Laura’s Çilbir: Turkish Poached Eggs

In North America, we tend to associate egg recipes with breakfast and we forget about the rest of the day. Which is shameful because eggs make the perfect meal any time of day.

For this Turkish poached eggs recipe (also known as çilbir), you’ll have to poach the eggs, but I promise I’ll gently walk you through the process. Turkish poached eggs (also known as çilbir) is a delicious meal. Made with a spicy sauce, fresh herbs, it’s such an easy recipe.

Let’s dive in and make this fresh and delicious dish!


How Do You Poach the Eggs?

To poach eggs, you’ll need the following:

  1. a pot
  2. 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  3. ramekin (or a small bowl)
  4. fine mesh sieve
  • You do not require a slotted spoon

Poaching eggs is really simple. Let’s walk through this.

  1. Fill your pot up with water and bring it to a boil. Once the water is boiled, add the tablespoon of vinegar.
  2. Crack your egg over a fine mesh sieve. Eggs have water in them and by doing this, you eliminate the water which gives the poached eggs a much nicer finish. Let it sit in the sieve for 1-2 minutes. Then transfer to a ramekin.
  3. Take a spoon and stir the pot of water until a whirlpool forms. Stop stirring (the water will still be moving), gently slide the egg into the middle of the whirlpool into the simmering water. The cook time for the egg is 3 minutes, which will result in perfect poached eggs. If you go under the 3 minutes it will be undercooked and that’s not healthy and if you go over the 3 minutes, the yolk will be hard and not what you want.
  4. Gently lift the egg out of the simmering water and place on your food or on a paper towel while you cook the rest of your meal.

Can I Make Any Substitutions for This Turkish Poached Eggs Recipe?

This recipe has dairy in it due to the yogurt mixture. If you’re dairy-free, you can try to use a dairy-free yogurt. However, make sure the yogurt you use is thick, not thin.

If you cannot find Greek yogurt for your yogurt mixture, you can use labneh which is a similar yogurt but also similar(ish) to sour cream.

Traditionally, they use aleppo pepper but I know aleppo pepper can be hard to find in all grocery stores. If you cannot find aleppo pepper then you can use crushed red pepper flakes.

What’s the Difference Between Turkish and Greek Yogurt?

There’s not much of a difference. They’re strained slightly differently but they’re thicker yogurt than the North American variety. If you google “the origin of yogurt,” the dish is thought to have originated in Mesopotamia but the yogurt we now know is Turkish, as is the word “yogurt” itself. However, as there are long-standing rivalries regarding food traditions between differing countries in the Mediterranean, there are conflicting narratives.


  1. 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (made with whole milk, at room temperature)
  2. 1 Clove Garlic (you can use 2-3 if you’d like, finely minced)
  3. 2 Large Eggs
  4. 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or unsalted butter)
  5. 1 tablespoon Vinegar
  6. 2 teaspoons Aleppo Pepper (or Crushed Red Pepper Flakes)
  7. Fresh Dill (for garnish)
  8. Chopped Mint (for garnish)
  9. 1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
  10. Toasted Bread (optional)
  11. Sea Salt (to taste)

For full recipe go to Sift



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