What is kokorec made of and how to make it?

Kokorec is an offal dish preferably made from the small intestine of lamb. Substitute beef intestine can also be used instead of lamb intestine. But lamb intestines are the most acceptable.

So much so that those who make kokorec claim that it is made from milk lamb intestines. Thus, they try to create the perception that the intestines of lambs that have not yet started to graze and are still breastfeeding are cleaner. Such a claim might have been possible in the past, but it is almost impossible to find milk lamb intestines in the current demand. Therefore, what we eat in Turkey is usually weaned lamb or sheep intestines. For this reason, the intestines must be very well cleaned.

How to Make Kokorec?

Only grass-fed lamb and sheep intestines are taken and washed in kokoreç production centers by passing only pressurized clean water through them until there is no impure substance left in the intestines. Then, the intestines, which are sure of their cleanliness, start to be wrapped around an iron rod.

Kokorec producers usually wrap the intestines in either the tail fat of the animal or in the suet. This is the method generally used by kokorec makers in Istanbul. Izmiris wraps the intestine directly on the iron and continues wrapping it by throwing shirt oil in between. Thus, they get a more intense flavor.

The best-known examples of kokoreç in Turkey are made in Izmir. Ankara comes next, followed by Balıkesir and then Istanbul.

Here is a General Recipe for Making Kokorec:


  • One sheep or lamb intestine (cleaned and washed)
  • 500 grams of sheep or kid internal fat
  • One teaspoon salt teaspoon black pepper
  • One teaspoon chili pepper
  • One teaspoon cumin
  • One teaspoon thyme
  • Lemon wedges (for serving)


  1. To clean and prepare the intestines, wash them thoroughly with cold water. Then, tie the intestines tightly at both ends, fill it with water, and leave it for a while. Then, drain the water and rewash it.
  2. Fill the intestines with suet. Insert the suet well into the intestine, but do not squeeze it too tightly. You can also add spices such as salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, cumin, and oregano while placing the suet in the intestine.
  3. Spread the intestine with suet on a flat surface and roll it tightly from the starting point. Tie the knots tightly so that the inner fat does not come out.
  4. You can cook the kokorec over a fire. Prepare an ember fire using a barbecue or grill and place the intestine on the grill. Cook for about 30-40 minutes, turning occasionally. Cooking time may vary depending on the intestine’s thickness and the fire’s temperature. As the top of the kokorec browns and the inner fat melts, it is cooked.
  5. After the kokorec is cooked, slice and serve; you can serve it hot with lemon wedges. Add side dishes such as lettuce, onion, and hot peppers to the kokorec.

It is essential to pay attention to hygiene rules when making kokorec. It would help if you were careful about cleaning and processing the intestines. You should also pay attention to the temperature of the fire when cooking the kokorec because it is essential that it does not burn and that the inside is well cooked.

The preparation and cooking of kokorec is a traditional process usually carried out by professional kokorec masters. Therefore, working with someone experienced or following the recipe carefully is essential when making it at home.

Although kokorec is a delicious and satisfying food, it can also carry some health risks. When working with raw intestines, you need to be careful about hygiene and make sure that the intestines are fresh and from reliable sources. It is also essential that the internal fat is cooked correctly and wholly melted.

Finally, you can adjust the amount of oil and spices in the kokoec according to your preferences. The amounts given in the recipe are suggested; you can use more or fewer spices according to your preference.

Kokorec is a popular delicacy, especially in Turkish cuisine, but it can be laborious. If you are thinking of making kokorec at home, it is essential to follow the steps in the recipe above and pay attention to hygiene rules.

Bon Appetit!

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