Adana Kebab With Sumac Onions - Gatherings cookbook

Adana Kebab With Sumac Onions

Erica Turner - America's Test Kitchen
Most traditionally made with lamb, Adana Kebab is exceptionally tender, juicy, and flavorful due to the reasonably fatty cuts used. The sumac onions kick these kebabs up a notch, adding flavor punch and counterbalancing the richness of the meat.
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Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Servings 4


  • 8 12 inch metal skewers
  • 1 12 inch large shallow grill pan or griddle


Sumac Onions

  • 2 red onions, halved lengthwise then thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • ½ cup fresh minced parsley
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sumac


  • ¼ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 pound 80 percent lean ground lamb
  • 2 minced garlic cloves,
  • teaspoons table salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon pul biber, Note: Aleppo pepper may be substituted
  • ½ teaspoon sumac
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 (8 by 10 inch) pieces lavash bread or 8 pitas


Sumac Onions

  • In a large bowl, add onions. Gently massage onions with salt to soften, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add to bowl, ½ cup minced parsley, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1 tablespoon sumac. Toss to combine. Set aside until ready to serve. Note: Sumac onions are served cold and can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.


  • Place finely chopped bell peppers in center of a clean dish towel. Gather ends of the towel together, twist tightly, and squeeze over sink to drain as much liquid as possible. Note: Squeezing peppers tightly is important, otherwise the mixture will be too wet to adhere to the skewers.
  • In a bowl, add bell peppers, 1 pound lamb, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1½ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon pul biber, and ½ teaspoon sumac. Using your hands knead until thoroughly combined and mixture starts to get sticky, about 5 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Divide mixture into 8 equal portions. Using lightly moistened hands, shape each portion into 5-inch-long cylinder about 1½ inches in diameter.
  • Thread each portion onto a 12-inch metal skewer, reshaping as needed and using fingers to flatten meat slightly on two sides and create horizontal indentations. Note: Skewers can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.
  • Heat a large shallow grill pan or griddle over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan and heat until just smoking.
  • Lay the skewers flat side down and cook until well browned and meat thermometer reads 160 degrees, 2 to 3 minutes a side. Note: If using pitas, 2 minutes before removing kebabs from pan, arrange pitas on top of skewers to warm through.
  • Serve each lavash bread or pita with 2 kebabs per person. Serve with onions.


    About the Author

    Erica Turner America's Test Kitchen
    Erica Turner is an associate editor of Cook's Illustrated. She has a master's degree in international communication and attended culinary school in Gaziantep, Turkey, where she worked for the United Nations and volunteered at a school for Syrian refugees for two years before moving to Jerusalem and then back to the States. The author of four books (including a poetry book and cookbook) and a passionate filmmaker, she's always working on creative projects and seeking opportunities to learn about new cultures.