This tiny amount of cinnamon adds a subtle flavor to these köfte that makes a lot of difference in the world, so if you don’t have anything against cinnamon don’t omit it from the recipe.