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Kenji Lopez-Alt's Impossible Turkish-ish Sandwiches

Kristen Little


Turkish-ish Patties
  • 1 pound vegan ground meat, such as Impossible
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground sumac
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Urfa biber chile
Sumac Onions
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ground sumac
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • Mayonnaise or vegan mayonnaise
  • 4 torpedo rolls or Turkish buns, toasted
  • sliced pickles
  • arugula
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • pickled peppers, such as pepperoncini, banana peppers or jalapeños, sliced

Chef notes

When I opened my German-inspired beer hall, Wursthall, I wanted to offer a vegan sandwich that would be just as satisfying and delicious as the sausages and meat-based sandwiches on our menu. The result was this sandwich, inspired by döner kebab, a Turkish sandwich popular throughout Germany. It's gone on to be one of our most popular menu items. Even meat-eaters order it regularly.

Technique tip: Sumac and Urfa biber are essential Turkish spices that can be found in a good spice shop or ordered online.

Swap option: You can replace the vegan ground meat with ground beef or lamb, if you prefer.


For the Turkish-ish patties:

Combine all patty ingredients in a medium bowl and knead until homogenous and sticky.

Divide into 4 even piles and form into patties roughly the same length and width as your buns.

For the sumac onions:

Combine all sumac onion ingredients in a medium bowl and toss to combine.

For the sandwiches:

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add patties and cook without disturbing until well-browned on first side, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook on second side until just cooked through, about 1 minute longer. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Spread mayonnaise on toasted buns, top and bottom. Layer bottom buns with pickles, sumac onions and arugula. Drizzle with olive oil. Place a patty on top of arugula, top with pickled peppers, close sandwiches and serve.