The Guide Shop Blog RSS



Grilled halloumi wrapped in vine leaves

Hailing from Cyprus, halloumi (hellim in Turkish) is a type of cheese special to the region regularly used in Greek and Turkish cuisine. Cheesemakers mainly use goat's milk to produce this rubbery textured cheese. Since it does not melt easily, you can grill or fry halloumi to enjoy it at breakfast or as a mezze or starter. If you would like to elevate the flavor and presentation of the cheese, we suggest this grilled halloumi wrapped in vine leaves from experienced cooking enthusiasts and cookbook authors Lale Apa and Hande Bozdoğan’s curated cookbook Istanbul Contemporary Cuisine. Although the seasons for fresh vine leaves are late spring and early summer, they can also be found jarred in brine all year long....

Continue reading



Snow Peas Ragout

The abundance of spring has arrived at last, and now is the season for sultani bezelye, known in English as snow peas. This legume has a very short season, so we need to make the best of it while it’s fresh. Snow peas, which are also known as Chinese pea pods, are often used in stir-fries in Asian cuisine. They contain very small peas, and though the whole pod is edible they have tough "strings" along the edges that are usually removed before eating. These peas have a mild flavor and can be served cooked or raw. Spring is also the season when lambs start appearing in the fields, and this dish combines lamb with peas in a distinctive dish...

Continue reading



How to brew tea with Turkish çaydanlık

The process of brewing tea in Turkey is a little different from other parts of the world. The two-part teapot, called a çaydanlık, is used to make the iconic copper-colored tea. In the top part, tea leaves and boiled water sit to steep. In the lower part is plain boiling water, used to dilute the tea. Here’s how to do it: - Boil water in the lower tea pot. - For every cup of tea, add a standard teaspoon of black tea to the upper pot. Since the tea glass is special to Turkey, the teaspoon, çay kaşığı, is also a special shape, smaller than the one the rest of the world calls a teaspoon. The standard global teaspoon is...

Continue reading



Artichoke Hearts with Celery, Jerusalem artichoke and Orange Juice

It's artichoke season! We have a traditional recipe with a twist from Lale Apa, the author of Remix, Istanbul Contemporary Cuisine and Cooking on the Boat cookbooks to celebrate this amazing vegetable. As most vegetable dishes from Turkish cuisine, this olive oil dish is also a great for vegans.  Ingredients: 6 fresh artichoke hearts2 medium celeriac350 gr Jerusalem artichokes2 carrots1 potato10 small shallots1 orange, juice of2 lemon, juice of2 garlic cloves720 mL hot water3 tbsp sugar1 tsp salt60 ml extra virgin olive oilDill, chopped  Instructions: Rub artichoke hearts with lemon (to prevent discoloration). Wash, peel and cut celeriac, Jerusalem artichokes, potato and carrots into round pieces. Mix celeriac and Jerusalem artichokes with juice of half a lemon in a separate bowl....

Continue reading



Didem Şenol's zucchini fritters recipe

While the culinary scene of Istanbul has developed in waves of new openings and exciting flavors, the restaurant world still chiefly remains the domain of men. But this is changing. The Guide Istanbul interviewed five fascinating women chefs and talked to them about their journeys through the kitchen and business world and their go to recipes.​ To see the rest of the article click here.  Didem Şenol, the owner and chef of Gram, has a soft spot for mücver, which she says are not only her childhood comfort food, but also a crowd pleaser all over the world. At a recent food conference in New York City, Şenol says that of all the things she cooked, these vegetable fritters were the...

Continue reading