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Multiple rolls of kokoreç roasting on wood fire in İzmir, Turkey
TypeMeat dish
Place of originOttoman Empire
Region or stateBalkans, Asia Minor
Main ingredientsLamb or goat intestines, offal (sweetbreads, hearts, lungs or kidneys)

Kokoretsi (Albanian: kukurec, Greek: κοκορέτσι, Turkish: kokoreç), Italian: torcinello, is a dish of the Balkans and Asia Minor, consisting of lamb or goat intestines wrapped around seasoned offal, including sweetbreads, hearts, lungs, or kidneys, and typically grilled; a variant consists of chopped innards cooked on a griddle. The intestines of suckling lambs are preferred.


The name kokoretsi comes from Albanian kukurec.[1]


The offal, along with some fat, is washed and cut into ½ to ¾-inch thick pieces, and lightly seasoned with lemon, olive oil, oregano, salt, pepper, and sometimes garlic. The intestine are turned inside out and carefully washed, then rubbed with salt and often soaked in vinegar or lemon juice and water.

The filling meats are threaded onto a long skewer and wrapped with the intestine to hold them together, forming a compact roll usually about 16–24 inches long by 1½–3 inches in diameter.

Kokoretsi is usually roasted on a horizontal skewer over a charcoal, gas, or electrical burner, and may be basted with lemon juice and olive oil.

A quite different preparation mixes the chopped innards with chopped tomatoes and green peppers, and then cooks them on a large griddle with hot red pepper and oregano added. The cook constantly mixes and chops the mixture using two spatulas. When done, the dish is kept warm aside on the griddle until someone orders a serving.


Kokoretsi with tomatoes and spices, served on bread

The cooked kokoretsi is chopped or sliced, sprinkled with oregano, and served on a plate. Sometimes it is served on a piece of flatbread. Some add tomatoes or spices in it. It may also (especially in Turkey) be served in half a baguette or in a sandwich bun, plain or garnished, almost always with oregano and red pepper. In Turkey, common side dishes are pickled peppers or cucumbers. It is often seasoned with lemon, oregano, salt, a pepper, and typically accompanied by wine or raki.

National and regional[edit]


Kokoretsi is typically available in restaurants, ouzeris and tavernas year round in Greece, but for the most part it remains a festival dish ordinarily prepared only once a year at home during Orthodox Easter celebrations when it is traditional for Greek families to spit-roast a whole lamb. It serves as a "meze" or appetizer until the lamb is ready.

Due to outbreak of mad cow disease in the late '90s, banning the consumption of offal was considered. However, the idea was abandoned.[citation needed]

Gardouba (γαρδούμπα) or gardoubakia (γαρδουμπάκια) is a smaller variant of kokoretsi; it may be grilled like kokoretsi, or roasted in a pan. Its name comes from the Italian caldume.[2]


Kokoreç is one of the most consumed fast foods in Turkey.[citation needed] Most of it is prepared, cooked and sold in small kiosks year-round, and is usually consumed as a sandwich after having alcohol. It is also served in some restaurants.


Torcinello (turcenélle in the Apulian and Molise dialects, mboti, turcinieddi, or turcinieddhri in the Salento dialect) is an Italian dish from Apulia and Molise consisting of lamb intestines wrapped around lamb liver or offal, typically testicles. It is generally grilled, but may also be stewed.

See also[edit]